Teen Sent to Prison for Defending Home from Intruders—Because The Intruders Were Cops


Austin, TX – When a SWAT team initiated a no-knock raid in search of cannabis, they were met with gunfire, and while the resident surrendered as soon as he realized his home was being raided by police, the fact that he opened fire on the intruders and shot one of them in the leg has resulted in a 13-year prison sentence.

When a SWAT team broke down the door and charged into the Harrell family’s house in the early morning hours of April 14, 2016, they claimed that the intrusive operation was justified, because they believed 18-year-old Tyler Harrell was running a drug ring out of his parents’ home.

When Tyler Harrell was woken up by what he believed were burglars breaking into his home, he did what many gun owners would do, and he grabbed his firearm and confronted the intruders. He used his legally-owned AK-47, and while he did not kill any of the officers, he did wound one officer by shooting him in the knee.

Lisa Harrell told KVUE News that she believes her son only opened fire because he thought his family was being robbed. “[Tyler] came running out with his gun, thinking someone was intruding in our house, and he started shooting down the stairs,” she said. “I know my son thought there was an intruder in the house.”

Hours after the shooting, police confirmed that “another SWAT team member returned fire, but did not hit Harrell, who surrendered to police within minutes,” indicating that as soon as Harrell realized he was firing at police officers, he stopped and let them arrest him without a fight.

When officers searched the home, they found one ounce of cannabis, which would justify a misdemeanor charge against Harrell. However, because the officers initiated a no-knock raid before dawn, and Harrell attempted to protect his family from the intruders, he was charged with attempted capital murder.

During the trial, Harrell’s psychiatrist testified that at the time of the shooting, he was “suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after an incident four months earlier in which he and his friends were robbed by a masked gunman,” and the gunman shot Harrell, before Harrell “wrested the gun away from the man and chased him out the door of his friend’s apartment,” according to a report from the Austin Statesman.

However, it was the testimony from Officer James Pittman that apparently pulled at the heartstrings of jury members. He was the only person injured by Harrell’s gunfire, and he said the bullet wound in his leg kept him from playing with his kids now and would force him to get knee replacement surgery one day.

Pittman also criticized the “Not Guilty” verdict from another Texas case in which a homeowner shot and wounded three police officers when they initiated a no-knock raid on his house. Ray Rosas spent nearly two years in jail awaiting his trial, and his actions were ruled justified based on the fact that he was acting in self-defense and did not know the intruders he was shooting were police officers.

Rosas was acquitted, despite the fact that 11 police officers testified against him. However, in the case of Tyler Harrell, his lawyer argued that the 18 SWAT team members who attended court in tactical gear to show their support for Officer Pittman, further demonized Harrell in the eyes of the jury.

Look at this gallery. You don’t think this is a lot of political pressure for these people?” Lawyer Michael Chandler told the jury.

The pressure worked, and while the jury determined that Tyler Harrell was not guilty of attempted capital murder or aggravated assault on a public servant, he was found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison, and a fine of $7,000.

When the trial shifted to a debate over whether Harrell acted in self-defense, it served as a distraction from the fact that the drug raid on his home was an absolute failure, and officers were never able to prove that Harrell was a “large drug dealer” of marijuana and cocaine, which was the claim they used to justify obtaining a search warrant for the raid in the first place.

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Source Article from https://thefreethoughtproject.com/man-sentenced-shooting-cop-no-knock-raid-over-weed/

Cops Kill Innocent 86yo Navy Vet as He Protected His Wife from Intruders, No Charges


Saratoga, CA — Last year, the widow of an 86-year-old Navy veteran who was gunned down by armed intruders in his own home, filed a lawsuit against her husband’s killers — the Santa Clara County sheriff’s department. Now, the person who murdered this innocent man will not be held accountable as the killing of Eugene Craig has been ruled justified by the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office.

Craig was gunned down by police as he attempted to shield his wife from armed intruders who’d just broken into his home. The armed intruders were cops.

