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The inexplicable prosecution — and vindication — of Ray Rosas

by | Dec 15, 2016

The inexplicable prosecution — and vindication — of Ray Rosas

by | Dec 15, 2016

The Texas man was just acquitted for shooting at the police who raided his home.

Back in 2001, Ray Rosas testified against a gang member. According to his attorneys, in the years after, there were several drive-by shootings directed at his home. In February 2015, police in Corpus Christi, Tex,, were looking for Rosas’s nephew, whom they suspected of dealing marijuana. They believed the nephew lived at Rosas’s house, so they raided the place. It was a full-on, no-knock raid, conducted at night, complete with the detonation of a flash-bang grenade.

Let’s stipulate — again — that the entire reason for a no-knock raid, as stipulated by police themselves, is to catch suspects off-guard. The aim is to overwhelm and subdue everyone inside before anyone can really process what’s going on and react to it. That’s also the reason for the use of flash-bang grenades, which are designed to temporarily stun, blind and deafen everyone in the immediate vicinity of their detonation. The commando-style tactics are supposed to secure a building before the bad guys have a chance to reach for their guns, or to dispose of evidence.

The problem, of course, is that those same tactics elicit a very primal response in most people. Imagine you wake up to the sounds of armed men invading your home, screaming at you, pointing guns at you, blowing stuff up in your house. If you’re a bona-fide drug dealer, you’re likely to think you’re being robbed by a rival drug dealer. If you aren’t a criminal, you have even less reason to think the armed men in your home are police serving a warrant, and all the more reason to think you’re under attack — and to react accordingly. If you not only aren’t a criminal but also have testified against criminals, and criminals have shot at your home in retaliation for that testimony, you have every reason to fear for your life should you find yourself in the midst of such a raid.

And that’s the position in which Ray Rosas found himself in February 2015. So he reached for his gun, which he owned legally, and fired at the intruders. He shot and wounded three raiding police officers. He immediately surrendered after firing the shots. He told the police at the time that he didn’t know they were cops. He told them again at the police station. This has been his story from the start. Nevertheless, he was arrested, jailed and charged with multiple counts of attempted capital murder and aggravated assault on a public servant. The good news is that this week, a jury acquitted Rosas on all charges.

Read the rest at the Washington Post.

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