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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Swat Madness


     On May 16, 2010, a Detroit SWAT team in search of a murder suspect, tossed a flashbang grenade into the first-floor apartment occupied by 7-year-old Alyana Stanley-Jones and her grandmother. As the officers stormed into the house, one of the raiders, amid the chaos, shot the little girl in the throat. She died shortly thereafter. A film crew with the television network A & E was on hand filming the raid for a segment of the true crime program "The First 48." (This is a show about the first 48 hours of a homicide investigation.) As it turned out, the murder suspect, Chauncey Owens, lived in the apartment above the one the SWAT team entered. Surely there had been an opportunity to arrest the suspect on the street minimizing public danger. The pursuit of officer safety should not trump public safety.


     In Stockton, California on June 7, 2011, a 15-officer SWAT team broke into Kenneth Wright's home at 6 AM to execute a search warrant pursuant to his wife's defaulted student loans. The state department of education has asked for the raid. The police grabbed Mr. Wright and muscled him out to his front lawn in his boxer shorts where he lay on the ground with a knee in his back. The arrestee, with no criminal record or history of violence, had no idea what was happening to him. The police placed him in handcuffs and sat him in a hot patrol car for six hours. Mr. Wright's three children, ages 3, 7 and 11, were also held in a police vehicle until the raiders completed their search.  No one in their right mind would support the added cost of a SWAT team had they foreseen how these militaristic units would be unleased on unsuspecting citizens like Mr. Wright and his family.


     In search of a rape suspect, an eight-man U.S. Marshal's SWAT team in Daingerfield, Texas terrified Jerry and Linda Robinson by breaking into their home at 7:30 PM on August 22, 2011. The home owners were held at gun point, not shown any identification, or told what was going on until the marshals realized they had raided the wrong house on an informant's bogus tip. The Robinsons didn't know the fugitive being sought and the man had never been in their house.  Predawn SWAT raids based on informant tips is  reckless, militaristic law enforcement. Shock and Awe tactics should be left to the military personnel engaged in real combat. 

1 comment:

  1. I knew a girl that the police broke into here house at 5 am in the morning.She worked for the Gov and retired she was raised in Nassau County Florida. The police shot her several times one time in the head.The Nassau county police Dpt & sheriffs Dpt.In the 1950's the Sheriffs office closed both bridges to get on the Island and let the KKK on the Island to scare the blacks and we just had a 17 year old black boy shot & killed and the police man is still on the job and he already killed someone in Jacksonville FL.So we need alot of changes in our Police Departments.