Over the years, we’ve all heard about home invasions. They’re one of my nightmare scenarios, the kind of moment where I’m forced to use my firearm defensively inside my own home, forever staining the idea of a peaceful retreat from the evils of the world.
Another nightmare scenario is the police coming into the house via a no-knock raid. Maybe they got the wrong address or someone decided to SWAT me, it doesn’t matter. I’m worried about them busting through the door and me thinking it’s a home invasion and either myself, a member of my family, or a police officer gets killed.
“But if identify themselves, saying they’re police, you shouldn’t shoot!” someone might retort.
Except, you can’t trust that, necessarily.
Gwinnett County police arrested a Lawrenceville man who is accused of impersonating an officer to commit multiple home invasions and armed robberies, revealing a larger investigation involving at least 11 suspects.
Christopher Michael, 34, was arrested March 2 on a long list of charges related to two home invasions that took place in September, Gwinnett police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Richter confirmed. Police took out similar charges against a second suspect, 31-year-old Guillermo Hernandez, who was already in custody on unrelated charges in Walton County. Nine other suspects have not been publicly identified.
Michael was one of five armed men who stormed a Lilburn home around 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 6, allegedly kicking in the doors while yelling that they were with police and the Drug Enforcement Administration, authorities said. Doorbell camera footage obtained by Channel 2 Action News shows two cars pulling up to the home in the middle of the night and five men quickly approaching the house.
Just because they come through the door identifying themselves as the police, it doesn’t mean they are.
Few people believe a home invasion isn’t grounds for defending yourself. In a situation like this, if any of these guys had been shot and killed, it would have been justified.
Yet how are we supposed to differentiate between actual law enforcement and people like this?
“If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about,” some might claim.
However, Breonna Taylor wasn’t accused of wrongdoing. Neither was Amir Locke. Both of these people were killed in no-knock raids that, to the residents, sure as hell looked like home invasions.
It seems ridiculous that we could look at these examples and not recognize that it’s at least something we need to talk about, to discuss in a reasonable manner. I mean, criminals are pretending to be cops in order to get compliance from residents quickly. That increases the risk for everyone, including police officers down the road.
So yes, this is a nightmare scenario.
I’m not paralyzed with fear or anything, mind you. I recognize that the odds of either an actual raid or a home invasion are still pretty damn low. However, I’d also like to know that if such a situation were to happen, it would be more clear and the odds of an incident would be much lower.