Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – The story of the man who was shot in his driveway, Roy Middleton, 60, what is it with the cops out here these days? You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a newspaper story of police officers in action with guns drawn, shooting people in their own homes or threatening to shoot people in their own homes. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: The story of the man who was shot in his driveway, Roy Middleton, 60, what is it with the cops out here these days? You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a newspaper story of police officers in action with guns drawn, shooting people in their own homes or threatening to shoot people in their own homes. What really intrigued me about this story is how the sheriff, Sheriff David Morgan, in Pensacola, Florida, said, [mocking] “This is the fault of the citizen. He didn’t obey his sheriff overlords when he was told to hit the pavement in his driveway.” Again, the guy getting into his own car, searching for his own cigarette, is told, after being shouted out, to come out of the car with his hands over his head and then to get down. Allegedly he lunges at the deputies who then pop of 15 rounds, not two, not three, 15, hitting Roy Middleton, 60, in the legs twice. One of the bullets shattered his left leg which then had to be surgically repaired.
The sheriff, instead of saying this was just a real tragedy, a lack of communication, the sheriff’s department is investigating and will provide the public with a full accounting and report of this, instead he says the real tragedy is that the suspect — they’re calling Roy Middleton, who was in his own driveway, he owns the damn house — that the suspect, who by the way was in his own car in his own driveway when he was shot at by the sheriff’s deputies, that this is all the suspect’s fault because he didn’t follow proper citizen protocol.
I must confess, ladies and gentlemen, I myself have also failed to attend citizen compliance class administered by the Louisiana State Police or the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. Apparently Mr. Middleton had not attended citizen compliance class either. When someone shouts at you in the middle of the night, regardless of whether you know they’re police officers or not, you are always supposed to obey your sheriff overlords and do exactly what it is they’re telling you to do, even if you have no expectation that you have broken any laws or are in violation or contravention of any laws and are not expecting an armed law enforcement presence on your property. So Roy Middleton is alleged to have not obeyed the commands of sheriff’s deputies on his own property.
“The tragedy of this is the noncompliance to the directions of law enforcement officers,” said Sheriff David Morgan of Escambia County, Florida. “Had that occurred we wouldn’t be having this discussion. It’s a tragedy all the way around. He is both a suspect and a victim.”
Mike: Let me see if I understand this. The cops show up in this guy’s driveway, start yelling at him to get out of his own car, which is parked in his own driveway. According to his side of the story, which I guess doesn’t count because he’s just a peasant a citizen. What rights does he have on his own property? How dare this man think he can go out in his driveway at 2 o’clock in the morning and go fetch a cigarette? This man obviously is a threat to all of the panhandle of Florida. You people in Pensacola were living next door to evil men who seek cigarettes at 2 a.m. Roy Middleton is now a suspect because of an altercation that was provoked by law enforcement itself….
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Middleton’s family said he was not feeling well enough to discuss what happened to him.
But earlier this week, he told the Pensacola News Journal that he first thought someone was joking when they yelled at him to, “Get your hands where I can see them.”
He said that as he was turning around to face deputies with his hands raised, they opened fire.
“It was like a firing squad. Bullets were flying everywhere,” he told the News Journal.
Mike: Of course, again, he is just but a citizen. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that since he is just a citizen, he’s probably a liar, too. He probably deserved those bullets in his legs.
Meeks fired 12 shots and White fired three times, authorities said. They are now on paid administrative leave. Five of the bullets hit the white Town car, which was parked under a carport in a dark area of the property.
The deputies were in fear for their own safety, according to the sheriff.
“He came out of the car with more of a lunging motion coming out of the car, and the deputies were standing behind him and he had what appeared to be a metallic object in his hand,” Sheriff David Morgan said.
Mike: He did have a metallic object in his hand. It’s called a flashlight. That’s what the object was, it was a flashlight. I know, police officers, I know, [mocking] “Come on, Mike, you don’t know. When you’re in one of these situations, you don’t know what’s in the guy’s hand.” I understand that. I’m just wondering who or how the cops showed up in his driveway to start with.
But Middleton’s family doesn’t believe that story. His mother, Ceola Walker, 77, told CNN that her son was holding his car keys with a small flashlight on the key chain. She does not believe he lunged at deputies.
“I don’t believe that. He said he didn’t. I don’t believe that,” she said.
She says her son is incredibly lucky.
“They could have hit his upper body, but they didn’t ….God just shielded him. I know he did, cause they was trying to kill him,” she said.
Andre Lauzon, who lives next door and witnessed the incident, said it lasted less than 30 seconds.
He was out smoking a cigarette on his front lawn [Mike: Mr. Lauzon, you’re lucky you’re not a suspect now, and a victim.] when the deputies arrived, he said. His view was obscured by darkness, and at one point he lost sight of Middleton.
But the sound of gunfire, he said, was deafening.
Lauzon says his neighbor may have had trouble getting down to the ground because he was standing between his car and the wall of the carport.
“I don’t have any doubt — even not being able to see what was going on — that he was complying with them,” he told CNN.” Maybe not in the time frame that the officer was looking for — but it seemed he was complying.” [Mike: There’s another citizen witness there. You’re probably a liar, too.]
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has taken over the investigation at the request of the Sheriff’s Office.
“FDLE investigators are developing a timeline and conducting interviews and crime laboratory scientists are conducting lab analysis,” Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in a statement. “Once our investigation is complete, FDLE will provide the case to the state attorney’s office. The state attorney will determine whether or not any laws were broken.
Mike: I’m wondering if Middleton, when he got out of his car and did not follow proper citizen-to-sheriff-deputy compliance procedures, if he broke a law. [mocking] “You resisted arrest.” — “What were you going to arrest me for? I can’t break into my own car.” I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened. I know being a police officer, many times, many instances, is a thankless job and you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. The mountain of stories like this one that continue to be piled up here, why do we live in such a violent civilization? Why is it just expected that — maybe we should ask the question: How did we get to the point where it is expected that anytime there is an altercation or there is interaction between police and citizens that there is the expectation that there has to be a violent outcome? That seems to be what drives this. There is the fear that you proceed as though there is going to be shooting, going to be violence, and going to be mayhem. Was it always like that or is this a more recent and modern development? Were police officers always put into these situations or were police officers historically acting more like constables and peace officers and only rarely were involved in these kinds of altercations?
It’s just another story that begs those questions. I still wonder, and I don’t know the laws of Florida, but when someone shows up in your door on your own private property and you have no expectation that you have done anything wrong — you say the cop has to protect himself. I get that, but how is the citizen supposed to know, especially when it’s late at night and you’ve got a light shining in your face? Remember, in Florida there are an awful lot of cop impersonators.
End Mike Church Show Transcript