Given the latest news, I can honestly say I don’t have enough facts or general information to go into detail.
I only like to speculate about how things will end up (a product falls to pieces, or is just bland and uninteresting), not what happened to cause that.
However, regardless of who was in the cabin, I’m pretty sure burning it down (and it belonged to a third party who was involved as well) isn’t a legal response. Not only because the law is innocent until proven guilty, but because I am fairly certain that burning down a house is arson.
And the job of the police is to uphold the laws, and if those officers did set the fire, they not only failed to uphold the law, they broke the law in an attempt to capture someone.
Worst case scenario would be if they had the wrong place, since that means an innocent person tried to defend themselves against the police there, and got the house burned down for their trouble.
With police departments having drones, why don’t they have things like the EOD robots? I cannot remember the company, but they made robots for dealing with hostage situations, and were capable of having tools attached to open doors, launch tear gas canisters, and because they had cameras, they could visually identify people and the locations of said people from inside a building, which a drone can’t do.
I believe one of the chassis used was the REAMDA HOBO. Compared to the negative publicity from burning down a house, sending in a robot with tear gas to fill the house with tear gas and then to roll inside and see what is going on seems not only safer to the officers, but to the suspect (innocent until proven, remember) and to the property (no need to burn it down.) The robot can visually identify people, and operators are able to see their locations, meaning SWAT could have gone into the house knowing where people are, which would have made their job a bit safer.
Drones are expensive and have one role, while ground robot platforms usually have a wide variety of tasks they can accomplish from bomb disposal to hostage situations and are also expensive.
Does LAPD just not have a robot, but they do seem to have a drone? Weird.