SWAT Raids Out Of Control

America’s nightly news reports are awash with stories of horrible crimes, murder, kidnapping, and a host of other atrocious violence. Graphic images and startling eye witness accounts inundate the airwaves and printing presses-hypnotizing it’s viewers and readers alike.

 We are shown a shadowy world of street crime, gang violence, and indiscriminate killing-but what if the crimes and killings are being committed by police officers themselves?

Even more angering is the reality that Police SWAT teams have conducted Para-military raids at schools, forcing children of all ages to lay face down, all the while being threatened by gun toting, guard dog wielding police officers. Officers that point load weapons into children’s faces, yelling obscenities at them, invariably traumatizing some of these students for life.

In 2003, police in Goose Creek, South Carolina, conducted a school wide commando-style raid on Stratford High School. Police lined students face down on the floor at gunpoint while officers searched their lockers and persons for drugs. Some were handcuffed. Police dogs sniffed students, lockers, and backpacks. The incident made national news and was captured on videotape by the school’s security cameras. It’s difficult to see why such tactics were necessary.

Police found no illegal drugs, and the school was described in media reports as having one of the best academic reputations in the state.

Of 146 no-knock raids conducted in Denver in 1999,  only 49 produced charges of any kind. And of those,  just 2 resulted in prison time for the targets of the raids.

 

In many of these cases, the home owner was awakened in the idle of the night by the sounds of somebody breaking into their home. It’s a natural instinct to reach for a weapon, especially if the home has been burglarized before, or the home is located in a high crime area.

While courts have been extremely deferential to police who fire on innocent civilians, they’ve been far less forgiving of citizens—even completely innocent citizens—who fire at police who have mistakenly raided their homes.

 

There are documented examples where the home owner, thinking that he was been invaded by criminals, armed himself, and was immediately shot and killed by a fusillade of automatic weapons fire at the hands of SWAT officers. It wasn’t enough to simply shoot the victim, they poured a volley of bullets into innocent home owner.

 

A Miami SWAT team fired 122 rounds into the home of 73-year-old Richard Brown. Police found no drugs in Brown’s home.

 

Judges, Prosecutors, and the legal community alike, oftentimes praise the work of these jackbooted thugs that violate the sanctity of private property-giving little thought to the consequences of America’s 4th Amendment. Even when the evidence clearly illustrates that police officers acted recklessly, endangered lives, and without reasonable cause-illegally broke into a house, killing the home owner in the process-they turned a blind eye, allowing these para-military raids to go unchecked. Rarely have any of the police officers involved in these premeditated murders been charged or convicted for their crimes.

 Scott Bryant. On April 17, 1995, police in Dodge County, Wisconsin, forcefully entered the mobile home of Scott Bryant after finding traces of marijuana in his garbage. The officers would later say they knocked and announced before entering, but neighbors who witnessed the raid say police entered without doing either. Moments later, Detective Robert Neuman shot an unarmed Bryant in the chest, killing him. Bryant’s eight-year old son was asleep in the next room. Neuman told investigators he “can’t remember pulling the trigger.332 Dodge County sheriff Stephen Fitzgerald compared the shooting to a hunting accident.

 Every case cited above can be evidenced at {  Radley Balko: Overkill: The Rise of Para-Military Raids in America [ http://www.cato.org/raidmap. }

This book is one of the most prolific publications in exposing the abuse and corruption of Police Departments and their administrators. Essentially, most police departments are utilizing SWAT Teams to supplement their own funding, under the pretext of Forfeiture and Seizure laws.

 Admittedly; SWAT teams have their uses. They are in fact the first line of defense when it comes to potential terrorist attacks on the streets, and they certainly are a force to be reckoned with in hostage situations. But, the ever growing use of SWAT as a means to execute traffic warrants, minor drug infractions, and other misdemeanor offenses, is a judicial travesty that must be addressed.

 Judges that issue “No-Knock” warrants without first determining the necessity of the raid itself, and by failing to conduct a thorough analysis of probable cause of the raid-should be held officially responsible and accountable.

 Prosecutors that refuse to challenge the legality of such raids, or that conduct impromptu investigation that never fully disclose all the pertinent facts, should immediately be removed from their position.

SWAT teams, their commanders, and the Department that employs them, should be held accountable by a committee of non-police citizen whose job entails investigating every SWAT raid, determining if such raid was actually necessary, legal, and accomplished the result that it was supposed to. If the raid resulted in the death of a civilian, the officers participating in the raid should be placed on administrative leave, every facet of the operation investigated and where applicable, sent to prison for their actions. Dismissing these rouge officers is no longer an option, as the rest of society is expected to be punished by prison terms, sometimes the death sentence, so should Police officers that break cross the line and murder its citizens.

 Each SWAT raid should be videotaped by a non-departmental entity from the planning phase, through the actual execution of the operation. Evidence, intelligence data, and raid philosophy should be scrutinized under strict guidelines that preclude any violation of excessive force, intimidation, unlawful entry, and housebreaking.

 In each case where a police officer points a gun at a minor child, handcuffs a child, or restrains a child by force of restrains, intimidation, or actions that could harm the child-that officer should be immediately charged with child neglect, child endangerment, and where applicable-be dismissed, and incarcerated like everyone else guilty of these crimes.

 America cannot allow Police Departments, and local Prosecutors office to judge whether a raid was illegal, or a SWAT Team acted outside of its authority. Time after time, they have proven their own biases against the very people that they swore to “Protect and Serve”. The investigations must be carried out by civilian committees, watchdog groups, and the citizen themselves.

 In a country that prides itself on freedom, these para-military raids are nothing short of a well orchestrated militarization of local Police Departments. A trend that has shown America that para-military raids are home invasions that have resulted in the unwarranted deaths and murder of innocent people. A grievous situation that cannot be lowed to exists

 Police officers conducting these raids should be held accountable for their actions. No longer can the “Men In Blue´ run amok in the land of the free, acting like “the Men in Black” and not be held to the same exacting standards that citizens are.

 Read my new book:

The LoneWolf Resistance Manual

[   HERE   ]

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