Home / Badge Abuse / SWAT Team Raids Unarmed Man’s Home and Kills Him Over Two Grams of Pot

SWAT Team Raids Unarmed Man’s Home and Kills Him Over Two Grams of Pot

Tampa, FL – Another life was taken by cops in the senseless war on drugs, this time an unarmed man sitting in a bedroom with two grams of weed.

A military-style raid took place at the home of Levonia Riggins, 22, by a SWAT team looking for “illegal narcotics.” Riggins, who had previously been arrested for cannabis possession with intent to sell, was subject to a month-long “drug investigation” before being gunned down in his home.

According to Tampa Bay Times:

“When investigators arrived at the house at 1432 Longwood Loop with a search warrant about 8 a.m., everyone inside came out except for Riggins, the major said. Others who left the house told deputies Riggins was inside, most likely in the rear, sheriff’s spokeswoman Debbie Carter said in a news release.

That’s when Deputy Caleb Johnson, 32, a seven-year veteran of the agency, entered the house with fellow SWAT members.

“After making numerous commands for Riggins to exit the residence, Deputy Johnson visually located Riggins in a bedroom, at which time Johnson perceived Riggins as an immediate threat and fired one shot, striking Riggins,” Carter reported.

Riggins was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he died.”

Authorities thought they needed to use the military-clad, violence-prone SWAT team on Riggins due to his previous arrests and “reports that he had guns.” The most dangerous thing about having cannabis is the possibility that cops could kill you, as Riggins’ case unfortunately proved.

Neighbors described him with admiration.

He was always a good person,” said family friend Carol Jane Scott. “Yeah, he smokes his weed and stuff, but he was never into anything serious. He was very kind, always wanting to talk to people, always there for you.

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But Tampa cops believed Riggins was a menace to society and must be locked in a cage for possessing a plant. One deputy was so afraid of this unarmed pot smoker that he could do nothing but resort immediately to deadly force.

“Five hours passed before the Sheriff’s Office released Carter’s statement confirming Riggins’ death and acknowledging, “While the investigation is ongoing it does appear at this time that Riggins was unarmed.”

Deputy Johnson is on paid leave while the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office investigates.

A young man, with his entire life ahead of him, was gunned down by agents of the state — ‘protecting’ society from the dangers of two grams of a plant.

While it is unlikely Johnson will face any repercussions for his actions, the sad reality is that military-style SWAT raids, brimming with volatility, are commonly used for drug raids.

In fact, most SWAT raids are conducted for drug searches, even though SWAT’s original purpose was for responding to “hostage, barricade, or active shooter scenarios.”

But cops need to find excuses to use their military tactics and fancy assault gear, and the drug war is fertile ground. The ACLU report also notes that “…incident reports for search warrant executions, especially in drug investigations, often contained no information about why the SWAT team was being sent in, other than to note that the warrant was “high risk,” or else provided otherwise unsubstantiated information such as “suspect is believed to be armed.

The Free Thought Project has documented numerous examples of killings, mayhem, and terror wrought upon innocent people by SWAT teams. Just over two years ago, another man was killed in his own home during a SWAT raid over $2 worth of pot.

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SWAT teams are set up to create violence and confrontation, and Riggins was the latest victim.

  • Sillywilly

    “It does appear at this time that Riggins was unarmed” is cop speak for “we haven’t had time to plant a weapon, come up with our usual bogus explanation and smear his reputation in the media yet.”

    • MountainMan

      The BS was flying from both sides. He was a young man with his future ahead of him. As what? The east coast’s largest distributor of pot? He shouldn’t have been shot. The punishment didn’t fit the crime. It doesn’t mean the victim was innocent. Pot is legal in my state so we don’t have to deal with this so much anymore. That is until the Presidential election. Who knows how it will shake out after the election. Neither candidate has commented on legalization. 12 years as deputy. I’m pro legalization and I’m a conservative.

      • Sillywilly

        It would seem he was innocent of a “capital” crime, one worthy of a death sentence. I wasn’t aware the police mandate included handing out “punishment”…for that or any crime.

        • Tyrannicus_Rex

          Indeed, the US does not need Judge Dredd running around violating the 5th, 6th and 7th Amendments on a daily basis. Drugs legal status revolves around taxation schemes. No one in government gives a rats ass about anything but themselves and lining their pockets. Control the borders, control goods not taxed. Simple as that. Leave the American people be until they steal, kill, or destroy some one else or their property.

