News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, JULY 9, 2006


Huntsville police shooting travesty of injustice

An old man, crippled by gout and living alone, is awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of his front door being battered down. Stricken by terror and fearing for his life, he grabs his trusty 12-gauge and hobbles into the dark hallway where he is immediately gunned down. With gunshot wounds to the chest, stomach, groin and foot, he lies on the floor in shock, his lifeblood pooling around him.

Kenneth Jamar was a law abiding citizen living a simple life, really not all that different from you or me. How is it that Mr. Jamar found himself fighting for his life in a Huntsville intensive care facility? Drug-crazed junkies? Escaped psychotic felons? No, just a Huntsville SWAT team prosecuting a no-knock search warrant at the wrong house as part of a multi-jurisdictional drug raid. Limestone Sheriff Mike Blakely, who is conducting an independent investigation, says it was a simple clerical error, they had the right house, just the wrong address on the warrant — never mind that the sought-after drug dealer actually lived at the address listed on the warrant, which happened to be one of the houses next door.

The Madison County district attorney will ultimately determine the facts that led to this tragedy and identify culpability as necessary. My complaint stems from the attempt by Sheriff Blakely to somehow incriminate Mr. Jamar by announcing "guns were found in the house." I know I did not wake up in Russia this morning and therefore am confident that the right to keep and bear arms per the Second Amendment to the Constitution still applies, even in Limestone County.

Armed drug dealers who choose to engage law enforcement agents deserve what they get. This case is something else entirely.

Mike Olson


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