Filed under: ACLU, Civil Rights, Constitution, Failure, Government, Guns, Politics, Predictions, Reason, Society, Terrorism, YouTube
Wait, I thought we were no longer at war with our own people? Seems someone forgot to tell the local cops, who sent their SWAT team out in the middle of the night because of a pot pipe and a misdemeanor’s worth of pot (which is decriminalized here, and subject only to a ticket).
Here’s the video. Warning, it’s tough to watch, particularly for anyone who cares for dogs:
The comments at the local paper’s site are now pushing 500 – that’s easily 2x the size of just about other story I can think of, and I pay attention to what people are thinking. And it’s been picked up by Radley Balko, who is a nationally-read proponent of limiting the militarization of police forces around the country. And folks are posting it to their Facebook pages as well as to other sites. It is, in other words, going viral.
Now, a couple of things. First, the SWAT team was executing a legal warrant, signed by a judge. Second, the warrant was issued because it was thought that the culprit was a drug dealer – not just some low-level user. Third, cops always have to make sure that they secure a site when they go on such a raid, and in doing so will use whatever force they think is necessary.
But . . .
The information provided to get the warrant was extremely poor – the police didn’t even realize the man listed in the warrant was married, nor that there was a small child in the home. This could have easily led to a tragedy. And the video, released due to Sunshine Law requests, is decidedly at odds with how this raid was characterized when it was announced by local police spokespersons (one of whom I know) back in February.
Readers of this blog will know that while I support the police (my dad was a cop, after all), I have often objected to the absurd increase in military tactics and weaponry being used at the local level – which is entirely due to the way the War on (Some) Drugs has been conducted over the last decades. The sort of things shown in this video just sour the populace on their police, and put people (including cops) unnecessarily at risk. And it is frighteningly indicative of a slide into a true police state.
Watch that video. And think – who is served by this sort of debacle?
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