let me make a few calls and see i cannot get the skinny on this
The complete blog posted article can be found at; http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=182004&Disp=27#C27Title: Death Squad in Delaware: The Case of the Murdered Marine
URL Source: http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w10.html
Published: Mar 29, 2007
Author: William Norman Grigg
Post Date: 2007-03-29 21:34:36 by FormerLurker
Death Squad in Delaware: The Case of the Murdered Marine
by William Norman Grigg
Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. It may be the first state to be afflicted with a fully operational death squad – unless a civil lawsuit filed on Friday against the murders of Derek J. Hale results in criminal charges and a complete lustration (in the Eastern European sense of the term) of Delaware's law enforcement establishment.
Hale, a retired Marine Sergeant who served two tours in Iraq and was decorated before his combat-related medical discharge in January 2006, was murdered by a heavily armed 8–12-member undercover police team in Wilmington, Delaware last November 6. He had come to Wilmington from his home in Manassas, Virginia to participate in a Toys for Tots event.
He survived Iraq, only to suffer Death By Government in the "Land of the Free": Sgt. Derek J. Hale, USMC, ret. ~ RIP
Derek was house-sitting for a friend on the day he was murdered. Sandra Lopez, the ex-wife of Derek's friend, arrived with an 11-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter just shortly before the police showed up. After helping Sandra and her children remove some of their personal belongings, Derek was sitting placidly on the front step, clad in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, when an unmarked police car and a blacked-out SUV arrived and disgorged their murderous cargo.
Unknown to Derek, he had been under police surveillance as part of a ginned-up investigation into the Pagan Motorcycle Club, which he had joined several months before; the Pagans sponsored the “Toys for Tots Run” that had brought Derek to Delaware. As with any biker club, the Pagans probably included some disreputable people in their ranks. Derek was emphatically not one of them.
In addition to his honorable military service (albeit in a consummately dishonorable war), Derek's personal background was antiseptically clean. He had a concealed carry permit in Virginia, which would not have been issued to him if he'd been convicted of a felony, a narcotics or domestic violence charge, or had any record of substance abuse or mental illness.
On the day he was killed, Derek had been under both physical and electronic (and, according to the civil complaint, illegal) surveillance. Police personnel who observed him knew that his behavior was completely innocuous. And despite the fact that he had done nothing to warrant such treatment, he was considered an “un-indicted co-conspirator” in a purported narcotics ring run by the Pagans.
The police vehicles screeched to a halt in front of the house shortly after 4:00 p.m. They ordered Lopez and her children away from Derek – who, predictably, had risen to his feet by this time – and then ordered him to remove his hands from his the pockets of his sweatshirt.
Less than a second later – according to several eyewitnesses at the scene – Derek was hit with a taser blast that knocked him sideways and sent him into convulsions. His right hand involuntarily shot out of its pocket, clenching spasmodically.
“Not in front of the kids,” Derek gasped, as he tried to force his body to cooperate. “Get the kids out of here.”
The officers continued to order Derek to put up his hands; he was physically unable to comply.
So they tased him again. This time he was driven to his side and vomited into a nearby flower bed.
Howard Mixon, a contractor who had been working nearby, couldn't abide the spectacle.
“That's not necessary!” he bellowed at the assailants. “That's overkill! That's overkill!”
At this point, one of the heroes in blue (or, in this case, black) swaggered over to Mixon and snarled, “I'll f*****g show you overkill!” Having heroically shut up an unarmed civilian, the officer turned his attention back to Derek – who was being tased yet again.
“I'm trying to get my hands out,” Derek exclaimed, desperately trying to make his tortured and traumatized body obey his will. Horrified, his friend Sandra screamed at the officers: “He is trying to get his hands out, he cannot get his hands out!”
Having established that Derek – an innocent man who had survived two tours of duty in Iraq – was defenseless, one of Wilmington's Finest closed in for the kill.
Lt. William Brown of the Wilmington Police Department, who was close enough to seize and handcuff the helpless victim, instead shot him in the chest at point-blank range, tearing apart his vitals with three .40-caliber rounds. He did this after Derek had said, repeatedly and explicitly, that he was trying to cooperate. He did this despite the fact that witnesses on the scene had confirmed that Derek was trying to cooperate. He did this in front of a traumatized mother and two horrified children.
Why was this done?
According to Sgt. Steven Elliot of the WPD, Brown slaughtered Derek Hale because he “feared for the safety of his fellow officers and believed that the suspect was in a position to pose an imminent threat.” That subjective belief was sufficient justification to use “deadly force,” according to Sgt. Elliot.
The “position” Derek was in, remember, was that of wallowing helplessly in his own vomit, trying to overcome the cumulative effects of three completely unjustified Taser attacks.
When asked by the Wilmington News Journal last week if Hale had ever threatened the officers – remember, there were at least 8 and as many as 12 of them – Elliot replied: “In a sense, [he threatened the officers] when he did not comply with their commands.”