          • Sillywilly

            778 people killed so far this year. Compared to other countries I bet ours do seem like Judge Dredd’s.

          • MountainMan

            If they’re as powerful and corrupt as you think they are they’d already have all your stuff and you’d be a slave or dead. They certainly wouldn’t tolerate anyone like you or anyone who gave you a thumbs up. Reality doesn’t back up your story.

          • Deplorable_Tyrannicus_Rex

            That’s a straw man little piglet, take a logic class and put down the manifesto and then read net neutrality and the fairness doctrine.

          • MountainMan

            What does net neutrality have to do with this? It’s not a strawman argument. You claimed they have all this power and if they’re as evil as you claim…yet they don’t. I refuted your claim as obviously being not true. I have taken a logic class and one of my favorite quotes was….”Logic is just a way to make mistakes with confidence.” We actually agree on how we think the police should act. We just have a different view on how common police brutality and over reach is. And as you can see don’t expect a rapid reply. I rarely use disqus. Be well.

          • Tyrannicus_Rex

            No worries, I appreciate thoughtful responses no matter the time table. Logic uses validity and truth as well depending on the skill of the arguer. So if I say logic, I mean to include if deductive, validity, truth and cogency. Inductive, I mean to say strong whereas each premise backs the conclusion. Straw man is two words. 🙂

        • marlene


      • Jaalleman

        Increasingly it appears to me that “conservative” now means heartless jerk incapable of empathy. The kid was 22 yrs old so yes, he had “his future ahead of him” as whatever he put his mind to be and his intellectual and/or physical ability allows him to be. WTF is your problem?

        So he was arrested for pot before with the accusation that he intended to sell. From that you infer he wanted to be the largest distributor of pot in the eastern seaboard?

        You say “it doesn’t mean the victim was innocent” – really? Unless you’re basing your assertion on info from another source nothing in this article points to any wrongdoing on the kid’s part. A true conservative would support self ownership – meaning government cannot tell an adult what to put in his/her body. But you’re just another one of those suffering from the pathology of “authority worship” and compulsive copsucking.

        • Sillywilly

          He did say he was a deputy, either now or in the past, so honestly what other viewpoint is he gonna have. I consider myself a conservative but I don’t think like him.

          • MountainMan

            It helps to read more than one source. He was a known drug dealer. Arrested multiple times and had been known to be armed. That’s why they came in guns dawn. He might have been a victim. We don’t know yet. His neighbors saying he was nice guy? How many serial killers have you heard described as quiet, wouldn’t hurt a fly? I’m not saying he was a serial killer but take the neighbors statements with a very large grain of salt. If it’s found that the officer shot and killed him for insufficient cause he should be put on trial for murder. I’m not siding with the police because they’re police. Like the victim the officer is innocent until proven guilty. I’ve been on three wrongful police shooting trials. In each case I voted to convict the officer. Whether you’re wearing a uniform or not makes no difference to me. It’s not relevant. All I’m concerned with is did they or didn’t they do it. You on the other hand have already convicted him. That you don’t like me? I’d consider that a plus.

          • Sillywilly

            Now who’s reading too much into what he reads? I said I don’t think like him… not… I don’t think I like him. The fact of the matter is he was unarmed and he was killed by SWAT period. SWAT teams are over-utilized and there have been way to many innocent people killed by them.

      • marlene

        Sorry, MountainMan, there ISN’T two sides to this story because one side is DEAD!

        • FiuToYou

          So forking true!

          • marlene


        • MountainMan

          Never heard the phrase. Dead men tell tales? Forensics. Look it up.

          • marlene

            No point taken.

      • armie3Armstead Mealy III

        Define “conservative”…………I’m always leary of people who would lock themselves and their mind to external leanings rather than their own thinking process!

        • MountainMan

          Compared to the liberals I’m a conservative. I’m liberal on some things and conservative on others but I lean toward conservatism. We only have so much money to spend. I prefer it goes to projects that I know will work vs ones that may or may not work. That’s being a fiscal conservative. Morally. We’re responsible for our own actions, not someone else. So if someone says “mommy beat me so I have a excuse to be a bad person.” I don’t see that as a excuse for poor behavior. That’s a moral conservative. Words have meanings and i used the term correctly as I understand it. What you think conservatives are I can only guess.

