Monday, November 27, 2006

Police Para-Military Raid Errors and Omissions

Here's the map showing all the "ooops" raid locations (keyed for type of damage, if any) and here's the place to go to purchase the pamphlet (Cato Institute) with more information.

Meantime, here's the Executive Summary:

Americans have long maintained that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.

This paper presents a history and overview of the issue of paramilitary drug raids, provides an extensive catalogue of abuses and mistaken raids, and offers recommendations for reform.

Cato is interested in seriously reducing narcotics laws (yah--they're sort of a 'respectable' Cheech & Chong) so it's easy to figure out why Cato publishes this information.

On the other hand, drug raids or no, Stupid Cop Tricks should never include "wrong address" details which lead to killing civilians.

Peoplw who make such "errors" should be fired on the spot, and then prosecuted.


Anonymous said...

One is always conflicted when dealing with dope smokers and pushers making a sane argument. (This is why I stopped subscribing to NR 6 years ago. 3 issues in a row on dope.)

One would think that a lot of the blame here has to be on RICO. Would we even be having this discussion if RICO wasn't in effect? I'm no apologist for dope smokers - in fact I find their behavior degenerate - but my goodness, hand them the ticket and be on your way. If your typical dope smoker got thirty $250 tickets in a year, we would probably have fewer of them.

Dad29 said...

This is "dealer" raids--not just smoking on the street.

That's the reason for the para-military and violent entry. It may be RICO, but more likely it's a "macho" thing.

Frankly, I have no use for drug dealers of any sort. If they happen to die, too bad.

However, smashing into a WRONG ADDRESS, or killing/wounding innocents, simply should not be tolerated.

Anonymous said...

...White House security precautions were so lax that on April 3, 1956, a somewhat disoriented Michigan woman detached herself from a White House tour and wandered through the building for four hours, setting small fires. When found, she was taken to the kitchen and given a cup of tea. No charges were filed...

Then, and now.

Copied from:

Anonymous said...

See: Commandos