Phoenix Officers Who Shot Homeowner Needed Better Training

I originally wrote this piece on October 3, 2009.  And that’s all I have to say about that.


Well, I know I’m going to take some flak for this one, but Phoenix Police Officers that gunned down the homeowner who had just had his home sold out from under him as a result of the economic catastrophe created by our banking industry needed to be better trained.  And the department had better do something about the situation or tragedies like this one are going to happen again… and again.

First of all, I realize that I wasn’t there.  And I understand that the guy had a beer in one hand and a gun in the other.  But he was obviously thinking pretty clearly… after all, a couple of jackasses that had just showed up all giddy about having stolen his home out from under him had just pulled up and told him to get out of their house… so, he went inside and got his gun and started shooting at them.

Okay, so there’s nothing irrational about that so far, right?  Right.  At this point I think the guy’s making complete sense.  I’m not saying I’d do the same thing, but I’m really not positive about that so let that be understood right now.  It could happen.  Guess it would depend on my mood at the time.  I know one thing for sure… I wouldn’t be inviting the guys inside for milk and cookies, how’s that?

Okay, so then the cops pull up.  SWAT Team.  I can only imagine… a bunch of cars, flashing lights… all crouched down behind car doors, guns all aimed at him, like a scene out of NYPD Blue or something.

Okay, stop the scene right there.  Wrong approach already.  What that situation needed was Andy Griffith from Mayberry RFD, not a bunch of cops doing an imitation of something they saw in The Untouchables.

Get a friend of his to talk to him… maybe his wife is home… tell the neighbors to go inside… talk to him… tell him you totally understand shooting the guys that pulled up to say they owned his house, but no one else needs to get hurt.  Don’t shoot.  Duck.  Stay down.  Keep talking.  He’ll calm down.

Call someone who does loan modifications or maybe a lawyer who might still be able to reverse the sale, or even better talk to him about living so he can sue the bank.  And after that, maybe he can kill a couple of bankers.  Hell, it’s Arizona… that might not even be illegal in the near future.

I understand the man had children.  Their father is dead now.  Because he cared very deeply about having put a roof over their heads.  He didn’t want them to look at him as a failure.  He’s a husband.  A provider.  He couldn’t stand the thought of those assholes buying his home.  He had already bought his home.  And it was his tax dollars that had enabled the bank to foreclose on it.  It sucks what’s happening to millions of American homeowners and no one seems to care.  Not the president.  Not the congress… and certainly not the banks.

I’m sure the police that felt they had to return fire aren’t feeling so great about now either.  Chances are more than one of them is losing his home too.  And chances are at least one already has.

Right now… tonight… there are thousands of fathers sitting up alone wondering in the private recesses of their minds whether their life insurance policies will pay off after suicide.

And for the most part, nobody cares.


Mandelman out.


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