At 107, Time Stands Still

It’s not that a 107-year-old man with a gun can’t do harm. Oh, yes, he can. But then, when the SWAT team instigates his firing by trying to take him out rather than just hanging around for a while, it’s just nuts.

Shortly afterwards, a S.W.A.T. entry team, inside the residence, breached the door to the bedroom and threw a distraction device into the bedroom. Isadore then began to fire on the entry team and the entry team engaged Isadore, killing him.

Because they couldn’t just set up some lawn chairs, have a barbecue and wait until the old guy got hungry?

Listening to this song is about as painful as reading about how the SWAT team decided that 107 was old enough.


14 comments on “At 107, Time Stands Still

  1. Mark Draughn

    Reading more about the incident, I’m really, really wondering how exactly it was that police supervisors decided that “it was evident negotiations were unsuccessful.” It seems like things were going great until the police escalated the conflict. He was in the bedroom, he had no hostages, and he wasn’t shooting at anyone. The problem was contained, and police had all the time in the world. The articles don’t give a timeline, but if the first responders got there at 4:25pm and the incident ended the same day, negotiations couldn’t have lasted more than a few hours. How was this not a successful negotiation so far?

    Even after he responded to the gas attack, he wound down and stopped shooting again. Christ, he was a 107-year old man. After all that excitement he probably wasn’t going to be able to stay awake much longer. So what was the big hurry? Why the rush?

    Did they just get bored and decide “fuck it, let’s shoot him”? Because it sounds like they must have gone in intending to kill him. If this had been a drug raid, then at least they could hope for tactical surprise and a quick surrender. They couldn’t have expected that from a guy who knew they were there and who had already shot at them. They knew that going in meant they’d have to shoot him. And yet they made the decision to go in after only a few hours.

      1. Onlooker

        It was way past dinner time and this just can’t go on all night. That would just be unreasonable, and they don’t get paid enough for that nonsense. (Plus a “dynamic entry” is far more fun)

  2. Fubar

    At the link which you gave above, there is a further link to interviews with percipient witnesses.

    It is titled “Update: Roommate speaks about S.W.A.T. standoff that killed 107-year-old”.

    While I agree that the lawnchair and barbecue ploy would have been the best solution to the standoff, some witnesses seemed less convinced of it.

    1. SHG Post author

      Pre-SWAT, cops weren’t in a rush to go inside where a guy with a gun was holed up. Society survived. Our perspective and expectations have changed a bit since then. Society will likely survive, but a few individual members of it won’t, for better or worse.

  3. Fubar

    Pre-SWAT, cops weren’t in a rush to go inside where a guy with a gun was holed up. Society survived.

    Absolutely. I have lived most of my life in that society.

    Perhaps because I have a lifelong but intermittent familiarity with Pine Bluff, I can understand what causes the view, without condoning it, of those eyewitnesses who said in effect, “what else could they do?” Within my lifetime the city has descended into the depths of a violent crime rate rivaling that of Detroit.

    I have no doubt that Mr. Isadore was a decent man who went mad, for which he was slaughtered. Likewise those who witnessed his horrific end and concluded “what else could they do?” were also decent people. That measures roughly the depth and breadth of the tragedy. I may not be as sanguine as you that “society will likely survive” when decent and ordinary citizens are driven by their circumstance to cross that Rubicon of hopeless rationalization.

    1. SHG Post author

      Dementia immediately came to my mind. Not that I have any basis for it, but who decides to become a killer at 107? As for society, we’ve weathered some horrible stuff. In fact, sometimes we need to go through horrible stuff to remind us the horrible things we’re capable of doing.

  4. jakee308

    It may not have been dementia. At only 66, I have moments where I think:

    a) I’m not getting younger.
    b) Things probably aren’t going to get any better in my day to day life.
    c) Things probably are going to get worse.
    d) There’s not a lot of time left to make any big improvements to the probabilities of the above.
    e) F**k it.

    He may have, at some point, just lost it. That’s not an excuse for his actions but that doesn’t excuse the seeming eagerness on the part of police these days to shoot anything that moves when they assault a position. (that’s military thinking not peace making)

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