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No Charges In Deadly ATF Arkansas Home Raid

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jun 17, 2024 - 11:00 PM

Authored by Beth Brelje via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The use of deadly force was legal and justified in the March 19 early morning fatal shooting of Bryan Malinowski by federal agents in his West Little Rock, Arkansas, home, according to Pulaski County Prosecutor Will Jones, who said in a June 14 letter that there would be no charges in the case.

An armed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent reaches toward the doorbell camera at the home of Bryan Malinowski moments before disabling the video recording and breaching the door with a tactical team in a predawn raid in West Little Rock, Ark., on March 19, 2024. (Malinowski Family via Bud Cummins)

Mr. Malinowski was executive director of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock until that morning, when a convoy of 10 law enforcement vehicles entered his upscale neighborhood and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), holding automatic rifles in the ready position, placed tape on his video doorbell, announced their presence, and in less than one minute, broke into the home while he was sleeping. Mr. Malinowski, a gun collector, woke up, grabbed his gun, exchanged gunfire with ATF agents, and Mr. Malinowski was shot dead in front of his wife.

The ATF had obtained a warrant to search his home for guns and evidence. The agency believed that Mr. Malinowski was selling guns without a $200 Federal Firearms License and without asking buyers for the proper information. According to an affidavit of probable cause, some of the guns that he had sold were recovered during the commission of a crime, although the crimes didn’t involve the direct use of guns.

It’s unclear why the ATF didn’t contact Mr. Malinowski at his workplace or during normal waking hours.

Timeline

Bryan Malinowski. (Courtesy of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport)

Mr. Jones said the incident was recorded by a Little Rock Police Department mobile video recorder and from that he shared the timeline in his letter.

6:02:58 a.m.—The Little Rock patrol officer employed his vehicle’s emergency lights and siren to announce the presence of law enforcement.

6:02:59 a.m.—ATF agents began a series of knocking and announcing the ATF’s presence.

6:03:27 a.m.—Agents use a ram to breach the door.

6:03:43 a.m.—Mr. Malinowski fires the first of four shots from his Colt Defender .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun.

6:03:44 a.m.—ATF agent returns fire, discharging three shots.

Mr. Jones also included a summary of the witness statements and evidence, although he didn’t identify the witnesses.

“The first agent (Agent 1) to enter the residence looked to his left and saw Mr. Malinowski at the end of the hallway pointing the handgun at him. The agent immediately dropped to the ground and rolled to avoid potential gunfire. The second agent to enter (Agent 2) saw Mr. Malinowski firing downward at Agent 1. At this time, Agent 2 was struck in the foot. As Mr. Malinowski raised his gun toward Agent 2, Agent 2 fired, striking Mr. Malinowski. Immediately after the shooting, officers requested emergency personnel and begin [sic] administering medical aid to Mr. Malinowski.”

A law enforcement officer is justified in using deadly physical force if the officer reasonably believes that force is necessary to defend himself or another person from the use of deadly force, according to the Arkansas code that Mr. Jones cited.

“Prior to entering the residence, the officers identified themselves as police by initiating the lights and siren of a patrol vehicle that was parked in front of the residence” and knocking on the front door, he said. Agents also wore clothing marked ATF or Police in large letters.

According to previous statements from Mr. Malinowski’s wife, the couple was sleeping when the ATF agents knocked.

“The state’s investigation didn’t attempt to make independent judgments about whether ATF violated the law when they broke down Mr. and Mrs. Malinowski’s front door. But that question should be a matter of grave concern for the rest of us,” Bud Cummins, the Malinowski family’s attorney, told The Epoch Times in a statement.

He noted that Mr. Jones’s letter shows that armed agents waited “a mere 28 seconds” after knocking and before breaking down the front door of Mr. Malinowski’s home. Mr. Jones said legally, law enforcement must give the person inside a reasonable amount of time to get to the door and to admit them voluntarily before forcibly entering.

A search warrant, Mr. Cummins said, isn’t automatically a license for a home invasion.

“How long is it reasonable to wait for someone to answer their front door at 6 a.m. in response to unexplained loud pounding in a 3,000-square-foot fully insulated home? Let’s pray the answer isn’t 28 seconds. The Fourth Amendment means more than that to every single one of us,” he said. “This is not over.”

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