Archive for the 'SWAT Raids' Category



Racine, Wisconsin SWAT Kills Tiny Dog

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Grab your britches.  You won’t believe this one.

NY Daily News:

A SWAT team sent to handle an alleged neighborhood dispute over dog waste ended up killing the dog, and igniting a firestorm of criticism against the local police force.

In dramatic video capturing the end of Saturday’s hours-long standoff involving Racine, Wisc. police, a small dog is seen being shot dead by a line of approaching officers moments after set loose.

Neighbor Kim Polk described the shooting as the result of one irate resident refusing to pick up after his dog when confronted by her, and then violently threatening to kill her own pooch.

It was that threat, first with a bow and arrow and then with a machete, that she said led to her family calling 911 and a SWAT team approaching the man’s home.

“When he finally decided to come out of the house he was irate upset and was telling the cops to get off his property that he was going to harm them, he was going to shoot at the cops,” Polk told Fox6Now.

Racine Police Chief Art Howell, in a statement released Sunday, said the unidentified dog owner threatened to kill the officers with an armor-piercing crossbow and to release his dog.

“After several hours of dialogue with crisis negotiators, the barricaded subject ultimately made good on his threat to introduce the dog into the active standoff,” said Howell in the statement obtained by Racine County Eye.

“After the dog was released, the dynamics of this encounter changed. Officers, who for over three hours were focused on peacefully resolving this crisis through dialogue, were now forced to deal with the distraction and unpredictability of having the subject’s dog moving through the scene of this active encounter at a critical time,” Howell continued.

The homeowner behind the dog’s release was reportedly arrested but his name and charges have not been immediately released. A request for comment from the police department was not returned.

Armor piercing cross bow.  The dynamics changed.  Unpredictability of having the subject’s dog moving.  It all sounds so serious according to the police chief.  Now take a hard look at the subject dog.

Racine_SWAT_Kills_Dog

What do you think the dog weighs?  Five pounds, perhaps?  Sure enough, the owner sounds like a loser, as much of a loser as the cops.  But it gets even better.  The cops shot the puppy while it was running away from the cops.  Don’t believe it?  Watch the video.

And the police chief is defending the actions of his force.  I have previously called cops who are frightened of farm animals (and who are afraid to be trained on them) pussies.  I stand by that charge.  But we’ve reached a point where cops are shooting animals for the pure love of violence, not much different than Latino gang members who behead for the fun of it.

Parents Of Baby Bou-Bou Say SWAT Raid Crippled Their Family

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

WSBTV:

The parents of a little boy critically injured when a police grenade landed in his crib are speaking exclusively with Channel 2 Action News.

They’re talking about a grand jury’s decision not to press charges against any of the deputies involved in the accident.

Channel 2′s Kerry Kavanaugh has been following story for months.

She traveled 800 miles to the boy’s new in Janesville, Wisconsin, where the family says they will continue to fight for justice.

The family told Kavanaugh that they felt like victims all over again when a grand jury announced they would not file criminal charges. They have been home in Wisconsin since July. Much has happened in the case since they left Georgia.

The family says they don’t believe the grand jury got the full story.

“It’s a relief to know we still have him alive,” his mother, Alicia Phonesavanh, said.

Two-year-old Bounkahm Phonesvanh, also known as baby “Bou-Bou,” is happy and energetic.

The toddler was burned and disfigured May 28 when a police grenade exploded in his crib during a mistaken SWAT raid on a Habersham County home.

“We want justice. We want fair justice for our family,” Alicia Phonesavanh said.

Alicia Phonesvanh and Bounkahm Phonesvanh said they feel a grand jury denied them that justice when they declined to criminally prosecute any of the deputies involved.

“The grand jury should have known the real, whole truth story before they make decision,” Bounkahm Phonesavanh, the boy’s father, said. “We read the report and when we had read that the grand jury had stated our children were in danger from the moment we moved in, my mind was blown. That’s a complete fabrication.”

The family doesn’t believe the jurors got the whole story.

