Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Smash-and-Shoot: SWAT Stupidity

The question's been asked before: are SWAT teams a good thing?

A Franklin couple are suing the Milwaukee Police Department, alleging that their constitutional rights were violated when a SWAT team stormed into their suburban home looking for illegal weapons and shot the husband

The police had obtained a no-knock warrant to search the home of Richard and Sharon Betker on Aug. 4, 2006. Neither had a violent criminal record, they owned their home, and they had no involvement with drugs, according to the suit ...

As it turns out, there's a pissing match between siblings which started this off.

Sharon Betker’s estranged sister called police and said there were weapons in the home and that Sharon Betker had threatened her sister in a conversation with the sister’s son. Sharon Betker denies the threat, and the suit says police did not question the nephew before getting the warrant. The sister had not been in the Betker home in more than four years.

The cops will tell you that SWAT ensures the safety of the cops. No doubt about it, folks, the cops are safe.

On the other hand, there are a lot of SWATs-gone-wrong, like this one.

And, gee, how did the cops ever survive, pre-SWAT?

Think about that.

Here's a convenient list of posts on the topic, from Balko.

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