Police Serve Warrant to Wrong Address, Kill Man Who Lives There

Ismael Lopez awoke to a commotion outside his front door on July 23rd, shortly before midnight. Moments later, he was dead.

A police officer shot Lopez after he allegedly refused to put down the gun he was holding when he answered the door. Police were looking to serve an arrest warrant for an assault that had occurred earlier that day. Only after Lopez had died did they realize their mistake: they had gone to the wrong house.

Lopez was not the man they were looking for, nor was he wanted by police for any outstanding warrants. His death was entirely preventable—another casualty in the long list of victims of excessive force on the part of law enforcement.

It should go without saying that the above statement is not an indictment of all police officers, but it is nothing short of dishonest to attribute these sorts of incidents to just a few bad apples as people have often done in the past. The rot is much more severe than many Americans are willing to admit. As police departments across the country have become more militarized, incidents like these are far from unheard of, and it's impossible not to conclude that law-enforcement culture and norms play a role.

It's been over two weeks since Lopez was shot, and the names of the Southaven Police Department officers involved have yet to be released. While many police departments do release the names of those in "officer involved shootings," it's not a uniform practice across the country. Police union rules often govern when names are released to the public, if at all. According to a Washington Post report from 2016, around 20 percent of officers involved in fatal shootings do not have their names disclosed.

This practice undermines public trust in the police and prevents bad cops from being held accountable for their actions. Police officers do deserve some privacy protections, as all citizens do, but they are also given powers to ...

read the rest of the article at http://reason.com/blog/2017/08/09/police-go-to-wrong-address-fatally-shoot