“When we first saw him, I thought he was going to die,” Alicia Phonesavanh said.
Alicia Phonesvanh says that was five hours after the explosion.

“They had taken my son away in an ambulance without us knowing. They had told my husband and  I, ‘Your son is fine. He lost a tooth,’” Alicia Phonesavanh said.

Bou-Bou was burned and disfigured.

“It wasn’t a drug house. That’s why they didn’t find any drugs, no weapons, no suspects,” Alicia Phonesavanh said. “They’ve crippled my family physically; they’ve crippled my family emotionally. They’re crippling us financially.”

The family says Bou-Bou will have to have surgeries every couple of years because he has so much scar tissue.

They say doctors will also have to monitor his brain because he suffered a traumatic injury.

Queue it up.  No accountability even from the public via a grand jury, lies at the time of the raid (“He lost a tooth”), failed goals from the raid, a baby almost blown up, lies and coverup by officers of the court during the presentation of facts (i.e., the lawyers), and financially crippled innocent victims.

There you have it – that sounds about right for our corrupt and worthless criminal justice system.

Prior: Grand Jury Recommends No Charges In Georgia Police Raid That Severely Injured Toddler

Another Wrong Home SWAT Raid

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

News from Connecticut:

A New Haven man claims a SWAT team wrongly invaded his home and took him into custody for hours, according to a lawsuit filed against the New Haven Police Department, Chief Dean Esserman and the city of New Haven.

The lawsuit states that a New Haven SWAT team entered the Peck Street home of Joseph Adams on Oct. 21, 2013 throwing “flash bombs” and kicking in doors.

“So, I looked over the balcony and I saw two gun barrels and I was like, oh my God, I’m being robbed,” Adams said.

According to Adams and the lawsuit, he was taken into custody for two and a half hours while officers searched his home. Adams claims that he and a neighbor informed police that they were at the wrong apartment and needed to go to the apartment next door.

“I was like, ‘I think you want the guy next door.’ And they’re like, ‘why would you say that?’ I was like, ‘because I talked to him a while ago and he has a criminal record,’” Adams said.

The lawsuit states that Adams was released and the SWAT team took his next door neighbor, Bobby Griffin Jr., into custody under suspicion of murder. Several days later, Adams sought out an attorney.

“It feels like you’re living in a police state suddenly. The people who are supposed to be there to protect you are, you know, stomping down your door, throwing flash grenades into your house and goose-stepping their way over your freedom,” attorney Max Rosenberg said.

Adams told FOX CT that he filled out a form to request payment from the New Haven Police Department to repair damages in his apartment from the incident. He claims the department said there was no record of the incident ever happening.

We’re not suddenly living in a police state.  It happened gradually while the American public dumbed down their education, focused on football and dumb ass sitcoms at night time, and elected totalitarians to rule them and “take care of them.”

How nice, though.  This one has a new twist.  There is no record of the incident ever happening.  Of course there isn’t.

U.S. Court Will Not Block Lawsuit Over Connecticut SWAT Raid

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Reuters:

A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that Connecticut police cannot claim immunity to quash lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages from a botched 2008 raid by a SWAT team that severely injured a homeowner and killed his friend.

The decision by the U.S. 2nd Court of Appeals in New York clears the way for a judge to decide whether five suburban Connecticut police departments violated the constitutional rights of homeowner Ronald Terebesi by using excessive force.

On May 18, 2008, a heavily armed SWAT – or special weapons and tactics – team unit knocked down Terebesi’s door, threw stun flash grenades into his Easton home and fatally shot 33-year-old Gonzalo Guizan of Norfolk as the two men watched television.

Guizan, who was visiting the home, died after being shot a half dozen times.

“The court ruling here is going to be relied upon in other courts throughout the country,” Gary Mastronardi, a Bridgeport attorney who represents Terebesi, said on Tuesday. “They set up the parameters that define the extent to which qualified immunity can be asserted by police in SWAT cases.”

In a 51-page ruling that upholds a lower court decision, the appeals court said the police responded with unnecessary and inappropriate force and under the circumstances, are not protected by “qualified immunity” from the lawsuits.

