POLK COUNTY FLORIDA SHERIFF, GRADY JUDD
Lots of twists and turns in this true story tipped to me from Dave Levenstein, my eyes, ears and friend in South Africa.
First, set your Mr. Peabody & Sherman "way-back" time machines for September, 28, 2006. The location, West Lakeland, Florida.
According to The Ledger, an undocumented alien, in Polk County, Florida, got pulled over in a routine traffic stop. Officially he was accused of speeding. Those who preceded him in that area said he was the victim of a speed trap. But, the bottom line is that he was pulled over.
While running a background check on Mr. Angilo Freeland (who would soon learn this land is not free) for outstanding warrants, the native of Antigua took off running into the nearby woods. The cops and a K-9 named, ready for this, DiOGi, entered the pursuit.
One deputy, Williams, with DiOGi's help, cornered the man. He drew his pistol (yup, he was packing) and shot both the deputy and the dog, killing both. Oh, and during that exchange, the other officer, Speirs, was shooting at Freeland and hit his fellow Deputy Williams twice, before he was killed. Speirs, who wasn't able to run as fast as the Williams, was wounded as he approached, but Freeman got away. Just an observation, but I'd suggest these cops picked the wrong day to set up a speed trap.
Verified by Snopes.com, Freeland was later found hiding in a wooded area by the ten member local SWAT team that Speirs radioed in for. They ultimately found Freeman, lying on his back, under an oak tree, waiting to be taken in. Hovering closely over the man, the police officers decided to save the tax payers money on a trial. Instead they opened fire on the man as he lay on his back. They hit Freeman 68 times. Mind you, that's out of 110 total shots from point blank range.
Sheriff Judd said at the time the justification was that this man, Freeman, was dangerous. He had killed a deputy. He had killed a K-9. He had wounded another deputy. (He conveniently overlooked the fact that the dead deputy had been shot by the wounded deputy as well.)
I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that's all the ammunition they had.
Or was it that with any more lead in him, the victim might have been too heavy to carry off to the coroner?
I think this says something about overkill and it surely says something about a SWAT team that misses a stationary target the size of a man, 42 times, from less than three feet away. Perhaps these guys could use a gift certificate to the "Learn To Hit Your Target From 3 Feet Away" rifle and gun range.
Naturally, the liberal media went nuts and asked why they had to shoot the poor, undocumented immigrant 68 times.
Sheriff Grady Judd told the Orlando Sentinel: "Because that's all the ammunition we had."
Now, is that just about the all-time greatest answer or what!
The Coroner also reported that the illegal alien died of natural causes. When asked by a reporter how that could be, since there were 68 bullet wounds in his body, he simply replied: (BEST QUOTE ever) .
"When you are shot 68 times you are naturally gonna die."
How can anyone fight that logic?
Oh, in a postscript: in June, 2008, two years after the shooting, the Department of Justice concluded their investigation on whether excessive force was used. The DOJ determined that the Polk County Sheriff's office had committed no actionable wrong doing.