The SWAT Syndrome

LdyLunatic

i wanna be cool too!
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
2,417
Reaction score
233
New York -- Of all the excuses for weakening the Fourth Amendment, the weirdest was the one offered by Justice Antonin Scalia last week in a Michigan drug case.
He wrote the majority opinion allowing police officers to use evidence found in a home even if they entered without following the venerable rule to knock first and announce themselves. To reassure traditionalists, Scalia declared that unreasonable searches are less of a problem today because of "the increasing professionalism of police forces."

Well, it's true that when police show up at your home in the middle of the night, they're better armed and trained than ever. They now routinely arrive with assault rifles, flash grenades and battering rams.

So if your definition of a professional is a soldier in a war zone, then Scalia is right. The number of paramilitary raids has soared in the past two decades as cities, suburbs and small towns have rushed to assemble their very own SWAT teams.

Some police veterans complain about "militarizing Mayberry," and can't figure out why towns averaging one homicide a decade need paramilitary units. But younger cops like the glamour -- our very own SWAT team, just like on TV! Who wants to patrol a beat when you could be playing commando?

And who can resist free gear from Washington? Congress encouraged the SWAT syndrome by directing the Pentagon to give local police departments old machine guns, armed personnel carriers and helicopters. The federal government has also helped subsidize drug raids and encouraged locals to be aggressive by letting them keep a cut of the drug dealers' assets.

The SWAT teams were originally supposed to deal with extraordinary threats, like hostage situations, snipers and heavily armed drug gangs. Since 9/11, of course, they've been justified for combating terrorists. But such situations are so rare that the teams have had to invent new missions to keep busy -- and to pay for their operations by finding assets to seize.

Most of the time they're used simply to carry out searches for drugs, often on the basis of dubious tips from informants, often against small-time dealers and other people with no history of violence. The commandos have a proclivity for going to the wrong address, and they tend to be impatient with anything that gets in their way. In articles about SWAT raids, a motif is the shooting of family pets in front of children.

It's hard to know how many botched and unnecessary raids there have been, because police don't systematically track their errors, and the victims often have little recourse. But in a forthcoming report for the Cato Institute, Radley Balko concludes that mistakes have been made in more than 200 raids over the past decade.

He finds that overzealous raiders caused the deaths of a dozen nonviolent offenders, like recreational marijuana smokers and gamblers. In a Virginia suburb of Washington earlier this year, an optometrist being investigated for betting on sports was standing unarmed outside his town house, offering no resistance, when a SWAT officer's rifle discharged and killed him.

Balko also finds that two dozen people died in raids who were not guilty of any crime, like a Mexican immigrant killed by Denver police raiding the wrong home. Some died because they understandably assumed the masked invaders were criminals and picked up weapons to defend themselves. Some were innocent bystanders, like an 11-year-old boy shot in Modesto, Calif., and a 57-year-old woman in Harlem who had a heart attack when police set off a flash grenade during a raid based on a faulty tip.

"Prosecutors typically let police officers off the hook when they mistakenly shoot a civilian," Balko says, "on the theory that mistakes are understandable during the confusion of a raid. Fair enough. But civilians don't get the same deference. My research shows that when someone on the other end of a botched raid mistakes a police officer for an intruder and shoots in self-defense, his odds of facing jail time are about one in two."

The best way to avoid these mistakes would be to save SWAT teams for real crises and let police execute search warrants the old-fashioned way. They could find out, for instance, if they're at the wrong address before anyone pulls the trigger.

But thanks to the Supreme Court, they now have less reason to knock first and shoot later. They can be more professional than ever.

Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: John Tierney
Published: June 20, 2006
Copyright: 2006 The New York Times Company
 

Mutt

Just a Dawg
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
9,329
Reaction score
5,017
I have two comments on this. both negative.

1. I worked in a govt. building on a short term contract job. I was there early morning so that it did not disturb the daily functions. I looked up and a gun was pointed at me. The guard didn't nkow I was supposed to be there. He lost his job becuase he pulled his weapon without reason or suspicion other than he did not look at his log book. but the same place does not have this policy anymore. ***. The only time a weapon should be pulled in is a possible life threatening situation. not just because......

