The Map Key includes:
Death of an innocent
Raid on an innocent suspect
Death or injury of a police officer
Other examples of paramilitary police excess
Death of a nonviolent offender
Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people
The Supreme Court has failed to stem the tide of paramilitary police raids and their associated consequences, because they reasoned that these cases are extremely rare.
An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"
"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern."
—Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006.
In response to this comment, the Cato Institute has put together an interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko.
This excellent map lists over 300 cases of the worst cases of "wrong door" botched raids conducted over a 20 year period from 1986-2006. There are reportedly over 40,000 SWAT and paramilitary police team raids conducted each year in the USA the vast majority of which are used against Non-Violent drug users.
It is very frightening and I just can't understand how anyone especially Justice Kennedy could look at this data and not see a disturbingly "widespread pattern".
SOLDIERS AND POLICE are supposed to be different. Soldiers are aimed at enemies from outside the country. They are trained to kill those enemies, and their supporters. In fact, "killing people and breaking things" are their main reasons for existence.
Police look inward. They’re supposed to protect their fellow citizens from criminals, and to maintain order with a minimum of force.
It’s the difference between Audie Murphy and Andy Griffith. But nowadays, police are looking, and acting, more like soldiers than cops, with bad consequences. And those who suffer the consequences are usually innocent civilians.
SWAT teams, designed to deal with rare events, wound up doing routine police work, like serving drug warrants.
The subtle effect is also real: Dress like a soldier and you think you’re at war. And, in wartime, civil liberties—or possible innocence—of the people on "the other side" don’t come up much. But the police aren’t at war with the citizens they serve, or at least they’re not supposed to be.
The combination of these two factors has led to some tragic mistakes: "no knock" drug raids, involving "dynamic entry," where the wrong house has been targeted or where the raid was based on informants’ tips that turned out to be just plain wrong.
SWAT teams forcefully enter the wrong address, resulting in death, injury, and trauma to perfectly innocent people. Occasionally, highly keyed-up police kill one another in the confusion caused by their stun grenades.
Towns with only a few thousand residents are suddenly finding that their police department not only has a SWAT team, but that they’re actively breaking down innocent people’s doors and needlessly terrorizing them — and most disturbing of all, killing innocent people with impunity.
Why fear Al Qaeda when the real danger is our very own police using Paramilitary Assault Teams to Terrorize us here in our very own homes.
As bad as it is in Iraq even the citizens there won't tolerate this type of police state domestic terrorism I fear that we here in America have become little more than passive sheep by permitting such police state brutality to go completely unchecked.
This isn't the same America that I was once proud of. This kind of police state crap never happened until the Reagan Administration initiated it back in the 1980's and it has not only continued unabated ever since through both Bush administrations as well as the Clinton Administration but has grown worse each and every year. This never happened when Jimmy Carter was president hell even Nixon and Ford never would have never permitted this to occur.
A couple of weeks ago I posted a diary concerning one of these cases but I never revealed the fact that I had also been subjected to one of these same type of raids luckily for me and my family I wasn't killed but others haven't been that fortunate. One of these days I plan on telling my story but for now it's just too traumatic for me to revisit.
Cops Admit To Planting Marijuana on 92 Year Old Woman that they murdered in wrong door raid
What situations should Should SWAT teams be deployed for...
- Only for the most dangerous circumstances 72%
- For any type of situation that they damn well see fit to deploy it in 6%
- Always use it 1%
- Never use it 20%
- Not sure 0%