Corey Marioneaux Jr., 24, is a father of two and a devout churchgoer with no prior convictions. As a result, when he heard his front door smashed last week just before 5 a.m. while he slept in his bed, the last thing on his mind was, "it must be the cops; I'll just act completely defenceless with my wife and children in the house." Rather than that, he did what any father or husband would: he defended himself.
Unfortunately for Marioneaux, it was the cops, and defending his family against them, that landed this innocent father in jail, where he now faces a lengthy sentence.
Fortunately, no one was killed during the early morning raid in which police used a battering ram to break down Marioneaux's front door and storm into his living room. However, if this father of two had actually killed one of the intruders, he would have been justified.
Though police claimed they "knocked" on his front door for ten seconds, the majority of people are still asleep at this hour, making it quite easy to miss them. Additionally, criminals can and have pretended to be police in order to commit crimes, so yelling "police" does not always reassure someone who is attempting to protect their family.
Though the knocking did not awaken him, Marioneaux leapt to his feet, grabbed his pistol, and defended his family when his door was smashed in with a ram. He would fire one shot at the armed intruders who were breaking into his home, but his shot was deflected by one of the officer's shields.
Police retaliated and, fortunately, missed as well. When Marioneaux realised the intruders were cops, he immediately dropped the pistol, raised his hands, surrendered, and apologised profusely. Nobody was harmed.
"While being arrested, Marioneaux made spontaneous words to [the investigator] expressing his regret," the police report added. "Marioneaux also expressed his regret for shooting at officers in front of [the sergeant]."
Marioneaux should have been freed immediately after firing on the police. Nevertheless, he was not. Rather than that, he was charged with Attempting to Murder a Law Enforcement Officer.
Concerning the warrant police claim to be executed at his residence, they have not said what it was for. Pensacola Police have described the order as a "high-risk search warrant" in connection with an ongoing investigation. Looking up Marioneaux's arrest records reveals that he is facing just one outstanding charge, for firing at cops – implying that he was not charged with anything in connection with the odd warrant.
Further complicating Marioneaux's case is the fact that Pensacola police officers do not wear body cameras because they "might disclose their techniques." Thus, it is his word vs theirs.
The fact that Marioneaux's bail — for allegedly trying to kill an officer — was set at merely $50,000 and he was freed nearly immediately demonstrates the lack of concern about his detention. Marioneaux's relatives and friends have spoken out in recent days.
"He was neither a convicted offender or a person of interest," Marcus Lett, a Marioneaux cousin, told WEAR.
"He is a legal firearm owner; they confiscated his handgun," Lett added. "They are aware he is licenced; so, why would they go to such lengths to pursue these allegations when anybody would have done the same thing to safeguard our house and family?" We cannot stand by and watch someone who, without a doubt, does not deserve what has been bestowed upon him. This person is not shown in the tale."
"Once he realised it was the police, the young guy lay down the firearm and came out with his hands up," Marioneaux's pastor, LuTimothy May, said. "So it demonstrates that this is not an angry police murderer who would injure no one."
Hopefully, this matter will be dismissed promptly for Marioneaux and his family. There is no justification to damage the life of this otherwise upright man due to militaristic police techniques gone bad.
This was likewise the case with Andrew Coffee IV, who was arrested in Florida for the exact same offence. Coffee tried to save himself and his girlfriend's life in 2017 by shooting at numerous house intruders who burst through his bedroom window during the night.
Unfortunately, Coffee was unable to save his lover, Alteria Woods, who was shot 10 times by the house invaders. Coffee was arrested and charged with Woods' murder because the armed intruders who murdered his girlfriend wore badges. He was also charged with attempted murder in the deaths of his girlfriend and three cops who busted through his window that night.
He was ultimately acquitted in November 2021 when a jury determined that he acted in self-defence. None of the officers who killed his girlfriend suffered any repercussions.
This paradigm of no-knock raids on unarmed individuals must cease. Cops have executed two persons in the past month alone — both of whom were not the targets of the warrants they were serving — during no-knock raids. It must come to an end.
"How can we ensure that this does not happen to an innocent father who is only trying to raise his two children, love his family, and be a useful member of society?" As Pastor May put it. "That is the message at the moment."
And if anything is going to change, that message must be heard loud and clear.