Update: Police Death during No-Knock Raid, Suspect Fired as Door was Broken, Image from CBS58.com
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Some facts are now available about the Milwaukee Police raid that resulted in the death of Police Officer Rittner. The raid occured on February 6th, about 9:12 a.m., on the 2900 block of South 12th Street. Several officers were wearing body cameras. The raid made use of a no-knock warrant.
The suspect, Jordan Fricke, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide (940.01(1)(a), first degree recklessly endangering safety (941.30(1) , and maintaining a drug trafficking place 961.42(1).
Jordan Fricke did not have any past criminal record. He had some past traffic violations, the last of which was in 2014. According to jsonline.com, friends of Fricke claimed he had an active concealed carry permit.
The no-knock warrant claimed that Fricke had sold marijuana to a confidential informant on February 1. One sale for $20, one for $40.
The complaint says that officers surrounded the residence near 12th Street and Manitoba, and yelled “Police, search warrant” as the approached the door and started to break it down. Officer Rittner was the officer operating the ram who was breaking down the door.
According to fox6now.com, Fricke said he was in bed, asleep, with his girlfriend, when the raid started.
In regards to the execution of the search warrant, the complaint says Fricke “admitted to being in bed with his girlfriend when he was awoken by a loud noise and yelling. The defendant several times claimed that he did not hear what was being yelled, but later did admit that when he entered his kitchen from the bedroom he heard someone yell “police” outside the kitchen door. He stated “he did not think it was actually the police attempting to enter his residence.”
”The interview goes on to say Fricke “armed himself with his AK 47 pistol and aimed at the center of the door, where a hole was made.” Fricke told police “he aimed at the hole, where he saw a person standing and shot.” When police crashed through the door, Fricke “claimed that this was the point at which he realized that it was the actual police.”
Fricke is said to have fired four times through the hole the police made in the door with the battering ram, using an AK-47 type pistol. One of the shots hit officer Rittner.
As the officers finished breaking down the door, Fricke said he realized they were police, raised his hands, and surrendered.
The search of Fricke’s house revealed some firearms, firearms parts, and a safe with $3,000. No drugs were mentioned. It was claimed that the equipment used in drug sales was found. From wisn.com:
A search of Fricke’s home turned up a Century Arms Zastava AK-47 semi-automatic pistol, eight other firearms, a Taser, weapons parts, a safe with $3,000 cash and equipment used in drug sales, the complaint said.
Michael L. Chernin is listed as Fricke’s attorney. The court found that Jordan Fricke did not qualify for a public defender, perhaps because of the $3,000 found at his residence.
Fox news reports the complaint says that Fricke admitted to selling some marijuana at some point and that he had assembled some rifles and sold them at gun shows.
It is not illegal under Wisconsin law to assemble rifles and sell them at gun shows. It may be illegal under federal law. The federal law is somewhat vague. It requires the person to be “in the business” of selling firearms to make a profit. Occasional sales are usually not sufficient to meet this burden. This charge would explain the presence of the BATFE officers at the raid.
An associate of Fricke’s, Marlon Tirado was reportedly at the residence as well. He is charged with intent to deliver THC and to maintain a drug trafficking place. Marlon Tirado has been released on a cash bond of $7,500. He has been ordered to have no verbal contact with Jordan Fricke. Marlon Tirado has been judged indigent. A public defender will provide counsel.
Tirado had a number of traffic citations. Tirado plead guilty to possession of THC in 2017 and and 2016. Fines of $250 in 2016 and $1,872 in 2017 were paid.
The case illustrates the dangers of no-knock warrants. It seems likely Fricke would have surrendered to officers and peacefully allowed the search of the house if the officers had knocked peacefully and allowed him time to answer the door. He quickly surrendered once he was convinced the intruders were actually police.
No illegal substances were found in the house, at least, none have been revealed thus far.
We do not know what “equipment used in drug sales” might have been. Scales and ziplock baggies are plausible items.
None of the guns are alleged to have been illegal. No fully automatic guns or sawed-off shotguns appear to have been found.
If illegal drugs had been found at the house, it is likely they would have been included in the complaint.
Was Fricke a small-time marijuana dealer? It may be so. Did he illegally sell guns? We do not know for certain. It is possible.
Was the no-knock raid dangerous and unwarranted?
It resulted in the death of Officer Rittner.
Did Fricke act legitimately under the Wisconsin Castle Doctrine law? That may be left up to a jury. It may depend on whether the jury finds that Fricke was using the dwelling to further criminal activity.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.