Thursday, February 14, 2019

No-Knock Houston Raid Inventory Raises Questons after 2 Killed, 4 Wounded

The Houston Police Department has released the inventory of items seized during the execution of the no-knock raid where 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle and his wife, 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas were shot and killed. The raid occurred on January 28, 2019.

The married couple of 20 years died in a gun battle with police where four officers were wounded and one was injured while taking cover.

The couple had no criminal records. They had occupied the house for 20 years. Rhogena was as supporter of President Trump. Dennis was a Navy veteran.

The gun battle started when the police broke down their door and shot their dog. The wife, Rhogena, was unarmed when killed. Police claim she was going for a shotgun held by a wounded officer.

There were no body cameras worn on the raid. Neighbor's surveillance video was taken by the police.

The guns listed are unremarkable in every way. They are:

A 12 gauge model 1100 semi-automatic shotgun, commonly used for target shooting, hunting, and home defense.

A Winchester 190 semi-automatic .22 rimfire, a popular and inexpensive hunting and plinking gun. They are no longer manufactured.

A Remington 700 bolt action rifle chambered in 7mm magnum, a popular hunting rifle and cartridge.

A 20 gauge shotgun is listed as a "Beretta ALS". I have not found a Beretta of that model, but CZ makes an ALS model that looks a lot like the Beretta semi-automatics.  ALS is sometimes used as an abbreviation for Auto Loading Shotgun.  Here is the inventory document released from the Houston Police Department:

Missing from the inventory of guns is the .357 revolver that Dennis Tuttle was supposed to be using in his gunfight with the officers who broke into his house, and killed his dog and wife.

Wounding four officers with a .357 revolver would be exceptional gunfighting.  Some shooters can do it. Dennis Tuttle was an Air Force veteran, and, it seems likely, a hunter.

Given the lack of a revolver from the inventory, my suspicion is he used a shotgun to defend his home. That, and the use of buckshot or birdshot would explain the four wounded officers.

Also missing is any 9mm pistol, the possession of which was used in the warrant to justify the no-knock raid.

Apologists for the raid have said the informant could have mis-identified the .357 for a 9mm. That could be, but there is no pistol or revolver to be found on the inventory list.   Here is a link to the warrant from ABC13.

The drugs that were reported to be found at the home are not the quantity associated with drug dealing.  A local attorney noted that no drug paraphernalia was listed on the inventory.  From
"There's nothing identified in search warrant return as scales or baggies, or anything that would be used to distribute heroin or any other drugs for that matter," Zuniga said.

As for the gram of cocaine and 18 grams of marijuana found, Zuniga said, "It's not the amount of drugs that would be associated with distribution. I think in this case the officer probably relied on an unreliable informant."
 No-knock raids are inherently dangerous for the suspects and the officers involved. They eliminate one of the primary reasons for search warrants, which is to assure the suspects the search is legally allowed, and the suspects will have access to the courts.

To accomplish that purpose, the warrant has to be presented to the suspects, and they have to be allowed to read it.

©2019 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

It is my opinion that no knock warrants are unconstitutional for the very reason you listed. When a warrant is served the person being served has a right to examine it for accuracy. I expect that list of weapons proves the warrant was illegal to start with and written after the fact. Some cop picked up some throw away weapons. It appears to be cover for a criminal assault under color of law. I think two people just got murdered by the cops. Believe it or not the Supreme court ruled that cops can lie under oath, but that was supposed to be in a court of law during a trial to force other information to be reveal by other witnesses. Not for application of warrants. I think this is clear evidence of just how corrupt law enforcement has become. I have seem too many instances of cops lying and never being held accountable. Once a six year old boy shot in the neck, nearly blew his head off and it turns out it was an illegal entry by over zealous cops. Cops seem to be trained to shoot first and hope you make acceptable excuses later, they cover each others backs like molasses on pancakes. The only think honest about cops is their head stone. Too many politically correct laws exist that clearly violate ninth amendment rights. Laws do not stop crime they identify what a crime is and make criminals out of people that are simply having their rights violated. You may ask how do I know what I'm talking about. I stopped a warrant cold. We are coming in, No you are not. the warrant states stand by at this address. It does not state enter. they stayed out side and lived. They had no itemized list. One of them said you have to come out side. I said where doe the warrant say that. Then he said you might get a gun ans shoot us. I said If I was going to shoot you would all be laying dead in the drive way now tell me what it is you want and I'll bring it to you. When they came up with a list I demanded receipts for the furniture I had owned for 20 years. when they realized the list was a shopping list they too what I gave them and left. Then they told her to never come back. She admitted the extra things did not belong to her she just wanted them. She moved out without notice and did not take her personal belongs with her, came back a week later with the cops to furnish her new place. The cops told her lady that is not the way warrant to pick up personal belongs work. You have what is your now get. I gave her some extra things but I was not going to let her take my rocker recliner and beds and other furniture. She got her suit cases, passports and what she sowed up with three months earlier. She bought a car in my name and accused me of stealing it when I drove it to town to buy parts for it. legally it was my car. registered to me. Did someone say women don't lie?

Anonymous said...

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cmeat said...

buttle, not tuttle, could explain this tragedy.