Demand Firing of Policemen Who Shot Innocent Man

seattle police

Target: Sheriff John Urquhart of the Washington State King County Sheriff’s Office

Goal: Demand officers who shot innocent man lying in bed be fired

Dustin Theoharis of Seattle, Washington is currently recovering from his twelfth surgery after police burst into his home on the night of February 11, 2011 and shot at him twenty times while he lay in bed. Sixteen bullets penetrated his body. He suffered a broken shoulder, two broken arms and legs, and damage to his spine, liver, and spleen. Theoharis was entirely unarmed and wasn’t even the man police were looking for.

The officers involved claim that they thought Theoharis was reaching for a gun on the side of his bed when they fired. To reiterate, they fired sixteen bullets into an unarmed man who they thought might be reaching for a weapon that ultimately did not exist. The cavalier attitude that these officers displayed toward the decision to use deadly force against a fellow human being is disturbing and dangerous.

The Internal Investigations Unit took six months to even open a case about the incident, the evidence about the case has been disorganized, and the sheriff’s office has been more concerned with advocating for its staff than discovering why exactly this innocent man was shot at in his own home.

Even more infuriating, the Department of Corrections issued a statement that the officers “used appropriate force and followed the proper procedures in a dangerous situation”. Well, an unarmed man getting shot after being woken up by police officers who had broken into his home certainly qualifies as a dangerous situation: dangerous for the victims of these trigger-happy officers and the freedom granted them to abuse their authority in such a terrifying manner.

More and more, police officers are abusing their authority over the American public with the use of absurdly excessive force. Please sign this petition to have these officers fired immediately, before they endanger the lives of another victim.


Dear Sheriff John Urquhart,

Some officers under your supervision have displayed the sort of dangerous incompetence and trigger-happy mentality usually reserved for cartoon villains. However, there is nothing funny about thirty-year-old Dustin Theoharis having to live the rest of his live with the injuries sustained when your officers broke into his home and shot him sixteen times while he lay in his bed, completely unarmed and innocent.

This abuse of power and the use of absurdly excessive force on the part of your officers demand a thorough upheaval of your staff and the procedures that led to this tragic incident. Please fire the officers responsible immediately and remove the policies that allowed them to believe they could shoot a man without the absolute certainty that their lives were in danger.


[Your Name Here]

Image: Matthew Zalewski via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. cynthia moreno says:

    We are losing our constitutional rights so rapidly and so quietly . . .

    • Not unless we rise up in rebellion
      and fight back at full throttle,
      with mass protest marches, rallies,
      and boycotts of states and/or communities
      that chose to maintain the status quo
      of the barbaric “redneck lynch-mob” mentality
      of the primitive 19th Century,
      or the Salem Witch-Hunts of 1692.
      It is our duty to rise up and challenge
      the status quo in HUGE fashion.

    • This is what the “War on Drugs” has turned our “peace officers” into – killing machines. They think EVERYONE is a big bad drug dealer with weapons. They now shoot first and don’t even bother asking questions later. Our legislators better wake the hell up because it could happen to ANYONE, including legislators and their family members. Remember when a mayor’s 2 labrador retrievers were shot by cops after someone had sent, by mail, pot to the mayor’s house? Don’t cops do any investigating anymore? Or is their MO now to just break in, guns a blazin’? They shoot because they are afraid of their own shadows. These are not brave men, even with bullet proof vests and guns and tasers they’re scared to death of everyone, and we’re all dangerous drug dealers in their pea brains.

      U.S. Constitution
      Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  2. Gloria Allen says:

    This is a tragedy. These police officers were extremely reckless and dangerous. There is no excuse for harming an innocent person. This make one question – who is / are the criminals here?

  3. Trudy Nickols says:


  4. Stuart Harrison says:

    Reaching for something from your bedside should not equate to a death sentence under ANY circumstances (you will never convince me that firing 20 rounds is anything but an arbitrarily applied death sentence). For all those officers knew, he could have been reaching for his glasses to see who was invading his home.

    The day your policy and procedures rules a normal reaction to having your bedroom invaded a death sentence, your policy and procedures are broken!

  5. There’s no way this officer should be allowed to remain on duty. I am getting sick of these guys protecting each other when they are paid by our tax dollars to protect us, and then shoot someone wrongly and not get a penalty. What if it were anyone else who’d done that shooting? Don’t even get me started on them shooting innocent pets. They wonder why such intense hatred is directed at them. How stupid can they be?See why I hate cops?

  6. mike rollo says:

    If i did that i would never see the light of day inside a prison cell .Matter of fact a citizen can actually be arrested or sued by a person they shoot breaking into their home depending on the situation and of course politics!! Who the fuck do police think they are? No wonder even law abiding citizens don’t trust the law.Throw their asses in jail just like they would if they caught someone doing the same thing and make that police dept pay for all that families medical bills and future care this man may need.Fuck the police! S.D.M.F Brookhaven Pa

  7. Linda Indyke says:

    There are more and more instances of out-of-control police officers. Just recently the Capitol police in WI body-slammed an unarmed peaceful demonstrator, who was gathered with others to sing protest songs. Since when is such a thing illegal. Since when is it considered proper behavior by police officers, who are sworn to uphold the law, to break into the house of an unarmed man and shoot him sixteen times. It’s the same mentality which led a police SWAT team to break into another family’s home after they had ordered some items in an online shopping excursion (it seems that ordering backpacks for your kids for school and a pressure cooker causes some police officers to go ballistic. This is what happens when police are allowed to become militaristic. Common sense needs to prevail over brutality!

  8. No good….lately more gun-happy trigger pulling cops are around than good guys that are here to help us.
    Now all we are seeing around are the cops that are killing pets – the ones that are killing people – the ones keeping their hands on their guns and shooting for the thrill of shooting off their guns….STOP
    So easy to solve, fire the bad ones, test the ones real good applying and make sure they like people and pets…uh oh…what a world…

  9. Karen Whittington says:

    We are seeing the total erosion of our freedoms. This is just one more example. What if the man WAS reaching for a gun? He’d been sound asleep, was probably disoriented, and armed men just burst through his bedroom door. These “public servants” should be prosecuted!

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