AG: 'Mistakes Were Made' in Greenland Raid
Extensive review of April 13 shooting of Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney released to the public.
UPDATE, 1:30 P.M.: New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney held a press conference on Dec. 14, publicly releasing for the first time extensive details from a review of the Greenland drug raid that took the life of Police Chief Michael Maloney and injured several other officers.
Delaney said some of the recommendations in the report (posted here) had already been issued by the attorney general’s drug task force and would be fully implemented in the near future.
The reports included by a New Hampshire State Police investigation and the commission’s investigation and recommendations that investigated every moment of the drug raid, shooting angles at the scene, the layout of Cullen Mutrie’s home, the weapons he had in his possession, and other details of the case that had never been released.
State Police Sgt. Joseph Ebert walked through the reports but did not offer comment on the investigation. In the report, it was confirmed that Mutrie was the killer of Maloney, not Brittany Tibbetts, the Berwick, Maine woman who was also at the home at the time of the raid. The report also stated that Tibbetts had texted her mother during the raid. Tibbetts also had $14,000 worth of cash stuffed in her bra.
A number of times during the press conference, Delaney took care not to place blame on any of the officers involved in the drug raid despite the commission’s findings that there was limited oversight and leadership. He stated repeatedly that Mutrie was a fault for the incident’s outcome, adding that the officers were heroes.
Delaney also highlighted the heroics of Officer Christopher Thurlow of the Newton Police Department, whose experience as a combat Marine played a role in saving the lives of the other officers at the scene. Delaney noted that after the officers eventually knocked down the front door of Mutrie’s home and Mutrie began firing at the officers, Thurlow’s quick response in returning fire probably drove Mutrie from the area so the injured officers could be pulled from the scene.
The reports noted that there were “deficiencies” in the management of the unit. One team leader, Delaney stated, was late to the pre-raid briefing because he had been working a Vice President Joe Biden detail.
Lighting and the time of day were also issues raised as to whether or not the raid could have been postponed.
The team plan “lacked details,” Delaney noted, and did not use available tools to assess risk in the wake of Mutrie barricading himself in the home.
The commission recommended a series of changes to the drug task force process, including better oversight, improved training, mandatory procedures, and more extensive evidence collection.
An earlier post follows:
The girlfriend of the man who shot and killed Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney sent a text to her mother the night of the shooting saying neither she nor her boyfriend had done anything wrong.
"I love u too so much. more than i'll ever know we didn't do anything wrong!!" Brittany Tibbetts wrote in the text, in which she also told her mother to tell other family members she loved them and to take care of her pets.
The text message sent by Tibbetts was one of many pieces of new information unveiled Friday morning, as Attorney General Michael Delaney released the state police investigative files and the findings of an independent study commission appointed to review the April 12 shooting of Maloney and four drug task force officers.
Maloney was killed and four other officers wounded during a drug raid when Cullen Mutrie fired at them after they approached his house. Mutrie also shot and killed Tibbetts before killing himself during the lengthy standoff with police.
State Police Sgt. Joseph Ebbert of the Major Crimes Unit said the state police investigation determined that Tibbetts' death was a homicide and not a suicide, as she had a dog leash in her hand when she was killed.
The investigation also revealed that Mutrie had marijuana, steroids and opiates in his system.
Delaney said the report issued by the Greenland Incident Review Commission was "a comprehensive report," and he accepts all of its findings and will implement all of its recommendations.
He acknowledged that "there were deficiencies in the management and supervision" of the drug task force unit that executed the raid on Mutrie's home at 517 Post Road in Greenland. He said the commission's report determined that the drug task force's plan "lacked details." The report said the officers should have been equipped with better gear, should have called in a trained tactical team to arrest Mutrie, and should have executed the raid earlier in the day instead of at dusk.
The report also suggests that all members of the drug task force undergo additional training and that steps be taken to establish job descriptions and more clear lines of authority within the drug task force.