Communion Of Dreams

Well, OK then.

Yesterday I wrote about the latest local battle in the War on (Some) Drugs, which led to the shooting of two dogs, the terrorizing of a family, and the diminution of our civil rights as police departments adopt increasingly militarized tactics. But not like I was alone in this, since the story has been picked up and published in countless posts online as well as getting attention from the mainstream media. Facebook posts, hits to the YouTube vid now over 200,000 (it was 2,000 when I posted the vid yesterday), et cetera.

So, the heat is starting to build. Of course, this can’t be ignored by the local police department, so they chatted with the Tribune to give their side (a bit). And what did they say?

“It was unfortunate timing,” said Lt. Scott Young, SWAT commander. “We were in the process of considering a lot of changes. We were already having meetings to improve narcotic investigations, then this happened.”

Columbia police spokeswoman Jessie Haden said there sometimes was a lag between the time a warrant was issued and when SWAT could execute the warrant. The problem was SWAT members’ primary assignments, such as their role as beat officers or investigators, would take precedence over SWAT and they would have to work overtime to participate in SWAT operations.

Well, OK then. It was just a case of unfortunate timing. The warrant was going to run out, you see, so they *had* to act in the middle of the night when the SWAT team was available.

Er, what?

SWAT teams were developed to cope with particularly dangerous situations – something which presents a major threat to the safety of the public. They train to deploy quickly, to secure a dangerous environment while dealing with someone who is heavily armed. Almost by definition, anything which presents a major threat to the public safety and security requires a very fast response – you don’t want to leave a hostage situation hanging until you can make sure no one is going to be getting in too much overtime. And likewise, if narcotics distribution is going on, if a major drug deal is happening, you don’t want to wait more than a week to schedule your SWAT team.

In other words, if it ain’t an emergency, SWAT shouldn’t be used.

Think about that. If the situation requires the use of such militarized tactics and equipment, then how the hell can you just let it wait until you can make sure that everyone on the team has completed their other routine job requirements?

Yet that is what they did. Again, from the Tribune:

The warrant authorizing SWAT and investigators to enter Whitworth’s home was approved by Boone County Associate Circuit Judge Leslie Schneider on Feb 3., and the raid happened Feb. 11.

8 days. They waited 8 days to act. How the hell does that qualify as the sort of emergency situation for which SWAT is required?

It doesn’t.

Here’s the video, again:

Yet they had been sitting on that warrant for 8 days. 8 days during which they hadn’t even determined that there would be a child inside the home.

Welcome to your police state. When the SWAT team can be used for any police action, so long as there’s a justification of War on (Some) Drugs involved. And time to make sure the bust doesn’t mess up any of the officer’s schedules.

Jim Downey


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[…] Rights, Constitution, Failure, Government, Predictions, Press, Society Back in May I wrote about the drug raid debacle that happened here in Columbia which got world-wide attention when the video of the raid […]

Pingback by The other shoe drops. « Communion Of Dreams

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