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FL – LE – When cops and America’s cherished gun rights clash, cops win

The night a cop killed Andrew Scott started out like many others had for the 26-year-old pizzeria worker. Home from his evening shift, he and his girlfriend, Miranda Mauck, ate a late supper and spent several hours watching television and playing video games. Then, around 1:30 a.m., as the two sat talking in T-shirts and underwear, they were startled by a loud knock at the door. We “looked at each other and jumped up real fast,” Mauck said in an interview. As they rushed to throw on some clothes, the knocking came again. Scott grabbed the 9mm semi-automatic pistol he kept at home for the couple’s safety. With Mauck close behind, Scott approached the door, which had no peephole. He opened it with his right hand, the gun in his left. They barely had time to take in the four sheriff’s deputies standing at the door with guns drawn when six shots rang out. “They didn’t even say anything, they just started shooting,” Mauck said. Three bullets struck Scott. He stumbled backward and collapsed onto the sofa where minutes earlier he and Mauck had sat playing video games. “They shot me. They fucking shot me. I’m dying,” he said, according to Mauck. The shooter, Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Sylvester, and his three fellow officers had made a fatal error. They had the wrong place. They had trailed a suspect in an alleged assault to the Blueberry Hills apartment complex on the outskirts of Leesburg, Florida, about 50 miles northwest of Orlando. The suspect, who the officers believed was armed, had parked his motorcycle in front of Scott’s apartment, its engine still warm. Despite that mistake, Sylvester was not disciplined or criminally charged in the July 15, 2012, killing. Mauck and Scott’s parents filed a lawsuit in federal district court against Sylvester and the sheriff’s office, accusing the deputy of violating Scott’s civil rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects against illegal search and seizure. Judge Anne Conway let Sylvester off the hook, too. Her main reason: Scott’s gun.  [full article]

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