March 1, 2008

A SETTLEMENT, in the wake of a fatal SWAT raid gone wrong:

The handwritten settlement reached this week that resolved the fallout over the shooting death of 18-year-old Peyton Strickland included just three main points, officials say.

They were: $2.45 million, headed to a scholarship fund; an apology, issued Wednesday; and an audit of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office’s Emergency Response Team. On Thursday, county officials said plans for the review aren’t set but they are open to outside advice. . . . Attention turned to the office’s Emergency Response Team on Dec. 1, 2006, when Cpl. Christopher M. Long mistook the sound of a battering ram for gunfire during a raid. He fired through a door, killing Strickland, a student at Cape Fear Community College, who was wanted in connection with the robbery of video game equipment. Strickland wasn’t armed.”

That was wrong, but the real problem was that the circumstances didn’t call for door-busting to begin with.

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