Police Militarization And The Challenge For The Courts

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 7 months ago

Joanne Eldridge at PoliceOne.com waxes on about how the militarization of police tactics in America is okay because the courts provide a balance.

The American legal system is capable of providing independent evaluations of — and crafting remedies for — police excesses and overreaching when those occur. The criminal justice system provides for probable cause review by independent judges or magistrates prior to the issuance of warrants. If such warrants result in charges, the system provides for speedy judicial review of police actions. For those cases lacking in probable cause or that represent egregious abuses of authority, civil rights statutes provide for injunctive remedies and monetary damages against offending police departments and individual officers.

Joanne is living in a pipe dream.  She supplies a few examples of monetary settlements for violence perpetrated during SWAT tactics, but even those are few and far between.  As I’ve said before, you could get most judges to sign warrants declaring the moon to be made of green cheese.

The courts have thus far failed to stop the outright homocide of Mr. Eurie Stamps (and the officer who perpetrated this homicide was exonerated), the routine killing of family pets, routine SWAT raids on wrong homes, the hurling of insults and profanities at children and the elderly during SWAT raids all across the nation, and many other atrocities in the name of law enforcement.

But perhaps the most interesting thing about the article is the comments by police or former police.  One commenter remarks that “The only point this article serves is to highlight the author’s obvious infatuation with civilian review boards. Civilian review boards have no place in law enforcement.”

Joe319 questions, “I wonder if Balko is willing to put up and be the front through the door during the serving of a warrant for these “non-violent” offenses?”

Well, here is your answer, albeit from me instead of Balko.  You have constructed a straw man argument.  You assume that those tactics obtain, and thus the danger they represent is to everyone – or so your argument goes.  A critic should be willing to sustain the danger before he is free to criticize.

But if that were true, I would have to be a murderer or thief in order to comment on the crimes of murder or stealing.  Value judgments inform our understanding, not being at the front of a stack entering another man’s castle.

Now to the main point.  The tactics don’t have to obtain.  You don’t have to use them.  You can use your brain instead (do they teach that at police academy any more?).  You can do detective work, find out when he is going to leave his home and the domicile empty, and arrest him as he opens the door to his car or walks down the street.  His home will be unoccupied then and not a danger to anyone, you or his family.

There now.  See, I reached a different conclusion because I started with a different presupposition.  You do understand the word presupposition, don’t you?  Dumb ass.  Oh.  And if you ever bust down my door in some wrong address raid you’re liable to get riddled with green tip 5.56 mm rounds, right after my dog sinks her teeth into your jugular vein and you begin to bleed out.  And I won’t shed a tear for you and don’t care how many drug arrests you’ve made.  I don’t see you as some kind of hero.

Prior: Counterinsurgency Cops

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9 Comments on "Police Militarization And The Challenge For The Courts"

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Me
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Umm, ALL police who are not active duty military ARE civilians.

Enough with the playtime Rambo.

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Mt Top Patriot
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Watching this disgusting human behavior upon the part of the government unfold, I have a few observations to share. There is another presupposition. It involves a society constructed upon the rule of law. A civil society. That when that construct of civility is deconstructed, where the rule of law becomes the rule of men, control by men who are officials of that system of rule of law, no one is safe in their most sacred of places, their home and person. Lets suppose here for the sake of argument, those who precipitate the violation of ruthless violent invasion of a man’s castle under the pretense it is for the lawless invaders safety, is it, beyond reason then, the constraints of civility become moot, there are then no civil constraints upon anybody, and it becomes a matter of fact the invaders of homes themselves become invaded in turn? It is something to ponder with great reserve, how it would be for such violators of the entrusted protections of the rule of law to have the tables turned on them? Where does this end? The ageless axiom of careful what you wish for is a profound cautionary tale for the timeless argument… Read more »
Heyoka
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MT Top Patriot: The British soldiers who were involved in the Boston Massacre were tried for their part. They were found not guilty but it was by a colonial court and colonists decided their fate, thanks to John Adams, it was proved that they were indeed attacked and used self-defense. The point is that they were tried, which is more than we get from judges and prosecutors today. There are two points to speak on here. 1. US v Bad Elk: the case involved a deputy that had trouble with his superior. The superior sent other deputies out that day to get Mr. Bad Elk. Bad Elk was in fear of his life and expressed his concerns stating he would come in the following day but not with them men who appeared to be an immediate threat. A gun fight ensued and Bad Elk shot one or more of the deputies. In its rendering, the Supreme Court said, in short, a person has the right to resist an unlawful arrest even if it results in the death of the officer. This right to resist also includes the right to resist excessive force that may result in serious bodily injury. Now… Read more »
Mt Top Patriot
Guest
Dear Heyoka, No system of totalitarianism, no self respecting tyrant, and ruling class worth it’s salt has never failed to paint it’s potential enemies guilty of the crimes it commits to rule with an iron fist. But as a guy who knows first hand said: “You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again.”- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Thus: “Tyrants have no problem dealing with people who are willing to die for their principles. They will happily kill them to achieve their goals. Where they fail is with the people who are not only willing to die for their principles but are willing to kill tyrants in righteous self defense of those principles, and their property, liberty and lives.” — Mike Vanderboegh I see the scope of the lawless disregard for The Rule of Law expanding exponentially by the day by the very nature of corruption of the elites lust to retain absolute power. And if left to it’s own devices it will never stop. Nothing will then be beyond the pale. Simple as that. No sense… Read more »
Yuri
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The Rule of Law is dead. Behave accordingly.

mac
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To all above………WELL STATED!!

Mark Matis
Guest

You say:
You can do detective work, find out when he is going to leave his home and the domicile empty, and arrest him as he opens the door to his car or walks down the street.
But even when they do THAT, the pigs still shoot:
http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2013/07/florida_man_shot_while_getting.php

NOTHING will change for the better until enough dead pig corpses are stacked in the streets. And don’t expect the Oath Keepers to do anything other than back up their Brothers in Blue when the festivities start. They have already admitted that Clapper and Obama have committed treason. But what are they doing besides buying ads? Just how much treason do their Masters have to commit before they do jack shit?

Roger J
Guest
This response is directed to “Me”, author of the first comment above. Yes, technically police officers ARE civilians. When the US Army occupied western Germany in 1945, the German police were not taken prisoner (except for Gestapo, the political police) and were utilized to help maintain order. The difference here is that so many American police officers seem to think they are military and that the Bill of Rights (the little that remains of it) does not apply. In short, the police are “Us” and those of us who don’t wear badges are “Them.” As American cops get military cast-offs from the Armed Forces, and military training, I see this chasm deepening. When SWAT was introduced, its use was limited to confrontations clearly beyond the capability of officers as currently trained and armed, for example the siege of the “Symbionese Liberation Army” terrorists in California. Now SWAT teams are deployed on a daily basis to deal with situations that formerly only required one cop and a badge. No wonder the violence level of these encounters is being ratcheted up. When the US Department of Education sends its SWAT team to raid a home over student loan fraud, one has to… Read more »
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You are currently reading "Police Militarization And The Challenge For The Courts", entry #11171 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Police,SWAT Raids and was published August 28th, 2013 by Herschel Smith.

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