He wasn't given a chance to comply: He was hit with the first Taser strike less than a second after he was commanded to remove his hands from his pockets, and then two more in rapid succession. The killing took roughly three minutes.
As is always the case when agents of the State murder an innocent person, the WPD immediately went into cover-up mode. The initial account of the police murder claimed that Derek had “struggled with undercover Wilmington vice officers”; that “struggle,” of course, referred to Derek's involuntary reaction to multiple, unjustified Taser strikes.
The account likewise mentioned that police recovered “two items that were considered weapons” from Derek's body. Neither was a firearm. One was a container of pepper spray. The other was a switchblade knife. Both were most likely planted on the murder victim: The police on the scene had pepper spray, and Derek's stepbrother, Missouri resident Jason Singleton, insists that Derek never carried a switchblade.
“The last time I saw Derek,” Jason told the News Journal, “he had a small Swiss Army knife. I've never seen Derek with anything like a switchblade.”
Within hours, the WPD began to fabricate a back-story to justify Derek's murder. Several Delware State Police officers – identified in the suit (.pdf) as “Lt. [Patrick] Ogden, Sgt. Randall Hunt, and other individual DSP [personnel]” contacted the police in Masassas, Virginia and informed him that Derek had been charged with drug trafficking two days before he was murdered. This was untrue. But because it was said by someone invested with the majestic power of the State, it was accepted as true, and cited in a sworn affidavit to secure a warrant to search Derek's home.
Conducting this spurious search – which was, remember, play-acting in the service of a cover story – meant shoving aside Derek's grieving widow, Elaine, and her two shattered children, who had just lost their stepfather. Nothing of material consequence was found, but a useful bit of embroidery was added to the cover story...
City clears officer in fatal Pagan shooting
Internal investigations find incident justified
By LEE WILLIAMS, The News Journal
Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wilmington Police Lt. William Browne did not violate police department policy or procedures when he shot and killed Derek Hale last year, according to the findings of the two internal investigations conducted by city offices.
The investigations by the Wilmington Police Department's Office of Professional Standards and the City Solicitor's Office concluded "that Lt. Browne acted properly and responsibly in carrying out his duties as a police officer," according to a press release issued Wednesday. "Lt. Browne has been given authorization to return to his normal duties as an officer, which he has done."
Attorney General Beau Biden had already cleared Browne of violating state law in the fatal shooting of Hale on the steps of a Wilmington home Nov. 6, after the 25-year-old had been struck seven times with electric shocks from a Taser gun.
Biden's report stated it was up to the police department to determine whether Browne broke department policy, or "with the benefit of hindsight, the officer could have proceeded differently."
According to the city's findings, Browne did nothing wrong.
"Mayor James M. Baker, Chief of Staff William S. Montgomery, Public Safety Director James N. Mosley and Police Chief Michael J. Szczerba today thanked Lt. Browne for his professionalism and responsibility in carrying out his duty to protect and defend the citizens of Wilmington," the statement reads.
Weeks between releases
John Rago, Baker's spokesman, released the results of the investigation Wednesday in an e-mail. Rago initially promised to release the city's findings much earlier.
When Biden released his report May 12, Rago said of the city's probes: "We anticipate those investigations will be concluded sometime late next week and the results announced at that time."
After the deadline passed and Rago did not release the findings, The News Journal filed a formal request for them under the state's Freedom of Information Act. On Tuesday, the city rejected the newspaper's request.
"The findings that you have requested are exempt from disclosure by the Law Enforcement Officer's Bill of Rights," wrote Alex J. Mili Jr., senior assistant city solicitor.
Mili wrote that the Law Enforcement Officer's Bill of Rights forbids "disclosure on any internal affairs investigatory file compiled in connection with a law-enforcement officer under investigation."
But the city released the results of their investigations the next day.
Hale, a decorated Marine and member of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, was killed on the steps of a West Sixth Street home.
In November, the Delaware State Police concluded an 18-month narcotics investigation that led to charges against 32 people -- including some Pagan members -- for drug and weapons offenses. Hale was a "person of interest" in the investigation.
Police said Hale refused to remove his hands from the front pockets of a hooded sweat shirt when confronted by officers.
Several witnesses said Hale never threatened the officers.
A wrongful-death lawsuit was filed March 23 by Wilmington attorney Thomas S. Neuberger.
"This is what happens when the fox is guarding the hen-house," Neuberger said Wednesday of the city's findings. "The autopsy showed no drug or alcohol use by Derek. He carried no weapon. A jury will have to decide what happened, not the police."
After Hale was shot and killed, police recovered a switchblade and a can of pepper spray from Hale's pockets.
Browne is named in the suit, along with Szczerba, Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Thomas F. MacLeish and other law enforcement officials.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damage awards for Hale's widow and his parents, as well as written apologies and a mandatory injunction forcing the Wilmington Police Department and Delaware State Police to "properly train their officers in the use of Tasers and deadly force."