The Aging Rebel has been told significant details about the incident in which Pomona Swat Officer Shaun Diamond died and about the conditions under which his accused killer, a Mongol Motorcycle Club member named David Martinez, is now being held. This page believes it is likely that members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have deliberately misled reporters who have attempted to cover the story.
Diamond was shot in the back of the head during a dynamic entry Swat raid carried out on Martinez’ home at four last Tuesday morning. The raid was one of seven simultaneous raids and was supposedly intended to serve a search warrant. The warrant was issued by a judge named Maral Injejikian on October 23. Injejikian sealed the warrants because the affidavit that supports them is based on information supplied by a confidential informant. The warrants were issued as part of an ongoing investigation of the Mongols Motorcycle Club by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Dynamic entry Swat raids are home invasions in which a dozen or more militarized police break into a home in order to shock the occupants into immediate compliance. Police used a Swat team to serve the search warrant on Martinez’ home because police officially consider members of motorcycle clubs to be unusually violent. The ATF has carried out a long and calculated public relations campaign to brand the Mongols as “America’s most violent outlaw motorcycle gang.”
No member of the Mongols has ever been convicted of assaulting a police officer. At the time the warrant was served, Martinez home was also occupied by Martinez’ mother, father, wife, his two children and his mentally challenged sister.
Dynamic entry Swat raids can be classified as either “no knock” or “knock notice.” The point of serving a search warrant without knocking is to use the element of surprise in order to prevent the destruction or concealment of evidence of a crime. Under certain conditions, the “no knock” execution of a search warrant may be authorized by a federal judge. However the warrant which allowed the search of Martinez’ home was signed by a retired state judge and “no knock” warrants are illegal in California.
Before a state search warrant can be served in California police must knock on the door, announce that they are law enforcement officers, inform the occupant that the police are servicing a search warrant and give the occupant a reasonable length of time to open his door. A Sheriff’s Department spokesman named Eddie Hernandez has explicitly stated these conditions were met in the execution of the warrant on Martinez’ home. This page has been told they were not. Police simply attacked Martinez’ door with a battering ram and then deployed at least one flashbang grenade. Flashbang grenades are explosive devices that are intended to disorient and terrify home occupants.
I’m So Sorry Man
Police have stated that Martinez Shot Officer Diamond with a shotgun while standing behind his mother and father. Martinez’ father was wounded in the arm by that blast, police have said. Police have also alleged that the round somehow missed the officer standing directly in front of Martinez’ parents and struck Diamond, who was standing on the porch outside the home. Diamond was shot in the back of the head so he would have had to have been blocking the entry of the rest of the 14-man Swat team when he was shot. That round, allegedly fired by Martinez, penetrated Diamond’s Kevlar helmet and killed him.
In fact Martinez was disoriented by the flash bang grenade and it is unclear whether he ever fired a round or not. Police have withheld information about the kind of ammunition that killed Diamond other than to identify it as a “shotgun” round. It is customary for some Swat officers to load their shotguns with one 12 gauge slug, which can be used to knock down fortified doors. Additional rounds usually contain bean bags or shot.
The raid ceased immediately after the flash bang grenade exploded. The Aging Rebel has been told that Diamond did not, in fact, have his back turned to Martinez’ front door when the flash bang exploded but was, instead, facing the door as was every other member of the team. A shotgun was fired simultaneously with the grenade explosion. Official statements allege that shotgun was fired by Martinez. Immediately after Diamond was shot the Swat officer standing directly behind the fatally wounded man was heard to exclaim, “I’m so sorry man! I’m so sorry man! I’m so sorry man!”
The Swat team immediately turned its attention to Officer Diamond and did not return to the service of the search warrant for at least another minute.
Martinez was immediately arrested and has been held under coercive conditions in Los Angeles’ Twin Towers jail ever since. Martinez is being held in a cage instead of a cell and he has been almost continuously handcuffed since last Tuesday. He has been fed once in the last week. Sheriff’s Deputies have repeatedly taunted him food, laying meals just outside his reach, then taking them away under the pretext that he has refused them. He is clothed in a very short pullover garment that leaves his genitals exposed.
The conditions under which he is incarcerated seem deliberately intended to convince Martinez to confess to a crime he did not commit.