On Sept. 12, 2016, according to Harue Craig’s attorneys, prior to the shooting, deputies kicked down two doors before opening fire inside the Craigs’ Saratoga home on Titus Avenue.

As KTVU reported at the time, attorneys said their client stated that both she and her late husband were “very scared” and did not know why their doors were being kicked down.

The elderly couple thought they were victims of a home invasion, so Eugene grabbed his .38 caliber revolver and bravely stood in front of his wife as they listened to the intruders come into their home.

When the intruders opened the bedroom door, they saw the elderly vet standing there with the revolver and one deputy opened fire. Although there were multiple deputies in the home, deputy Doug Ulrich was the only one who felt the need to begin shooting.

Eugene died on the scene.

According to police, they were at the home to conduct a welfare check. Craig’s granddaughter called police the night of the shooting because she hadn’t heard from her grandparents in a week, according to prosecutors.

The sheriff’s office said that deputies clearly identified themselves, called the home phone, and tapped on windows repeatedly before entering.

In spite of their alleged efforts to identify themselves, the couple still didn’t believe them. After all, they were both entirely innocent and cops coming into their home was a far-fetched idea. Any home invader could simply claim they’re the police to easily gain entry into someone’s home.

The tragic irony of this situation is that police claim they were there to protect the couple, noting that they had gotten word that someone inside the home was in distress. Sadly, this is what happens when militarized police are sent into an innocent couple’s home to check on their well-being.

Naturally, after they killed the innocent man — while ‘protecting’ him — police immediately attempted to justify their actions and as this ruling by the DA illustrates, it worked.

“The law allows Deputy (Douglas) Ulrich to fire his weapon in defense of others (and himself) until Craig no longer posed an imminent threat,” wrote Stacey Capps, a supervisor in the district attorney’s homicide unit. “In short, Deputy Ulrich genuinely believed that Craig presented an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury to others or himself when he discharged his duty weapon.”

However, the only ones who created the threat of imminent danger were the police. Craig had harmed no one.

As NBC Bay Area reported at the time, the attorney for Craig’s 90-year-old widow, Dennis Luca, a long-time retired San Jose Police officer, turned civil attorney, was originally hired by Craig’s 90-year-old widow after the shooting last fall.

“Simply put, they did not follow established policy and procedure that virtually all police departments, sheriff’s office follow regarding the escalation of force,” said Luca.

“If you’re there at someone’s house to check on their welfare, why do you kick two doors down at night time when my client is 86 years old, his wife is 90, and they live alone at that house and they have for years?” asked Luca.

“They (deputies) didn’t progress through the steps necessary, and that’s why I say they created the deadly force event. Not Mr. Craig, who has a right to be in his house. He hadn’t committed a crime,” said attorney Luca. “He has a right to be safe in his house like all of us do. The police just can’t kick doors, come into the house and start shooting.”

Welfare checks, as they are known in the United States, are crap shoots that have the potential to explode into violence at any moment. The Free Thought Project has reported on numerous instances in which police have shown up to ‘protect’ someone who may be suicidal or in distress only to end up hurting or killing them.

Sadly, Craig is now one of these statistics and the people who did it to him will not be held responsible for taking an innocent man’s life.


Nothing will bring back Harue Craig’s beloved husband. However, her lawsuit will serve as yet another reminder of the effect of police violence on situations that require no force at all. When law enforcement’s only tool is a hammer — everything begins to look like a nail.

“It didn’t have to happen. It shouldn’t have happened,” said Luca. “And now I have a 90-year-old woman who is alone, who was married for many years to a war veteran, a pilot, and now she has no one. That’s not a tragedy. That is horrific.”

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-gun-innocent-86yo-navy-vet-protected-wife-intruders-no-charges/

Hero pitbull uses doggy door to save neighbors from violent home intruders


Brisco, a 6-year-old Pitbull and therapy dog is being hailed as a hero after he saved a neighborhood family from 3 violent home intruders late Tuesday evening.