2. They just passed a law in my state. that LEO can kick a door in when serving a warrant with weapons drawn without knocking or making there presence known. This is unconstutional. This is just a prime example of MARTIAL LAW being put into place. What the **** is going on. We used to have rights. We used to have LEO that was here to "protect and serve". How is kicking my door down with weapons drawn where my kids sleep a form of protection. How is my right to provacy protected. How is my right to bear arms protected. Some guys kick my door down. I'm coming out shooting if they don't Identify themselves. So there will be cop deaths over this. but they'll put a positive PR spin on it to support why they need the Law the way it is.

Its martial law with CNN propaganda that makes me sick. Home of the free huh. Its disgusting. we don't need a revolution. We need a reform.
 

Devilweed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
222
Reaction score
11
THe local police forces are not trained for such military endevors anyways, what the **** are they doing giving them machine guns? SWAT are suppose to be specialy trained tactical teams for emergancies. But it is reasuring to know, that there are more jittery 20 year olds with big guns then ever!
 

Darkstar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Messages
60
Reaction score
5
Anybody ever seen the show Texas SWAT on CourtTV? If the suspect "supposedly" has a weapon they automatically bring 10 guys with fully automatic weapons, teargas, flash grenades, smash the windows and or rip them off along with the door.

Alot of them are testosterone filled muscleheads basically that love violence and enjoy deploying all these unecessary measures instead of even considering a more peaceful avenue to resolving the situation.

Then after every "mission" they say how they are keeping the streets safe and how they love their job cuz they can go home knowing they are making a postive difference.

I understand there are alot of violent people but I don't think it's right for them to call SWAT out as often as they do. Or maybe it's just the severe tactics that SWAT uses. They don't seem justified to me considering all the times they come out with no evidence. Or it's the wrong house. If the state is gonna start WW3 in somebodies house they better have solid evidence to back up that extreme of an action.
 
A

AceT9

Guest
Yea Darkstar i watch that all the time..i have seen a epsiode that was like what you describe ...some 'girl' had like a whole bunch of weapons...and they broke her windows, trhew flash gernades and flashed her pit bull :(
 

GanjaGuru

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2005
Messages
1,209
Reaction score
129
During the last 2 elections for county sheriff where I live there has been a candidate who wanted to turn the sheriff's dept. into a para-military type op, complete with black masks and battering rams, flash grenades, etc., running against a guy who espoused "community policing"--where the citizens view the cops as allies instead of someone to be feared.
For instance, if I saw someone seliing meth to a minor, if I feared the police I'd keep my mouth shut. If I could speak to a cop I viewed as a ally, I'd be more inclined to do so.
The community policing candidate, Lorac Craig (a **** of a nice guy) won.

One of the advantages of living in a sparsely-populated area, if you're not "a bad guy", the cops pretty much leave you alone.
I know most of the cops in this county (there's about a dozen patrolmen) from seeing them in line at the bank, shopping at the supermarket (there's only 1 supermarket in the county), at the gas station, etc. When I see them on patrol I wave; they wave back.
In a sparsely populated area, the cops get to know "the bad guys"--the people involved in meth, burglery, recieving stolen property, domestic abuse, iv drug users, habitual drunks, etc--quickly.

I used to live on a major highway in this county. Once I heard my dog barking and I went outside and there were 2 attractive girls--about 20 years old, hippies on the road--hitchhiking.
They saw me and 1 girl asked if she could use my bathroom and I said sure, showed her where it was, then offered them both a soda, and of course I packed a bowl to share.
After chatting for a few minutes (10 or 15) we said bye and they went back to hitchhiking and I went back inside and jumped back on the internet.
About 15 minutes later I hear a cop radio, look out the window and see a patrolman. We knew each other by sight tho we had never met.
I saw "What's up?" He tells me someone (I'm pretty sure who) called and reported that they saw 2 young girls go into my house and not come out.
I say C'mon over to the front door and I'll let you in.
I open the door, invite him in and he's apologizing, saying "I'm sure you understand if you've got kids why I have to check" and I say no problem and explained what happened (leaving out the part about getting high with the girls).
He really didn't look around that much. He knew I wasn't "a bad guy". I didn't worry about him seeing my glass piece on a tray next to a half-smoked bud sitting on my computer table.
He keeps apoligizing and of course they girls weren't there. We shake hands and he leaves.
It was a wonderful non-event.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
**** swat. The self-titled best of the best and they can even go into Columnbine because they are afraid of getting shot. Pussies.
 

