Cops Shoot Man to Death After He Entered His Own Home, Never Threatened Them – Report

fcmaninsidehome

Jack Bouboushian | Courthouse News Service
A jury must decide whether or not police officers had cause to shoot and kill a father who broke into his own home after forgetting his keys, the 11th Circuit ruled.

As related in court documents, Dirk Smith came home early from vacation after he and his wife had an argument.

She called ahead and told the babysitter watching their two children not to let Smith into the family’s Georgia home until he sought counseling.





When Smith arrived, the babysitter would not let him in, and he had forgotten his keys, so he broke into his own home.

Frightened, the babysitter called the police who entered the home without a warrant. Once inside, they found Smith in the kitchen, holding a that he refused to put down until the officers lowered their guns.

The officers Tasered Smith, who then ran into the bathroom and refused to come out.

Smith’s son says he saw his father drop the knife as he ran from the officers.


But the officers describe something else entirely.

They claim Smith charged out of the bathroom with the knife in his hand.

Two police officers opened fire, and fatally shot him.

A federal judge concluded most of the officers’ actions that night were reasonable, but that the actions of the two officers who shot Smith, defendants Charles Ings and Richard LePage, must go before a jury.





The 11th Circuit affirmed the ruling Thursday.

“We conclude that the officers were authorized to enter the Smith home without a warrant under the exigent circumstances exception,” Judge Beverly Martin said, writing for the three-judge panel. “In light of the specific circumstances confronting the officers, it was reasonable to believe that an emergency situation existed.”

The officers also reasonably Tasered Smith for refusing to obey police commands to drop his weapon, as they could have believed he posed a danger to himself or his children.

However, assuming that Smith did not have a knife in the bathroom as his family claims, “the use of deadly force in this circumstance was a constitutional violation,” Martin said.





“Mr. Smith had never made physical contact with the officers or explicitly threatened them; he asked them to put down their weapons and told them he was afraid; and he appeared to be trying to get out of the area after hiding in his bathroom and closet,” she continued.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 2398 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • kaynash

    The police always lie, no one believes the stuff they say anymore do they?

    • too many do. that’s the problem

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  • How about the wife that arbitrarily decided that he was to be locked out of his own property because she was pissed off.

  • baruchzed

    Police should be abolished. The lie, steal, brutalize and murder…and occasionally help someone. We as a society will be better off when they are all gone. Time to start voting NO on all police funding bond measures. Time to start speaking out about the need to abolish police departments.