Brisco’s owner, 39-year-old Greg Bannerman, lives in Miami, Florida, and adopted the young Pitbull 4-years-ago after he retired from the United States Marine Corps and his doctor recommended he get a therapy dog to help assist with mild-PSTD.

Bannerman along with his fiancé Megan Howler live in a modest home within a quiet, middle-class, neighborhood primarily occupied by families with small children located on the outskirts of Miami-Dade County.

According to Bannerman, he had spent Tuesday evening where he spends most evenings, on the couch, binge watching the show ‘Friends’ with his fiancé Megan. The 39-year-old retired serviceman told reporters that they had been enjoying a relaxing evening and that nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

“We were just laying around watching Netflix and had no idea that something terrible was taking place next-door” – Bannerman told local reporters.

Bannerman and his fiancé may not have known what horrors were taking place just next door -but the couple’s dog, Brisco, did. According to Bannerman, the 6-year-old therapy dog was laying on the floor at the foot of the couch, when suddenly, his ears perked up and he bolted out of the living room and using a doggy door, ran out of the house.

Bannerman told reporters that he assumed Brisco had heard something outside, perhaps a neighborhood cat, but decided to follow the dog outside to ensure nobody was attempting to break into his shed. As Bannerman opened the sliding-glass-door leading into his backyard, he witnessed Brisco jump the chain-link fence connecting his backyard to his neighbor’s and utilize his neighbor’s doggy door to enter their home.

Not knowing what to do, Bannerman quickly ran to his neighbor’s front door and began knocking and ringing their doorbell. After several minutes of knocking without an answer, Bannerman unsure of what to do called 911 and asked for assistance from local police.

When the responding officers arrived at 7867 Lorient Circle, the home Barry and Connie Havens share with their 2-small children, they assumed their only job would be to coax the dog out of the house. However, after hearing several screams coming from inside the home, they broke down the front door and entered expecting to find that the Pitbull had mauled a sleeping family.

Brisco used a doggy door located at the back of this home to save his neighbors from violent home intruders.

Instead, what the responding officers found -was the scene of a violent home invasion. Barry Haven along with his wife Connie and their 2-young children, 6-year-old Jenny and 9-year-old Janice had been blindfolded with duct-tape and tied to kitchen chairs.

Chief of Police, Bryan Carlton, told reporters that all 4-members of the Havens family sustained physical abuse from the 3-masked home intruders, however, the father, Barry Havens sustained the majority of the abuse and appeared to have been stabbed 6-times in the legs, arms, and torso.

Chief of Police Bryan Carlton holds a brief press-conference outside the Havens residence.

According statements made to police by Barry Havens, the masked intruders were demanding money and jewelry and were becoming angry as he continued to explain that there wasn’t any money or valuable jewelry in the house. Havens told responding officers that just as the masked-intruder’s violence escalated, the family was saved by their neighbor’s dog – Brisco.

Police believe that Brisco, who has played with the Havens children several times throughout the past year, jumped into action when she heard the familiar children crying and could sense the distress within their pleas for help.

According to statements made by the Havens family, the 3- masked-intruders were completely caught off-guard when Brisco ran into the house and immediately began attacking them.

Barry Havens told police that within minutes, Brisco had taken all 3 intruders to the ground and they were frozen in place on the floor, terrified to move.

In protecting the family, Brisco bit all three intruders on the legs, arms, and necks. One of the home-intruders, who has since been identified as 42-year-old Spencer Elliot, was pronounced dead on the scene and the remaining 2-indtruders sustained serious injuries requiring medical treatment.

Among those singing praise for Brisco’s heroic actions are the members of the Havens family who have told reporters they owe their lives to Brisco and will never be able to thank him enough or fully express their gratitude for the therapy Pitbull.

Police are still investigating the home invasion, however, during a brief press-conference, told members of the media that they believe the invasion was motivated by a now-defunct business deal Barry Havens had been involved in throughout early-2017. They believe the intruders intended to harm the Havens family and are grateful for Brisco’s intervention.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/352805-Hero-pitbull-uses-doggy-door-to-save-neighbors-from-violent-home-intruders