Rambo4104

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2006
Messages
44
Reaction score
3
I think you watch to many movies^ becuase your obviously uneduacated about guns, and the reason they didnt go in was because they werent able to identify where, and how many shooters were in the building, and profesionals dont leave there lifes to "well maybe", *******.​
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Rambo4104 said:
I think you watch to many movies^ becuase your obviously uneduacated about guns, and the reason they didnt go in was because they werent able to identify where, and how many shooters were in the building, and profesionals dont leave there lifes to "well maybe", *******.​
Easy Rambo, you sound like a great cop in the making. I have been an avid hunter for the better part of my life, and needless to say I have handled, loaded, fired and cleaned numerous rifles and handguns. I also know, for instance, that Swat teams use flack jackets capable of stopping bullets fired from a 9mm submachine gun and carry M16s, which flack jackets do not stop. They weren't able to tell where the shooters were because they never even went into the building until the duo had killed 13 people, wounded many others, and killed themselves. Professionals in the field of civilian protection DO leave "there" lives to "well maybe." It's called courage, and if you want a damn good example of it, think back to 9/11.
 

Inmediusre

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
70
Reaction score
20
GanjaGuru said:
During the last 2 elections for county sheriff where I live there has been a candidate who wanted to turn the sheriff's dept. into a para-military type op, complete with black masks and battering rams, flash grenades, etc., running against a guy who espoused "community policing"--where the citizens view the cops as allies instead of someone to be feared.
For instance, if I saw someone seliing meth to a minor, if I feared the police I'd keep my mouth shut. If I could speak to a cop I viewed as a ally, I'd be more inclined to do so.
The community policing candidate, Lorac Craig (a **** of a nice guy) won.

One of the advantages of living in a sparsely-populated area, if you're not "a bad guy", the cops pretty much leave you alone.
I know most of the cops in this county (there's about a dozen patrolmen) from seeing them in line at the bank, shopping at the supermarket (there's only 1 supermarket in the county), at the gas station, etc. When I see them on patrol I wave; they wave back.
In a sparsely populated area, the cops get to know "the bad guys"--the people involved in meth, burglery, recieving stolen property, domestic abuse, iv drug users, habitual drunks, etc--quickly.

I used to live on a major highway in this county. Once I heard my dog barking and I went outside and there were 2 attractive girls--about 20 years old, hippies on the road--hitchhiking.
They saw me and 1 girl asked if she could use my bathroom and I said sure, showed her where it was, then offered them both a soda, and of course I packed a bowl to share.
After chatting for a few minutes (10 or 15) we said bye and they went back to hitchhiking and I went back inside and jumped back on the internet.
About 15 minutes later I hear a cop radio, look out the window and see a patrolman. We knew each other by sight tho we had never met.
I saw "What's up?" He tells me someone (I'm pretty sure who) called and reported that they saw 2 young girls go into my house and not come out.
I say C'mon over to the front door and I'll let you in.
I open the door, invite him in and he's apologizing, saying "I'm sure you understand if you've got kids why I have to check" and I say no problem and explained what happened (leaving out the part about getting high with the girls).
He really didn't look around that much. He knew I wasn't "a bad guy". I didn't worry about him seeing my glass piece on a tray next to a half-smoked bud sitting on my computer table.
He keeps apoligizing and of course they girls weren't there. We shake hands and he leaves.
It was a wonderful non-event.
The end of that showed me a glimpse of the way the police force should be. The danger here is not the pot, but two possible missing girls. If it were my town, they would have forgotten the girls, and charged me with possession (with intent to sell) since I had more than a quarter ounce of pot on me.

I wish i could have a beer with that cop you just decribed, cause he sounds like a damn decent guy.
 

Mutt

Just a Dawg
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
9,329
Reaction score
5,017
Waco, TX.

Now this is not meant to start a debate or aurgument. just s simple way to look at it.
Lets forgt all the stuff that surfaced after the incedent about koresh and shit. I want to look at the actual start of the incedent itself.