      • Spierce

        There is no crime. The only crime was committed by the cops who should be tried for murder. This victim was innocent. You sound like a loser cop trying to defend the thug who murdered this young innocent man so stfu defending the murderers. I hope every cop is killed who invades someone’s home

        • MountainMan

          He was a drug dealer. That’s a crime. They had a warrant for his arrest. That’s not a home invasion.Then you’ve convicted a officer without evidence. How fair and open minded of you. Then you hope all cops are killed for entering a home to prosecute a search warrant? Back in the day they would have shipped off to the state hospital for the criminally insane. I’m not kidding. Your delusional.

        • MountainMan

          Actually I was deputy for 12 years. We never went anywhere we weren’t asked or needed. We had better things to do than randomly bust down peoples doors. I have no doubt there are dirty cops. I don’t doubt some cops are over zealous. I also know that people cry wolf where there is none and color their story to make themselves look better. I also know the press has been stirring the pot. Most of the bad police shootings reported in the press…weren’t. Good luck to you, I hope you never have to rely on the police for protection. Frankly you don’t deserve it.

          • Spierce

            Frankly my heros shoot home invaders. I am armed and don’t need police assistance. In fact If I did I pay taxes that pay the salaries of the useless leaches. But frankly they can all suck a big fat cock

          • MountainMan

            We’re going to have to agree to disagree. I hope you you find some peace in your life.

    • marlene

      SPOT ON.

    • Ibcamn

      correct,their favorite way to cover shit up.

  • This is so wrong. How can these cops sleep at night?

    • billdeserthills

      Apparently psychopaths don’t require much sleep

    • ThomasJefferson

      The bastards have no conscience! They aren’t even human! Ergo, no problem sleeping

    • NoBrutality

      Answer: Demons and psychopaths don’t sleep. They plot their next move in the dead of night, andy carry out the plans in broad daylight.

  • ooddballz

    Musta been some killer weed.

  • Robert Farrior

    Of course it was under the drug war impetus! This war-on-some-drugs tyranny is going to end!
    Revolution NOW!

  • Nishi

    People are like this. If you take a group of ordinary people, build a tight social unit and put certain parameters in place, you can get the majority of them to eat the live beating hearts out of babies.

  • marlene

    Read SillyWilly’s comment below.

  • billdeserthills

    Just one more dead citizen, and of course a cop on yet another paid vacation, must be nice if you are a demented murderous psycho cop

  • David Hall

    2 fucking grams, yep that is worth a POS thug in blue with a trigger happy shoot’em up attitude to deliver a death sentence for the state. No revenue, then they must be killed. Wow, a normal human being reads this shit and just says WTF. They don’t care to wait and see if they have a weapon, shoot first and take your paid vacation. Cops are truly the largest gang in America. Cops in the Police State here kill more people than all the other Countries on the planet combined. Warrior cops have arrived. America is the most corrupt Country in the world. Freedom is a thing of the past. Now you boot lickers can have your say!

  • Tek

    First problem is the cops served the warrant, and he didn’t come out of the house like everyone else. If you’re already a criminal (legalization is another issue) the cops are already going to be on edge. If you hole up in the back of your house and refuse to come out, well play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    • FiuToYou

      You must play a lot of games yourself!

    • ThomasJefferson

      And HERE we have an example of a mindless bootlicking twit. We need to be putting our minds to putting some of THESE bastards in the line of fire. If you know one, and put your mind to it, it REALLY shouldn’t be THAT difficult. Just a thought on a positive “something” one can do for society

  • FiuToYou

    Charge this pig with murder!

  • Ibcamn

    a pencil eraser sized piece of weed….and this pisspoorly trained sweaty slob of a cop has murdered a man,innocent man,unarmed man…….cops are criminals and we all know it.

  • armie3Armstead Mealy III

    WTF………..Is there a shortage of tear gas in this country ?

  • landy fincannon

    The resurface of feudalism is obvious and there is only one option


    Sniper in Dallas had the right idea..

  • palvadore

    The magic words for ANY cops is “perceived threat”. That ends the argument and the cop literally gets away with murder.

  • melodicmizery

    so because you like weed and want it legal, all of a sudden lets defend the drug dealer who was previously arrested for selling weed and had a arsenal of guns. no matter how legal you think it should be, its still illegal. and using this as your basis to try to make it legal just makes you sound more stupid. cocaine can make a motherfucker lift a car up in the air it doesnt mean that the shit should be legal and if a cokehead is selling cocaine witha load of guns doesnt mean hes a safe guy because he can pick cars up on the shit