If you have not heard the story of how Army 1st Sergeant Matthew Corrigan was brutalized by the Washington DC police you should. Please read this story as it is amazing, shocking and sad. Something needs to change when you find out that the Washington DC Police Department seems to have a vendetta against military personnel.
Corrigan is an Army reservist who volunteered to serve in Iraq. During his tour in Iraq from 2005 to 2006 he was stationed in Fallujah and he would go on patrols looking for IEDs. Part of his job was to try and prevent new IEDs from being planted in areas that could possibly injure a lot of people. He was involved in spotting potential IED’s and then searching for the person who might detonate it before it went off.
Upon returning to the US after his tour in Iraq Corrigan noted (quotes obtained from Washington Times Story Linked Below), “Your body is in America. Your head is in Iraq.” He had trouble sleeping, having bad dreams on a recurring basis. “I kept seeing my own dead body with my friends and family standing over me, looking disappointed. Sometimes I died in Iraq, sometimes here,” he recalled. “I didn’t sleep for four or five nights in a row.”
Even though the VA had given him medication to help sleep one night when Sgt Corrigan was tossing and turning he remembered learning about a VA Veterans Crisis Line. Thinking that talking to someone might help he called the phone number for the counseling hotline which later proved to be a big mistake. Isn’t it amazing that a combat veteran calls a VA number looking for help and ends up getting in trouble? Something is very wrong with our system of taking care of vets.
When he calls and talks to the counselor one of the questions they asked him was if he had any weapons which he said that he did for self defense. The counselor asked him to ‘put the gun down’. Sgt Corrigan later recalled, “I told her, ‘I don’t have the gun out.’ And she kept saying, ‘Put down the gun.’ She talked like I had the gun in one hand and my cell phone in the other.” “She insisted I repeat the words, ‘The guns are down,’” he said. “I finally got agitated and said, ‘I shouldn’t have called’ and hung up.” Then, Sgt. Corrigan took a prescribed sleeping pill and went to bed.
This phone call set off a series of events that would forever change Sgt Corrigan’s life.
Several hours after hanging up the phone with the counselor Army 1st Sergeant Matthew Corrigan, in the middle of a snowy night was awaken by a SWAT team basically surrounding his home and telling him (via bullhorn) that he needed to come outside so they could ‘help him’. Sgt Corrigan had no clue as to why spotlights were being shined in his windows and what was going on just as any of us would not.
From the Washington Post Story
Flood lights glared through the front and back windows and doors of his English basement apartment. “Matt Corrigan, We’re here to help you, Matt,” the voice said in the darkness. An experienced combat soldier, he assumed a bunker mentality and hid in the dark room. He turned on his cell phone and a police detective immediately phoned and said, “Matt, don’t you think this is a good time to walk your dog?” The SWAT team outside could obviously see the 11-year old pit bull, Matrix, a rescue from dog fighting, who had been with Sgt. Corrigan since graduate school in Northern California.
“I’ll come to the window and show myself,” he offered on the phone. Sgt. Corrigan still didn’t know why his house was surrounded, but he knew exactly what he should do in such situations. “I’ve been on the other end of that rifle trying to get someone out,” he explained. He said that the cop on the phone answered that, “‘It’s gone beyond that now.’”
After being jolted awake four hours later, Sgt. Corrigan agreed to exit his home to show that he was fine. As he walked out his front door, he turned the lock on the knob so that it would lock when he closed it. He had a stow-away key in a box outside.
When he opened the door, he saw about 25 officers in full body armor and kevlar helmets, carrying M4 assault weapons. SWAT and explosive
ordnance disposal teams were on all sides. Streets were barricaded for blocks. “They were prepared to be blown up or attacked,” Sgt. Corrigan remembered. Experienced in combat, he knew how to surrender with the least chance of being hurt. He put his hands over his head and spun around so they could clearly see he was unarmed.
In the dark, snowy night, the Iraq vet was an easy target. “I looked down and saw 10 jiggly red dots all over my chest,” he said, appearing afraid at the memory. “I crumbled.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw one officer ready to tackle him, so he dropped to his knees and crossed his ankles to demonstrate complete defenselessness.
“They immediately zip-tied me tighter than I would have been allowed to zip-tie an Iraqi,” Sgt. Corrigan said, pulling up his dress shirt cuff to show his wrist. “We had to check to fit two fingers between the tie and the Iraqi’s wrist so we weren’t cutting off circulation. They tied mine so tight that they hurt.”
Sgt Corrigan spent about two weeks in incarceration where he was somehow ‘lost in jail’ during the time due to some kind of confusion with the police records. He was not charged with anything that first night so basically it was an illegal arrest. His house was illegally searched and ransacked without a warrant and his three guns were taken all because a VA phone counselor called the police telling them who Sgt Corrigan was, where he lived and that he had a gun.
A story like this makes you wonder if we are not living in the old USSR and not the United States! Apparently the Washington DC Police don’t care about the United States Constitution. The Second Amendment does not exist in Washington DC. In the end charges were dropped but there is much more to this story that you need to read.
Below are the links to the Washington Times report which go into great detail about the night of the raid and everything that took place after. The Washington DC Police and the VA owe a huge apology to this soldier.