Here we had a group of people.
They practiced there right to freedom of religeoun.
They were practicing there right to bear arms.
They were practicing there right of Privacy.

The ATF went in. Issued warrants, stormed the place and burnt it to the ground. Killed women, children, and whole familys were lost.

Thats the way it went.

Then all the stories and witnesses surfaced. but look at what happened. This should scare people.

This is not a bash on the men and women in uniform. its the policies and laws. Remeber its the cops doing there jobs that the politicians put into place. I think we are all too quick to judge a person due to uniform. but the fact is simple they are ordered by politicians to uphold the law. So lets not point fingers at the uniform but at the suit and tie sitting at the desk on the other end of the phone.
 

Rambo4104

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2006
Messages
44
Reaction score
3
David Koresh started a cult in which he claimed to be god in human form, he held regular church meetings, and did all the stuff that your average christian would do, except that he claimed he was god, he was seen often to carry an AK47 aroud with him on the compound then his interests turned to collecting weapons, including but not limited to:
AR15 upper receivers, and complete parts kits( a few dozen i believe)
AR15 receivers(which he planeed to mill down to M16 receivers)
AK47 rifles(he slotted the right rail, and drilled the 5 & 7mh holes for the auto sears, making them machine guns)
Bought hundreds of dummy grenades which he tryed but failed to reactivate, and the ones he got to work were overly sensitive, and were never used for that reason

and hundreds, i mean HUNDREDS of other weapons, hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammuniton(they found one room literally filled, with ammunition)

then he decided to start training to kill everybody int he town who didnt beleive int here religion,

now, the FBI started watching them when a company noticed koresh was buying cratefulls of uppers(uppers go for around 300-1000 apiece, its hard to miss that much money), yet wasnt a firearms manufactuer(its legal to build your own semi automatic firearms without registering them) so they sent in an agent, and the raid began when he claimed his plans to massacre the city, some of th kids remember helping there parents loads magazines when the raid started, so these people werent innocent(except for the kids), they had plans, the will, and the weapons to follow through with there plans.
 

Mutt

Just a Dawg
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
9,329
Reaction score
5,017
I never said he was innocent. I said that he had the right to bear these arms. He had the Right to claim he was god. Crazy as it may seems. but he did have the right. He had rights. That is my point. Yeah, he was an extremest. Yes, he was a possible threat. Thats all I'm saying. I'm not taking his side, but I'm not condoning our systems way of handling things either.
It all starts somewhere. where it doesn't matter, but when we start getting stripped of our rights in any way shape or form we should be scared.
 

bmello

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
168
Reaction score
4
It is called exigent circumstances, and they can use it if they can prove that it was exigent to not knock first. I took a few law classes...
 

bmello

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
168
Reaction score
4
In a Virginia suburb of Washington earlier this year, an optometrist being investigated for betting on sports was standing unarmed outside his town house, offering no resistance, when a SWAT officer's rifle discharged and killed him.
A very close friend of mine's uncle had been in LA on halloween at a very rich house for a party and had a fake gun and a cop shot him in the back, they found it to be a reasonable shooting!!!?
 

Rambo4104

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2006
Messages
44
Reaction score
3
they protect there own, and incarserate all others, you dont need law school to know 90% of the moderm american government is based on racism, unreaseonable stereotypes, and bullshit.
 

purple_chronic

PR 4 LIFE...
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
345
Reaction score
19
Shit one of my best friends got snitched and the cops got him with 6 ak47(rifles) after he gets to jail his family got money and posted bail untill the final decision in court and this monday SWAT came to his house(at night) like with 50 cars with an arrest order 4 selling guns but they cant just take 4 the same thing twice they started to hit and scream to him in his house(in front of little brother and parents) and he didint do anything those sales were old much before he got to jail after that they took him and had to let him go with a uuhh i really dont know whats it called in english but its that black block on his ankle the point is that he was already on trouble whats the point of taking SWAT to just make an simple arrest, 50 cars thats alot of cops i just think that it was unfair to make all his family have a bad night just cuz the couldnt make a normal arrest they had to bring 50 cars of SWAT units just 4 an 21 yrd that was sleeping in his house... these people r loosing control seriosly...
 

Latest posts

Top