I have been sent some more details in an email that purports to be a first hand accounting of the night David Hooks was killed by a SWAT team by a friend of the Hooks family. I do not guarantee the accuracy of this information but it does seem to pass the smell test and several of the facts are not in dispute by other reports that have been corroborated and substantiated in official statements by the attorney for the Hooks family among others. I felt it important to publish this information since the Laurens County Sheriff has decided to plead the 5th. They have remained completely silent as to the events or any details and still have refused to list the names of the officers involved or even how many bullets were fired.
From the Email:
-Mr. Hooks was a successful construction company owner who owns his own property and businesses and was vetted to do construction work on high security military bases.
-There was a known meth head that stole a vehicle and some hunting rifles from Mr. Hooks on Monday. David knew who the guy was and called him. Said “If you don’t return my truck, I’m going to kill you.” Whether he would have or not, if someone steals my stuff like that I’d threaten them too.
-Known meth head “Turns himself in” to the cops because he “fears for his safety” A bag of methamphetamine is found in the vehicle, known drug user says “Oh, that’s not mine, it must’ve been in the truck already.”
-LCSO gets a regular warrant to investigate Mr. Hooks. NOT A NO KNOCK WARRANT – a regular Knock and Serve paper to investigate the claim that the drugs found in the truck were Mr. Hooks’.
-17 or more Members of Laurens County Sherrif’s office roll up in Mr. Hooks yard after 11pm only 2 days after his house was robbed. No lights, no announcements, wearing black masks.
-Mr Hooks grabs his (unloaded) shotgun because his wife is freaking out and they both assume the robbers are coming back.
-Before he even gets to the door, he is shot in the back through a window and they shoot their weapons 17 times.
-They handcuff the wife while her husband is dying on the floor and don’t allow her to go to the hospital.
-They search his house top to bottom for 48 hours, not a single piece of contraband was found.
-His son lives within walking distance. When he heard the commotion and walked to the house they handcuffed him as well.
-Since the incident there has not been one single word from the LCSO about the event. Nobody suspended, no apologies, no justification, nothing. Not one. single. word.
Mistakes Made by The Laurens County Sherriff’s Department
This is a very long list and I am quite sure I will fail to include many other mistakes. I welcome additional suggestions in the comments section and I will edit my article to add any good ideas I will surely miss. The number of errors committed though out the entire chain of command including the judge that signed the warrant and deputies on the scene is strikingly long. Had even one person along the way questioned the stupidity of this warrant and the way it was carried out David Hooks would be alive today.
1) Don’t serve warrants in the middle of the night when the probability exists that the homeowners will mistake the police for a home invasion by criminals. Daylight risks far less chance of a misunderstanding or misidentification.
2) Police need to think with their heads and not their testosterone or desire to test out all their riot gear. Why didn’t they simply call Mr. Hooks down to the station when they recovered his stolen truck and ask him about the allegations that meth was found in his truck. Had they done so they might have connected the dots and realized the probability that the meth head that stole the truck was a far more likely suspect than a man with military security clearance and no drug arrest record.
3) The fact that they fired in excess of 16 bullets and initially only struck David Hooks twice proves they were doing a blind “shoot first ask questions later” type of ambush assault. Either that or they are terrible shots. Mr. Hooks was struck by two bullets and might have presumably still been alive but then two more fatal shots were fired when he was on the floor. One to the side of his head and another to his rear shoulder. Does that sound like an execution to you?
4) The culpability of the Judge Snell that signed a warrant in the first place. Judges can and should be held accountable for the stupidity of their actions. No warrant should have even been issued off the word of a meth head alone.
5) Motivation: What was the motivation for this raid in the first place? $$$ is the most likely reason. Read my article Policing For Profit- The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture and you will understand that civil asset forfeiture is largely responsible for the death of David Hooks as police departments view drug raids as winning the lottery and seize all the assets of a successful raid and apparently they don’t seem to care that innocent people suffer along the way.
6) I would be remiss if I did not also point out the ineptitude of the Laurens County Sheriff after the incident. They have remained absolutely silent. What is worse is they have hindered the investigation. They cut off a jailhouse interview of the meth head by the Hooks family investigator. They have refused to issue any statements at all, no apologies, no suspensions, no admission that they need to review their policy and training….nothing at all. They murder an innocent man and think staying silent is the right thing to do. Wrong move.
