FBI and Philadelphia Police Storm Suspect’s Home Killing One
Reports indicate that police knew a gun battle was likely when they thundered into a home in East Mount Airy on Monday to arrest two armed suspects. Authorities knew the two men they targeted for arrest, 21-year-old Tevin Hammond and 19-year-old Justin Mackie, had no plans of surrendering without first resisting. Did the FBI and local police plan a pre-dawn raid to catch the two suspects asleep? Did they coordinate efforts to at least attempt to apprehend these two men non-violently? It does not appear to be the case from published media reports, and now one of those men, Hammond, is dead. Any defense lawyer can sense that something doesn’t feel right here.
Guilty Before Innocence in Arrests
Authorities do a very difficult job and I do not diminish their rights to protect themselves and the community at large. However, when two armed men who already wanted in connection with multiple homicides informs the police through back channels that will not surrender; does it make sense to attempt to apprehend them in broad daylight? Forcing a violent confrontation is how communities become to fear law enforcement even more than those in their midst who might do them harm.
Police, along with the FBI, went into that home looking for a fight and they got one. The problem here isn’t that the authorities were attempting to do their jobs, its how these professionals chose to go about getting it done. I’m not familiar with this case, nor do I have detailed evidence of their reported crimes, but it appears at first blush as though arresting these two young men may have been a secondary objective.
The Right to a Trial of One’s Peers
Justin Mackie, just 19 years old, remains critically injured after the confrontation with authorities. If the young man recovers, he’ll have the same rights as anyone else accused of a crime in the United States. We should observe these rights, and do our very best to see that they’re preserved and upheld throughout the process. These laws and regulations are what separates our criminal justice system from that of other countries where prosecutors can appeal convictions multiple times in attempts to obtain a conviction.
If Mackie recovers, we may also learn more in-depth details about what happened in that house, including if authorities storming the property like the beaches of Normandy followed proper procedure in dealing out lethal force. Hammond no longer has a voice to tell his side of the story, so it’s up to Mackie to give us the details on just what happened. I know if I were accused of a crime, I’d at least want to be given the opportunity to surrender before the police opened fire.
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Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)
Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.
Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)
Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.
Commonwealth v. "S"
Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.
State of New Jersey v. "H"
Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.
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