7) Thank to Anonymous, a group of hackers, we at least know a few details. In a video posted on youtube they named Christopher Brewer as the one sending threats to the protesters attending the rally and the man that signed the bogus warrant that resulted in David Hooks death. In the application for the search warrant, Investigator Chris Brewer stated Rodney Garrett admitted he took a bag and digital scale from a pickup before stealing the Hooks’ Lincoln Aviator the night before the raid. If Chris Brewer has not been suspended Sheriff W.A. “Bill Harrell better have a damn good reason why he is still on the force.
Here is what Chris Brewer used for the warrant. Rodney Garrett a confessed burglar, thief, and a meth addict who was under the influence at the time of his arrest said that the approximately 20 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, and 2 firearms found on him at the time of arrest had been stolen by him out of another vehicle at the Hooks home. Investigator Brewer also stated information he claimed came from an investigation involving Jeff Frazier. That investigation was in August 2009 over 5 years ago. A search warrant was issued at 9:56 p.m. by Judge Faith Snell. This search warrant is invalid on its face as it does not comport with the requirements of the Constitution of State of Georgia nor the United States Constitution. Armed with an invalid search warrant and with less than an hour of preparation, at approximately 10:55 p.m. several members of the Drug Task Force and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Response Team arrived at David and Teresa Hooks home unannounced by emergency lights or sirens. There is no question the Officers were aware the home had been burglarized only two nights earlier.
David and Teresa were under the impression that the burglars were back and that a home invasion was eminent. David armed himself to protect his wife and his home. Despite the fact that the illegal search warrant did not have a “no knock” clause the Drug Task Force and SRT members broke down the back door of the family’s home and entered firing in excess of 16 shots. These shots were from multiple firearms and from both 40 caliber handguns and assault rifles. Several shots were fired through a blind wall at David with the shooters not knowing who or what was on the other side of the wall. The trajectory of the shots, coupled with the number of shots infers a clear intent on behalf of the shooters to kill David Hooks and anyone else in the home.
“Alright guys, gather round for a bit of sitrep. We got word this guy might have drugs. We don’t know for sure but that’s why we’re going in to find out. Now, we could probably just wait for him to come outside as a part of his daily routine, stop him in his driveway, and issue the search warrant without incident. However, as you probably know, the department has a “use it or lose it” policy on all this cool military gear and urban warfare training they’ve provided us. That means we’re gonna speed up to his house in the middle of the night, kick his fucking door off its hinges, tackle anyone that is visibly unarmed, and shoot anyone that looks to be holding anything. If drugs are found we can buy some new squad cars and assault rifles with the proceeds and if none are found no biggie as we have sovereign immunity and people in Dublin won’t protest and this will be forgotten soon. Are there any questions?
Hooks was a vetted military contractor….meaning the Government investigated him thoroughly and he did lots of contracted work. The cops were told by a meth head whom they arrested after breaking into the victims house, that he had bought drugs from the Hooks home before and that’s why he was breaking in. So here’s a legit business man who had security clearance to enter military bases who got murdered by police because a meth head broke into his house, and the police believe the meth head over the victims own squeaky clean record. The fact that the police were so damned stupid not to be able to pause for just a moment and realize how preposterous this all sounded it truly terrifying. Why didn’t even one person in this tragic chain events have the balls to speak up?
What ever happened to:
Knock on front door
Good evening ma’am, Im sorry to bother you, we caught a gentleman trying to break into your home earlier. Would you mind if we came in and asked you a few questions?
Not at all officer, come on in. Honey, can you come down here and talk with the police?
Good evening sir, sorry to bother you, just need to fill out this report, may I have both your names?
Thank you, would you mind telling me what it is you do?
Thank you, you two have a nice evening, we will be stepping up patrols in the area, if you see anything suspicious please don’t hesitate to call. And again, sorry to bother you this evening.
Not at all officer, thanks for coming out to talk with us.
We miss you Sheriff Andy Taylor. If we had more police that learned how to talk to the public instead of coming in with guns blazing this would be a much better and safer country. It is a sad day when the public fears law enforcement more than the criminals.