Good.  Like I’ve said before.  If you are the police and you want to come into my home, call and make an appointment.  Otherwise, you may get shot.

This is the way it should be.  Engineers don’t get immunity when bridges collapse or systems malfunction, and doctors don’t get immunity when they leave surgical instruments inside of your body.

I hate incompetence.  I truly do.  And the incompetence in many SWAT teams we see today (piss poor rules for the use of force, no trigger discipline, no muzzle discipline, wrong addresses, etc.) is compounded by the indifference of police to the rights of citizens, as if no one has the latitude to press the issue of safety except law enforcement (for their own safety rather than yours).

One can only hope this ruling is used as precedent across America.  Now, if we could only get what reader Ned Weatherby calls Herschel’s law passed across these United States?

Police Departments Weigh In On The Use Of Military Gear

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

LA Times:

The department has posted the list, complete with pictures, on its SPD Blotter website. It includes floatation vests and binoculars, signage and gloves, pistol holders, a radiation detector and rifle sights “used by the approximately 130 officers who have passed the department’s rifle-certification program.”

“We have equipment that we feel is necessary for a city of our size,” Whitcomb told The Times. “The equipment we have serves a police purpose. Our No. 1 priorities are protecting people’s lives and looking after their well-being. Our second most important is looking after possessions and property.

“The gear that our department employees use … is primarily defensive in nature,” Whitcomb said. “Our equipment is police specific. We don’t have any military weaponry. The weapons we do own are specific to our profession. … No rockets, no predator drones, no cannons, no tanks.”

The department’s SWAT team does use a BearCat – an armored truck for situations where there may be gunfire, Whitcomb said, but such a vehicle is standard operating procedure for modern police departments.

“It’s used to get our personnel in and out safely, so we can rescue people and evacuate if necessary,” Whitcomb said. “You cannot do that in a sedan. Though we have put some armored plating on the doors in our cars. We also have purchased ballistic shields. It all goes back to the problem of gun violence in our country. … But ultimately we are a police service. We are not the military.”

This is a red herring.  Only seven percent of all SWAT deployments are for hostage, barricades or active shooter situations.

So here’s the deal.  To the Seattle Police Department, you are liars.  I don’t believe you since you invoked a rarely used justification for having SWAT.

What you really want to do is use SWAT to save evidence by busting in doors and invading homes.  Frankly, I don’t give a damn about your evidence collection.  Find another way, including the old fashioned use of detective work.  Or in other words, be thinking men and women rather than knuckle draggers.

You promise me that you’ll never use SWAT in incidents unless it involves hostages or active shooters, and I’ll take back my charge that you’re liars.

Any takers among the PDs who read these pages?  I’m waiting.

And by the way, that picture of the police “sniper” shows it to be absolutely the goofiest setup on a rifle I’ve ever seen.  I certainly wouldn’t use that setup.  You can read more here if you wish.  I’m just not interested enough to elucidate the details for you.  Readers may wish to weigh in.  And I wonder how the U.S. Marine Corps feels about this jerk wearing MARPAT?

Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claims They’re Private Corporations, Immune From Open Records Laws

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

Radley Balko:

As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s recent report on police militarization, the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. It received an interesting response.

As it turns out, a number of SWAT teams in the Bay State are operated by what are called law enforcement councils, or LECs. These LECs are funded by several police agencies in a given geographic area and overseen by an executive board, which is usually made up of police chiefs from member police departments. In 2012, for example, the Tewksbury Police Department paid about $4,600 in annual membership dues to the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, or NEMLEC. (See page 36 of linked PDF.) That LEC has about 50 member agencies. In addition to operating a regional SWAT team, the LECs also facilitate technology and information sharing and oversee other specialized units, such as crime scene investigators and computer crime specialists.

Some of these LECs have also apparently incorporated as 501(c)(3) organizations. And it’s here that we run into problems. According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they’re private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they’re immune from open records requests. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws. The state’s residents aren’t permitted to know how often the SWAT teams are used, what they’re used for, what sort of training they get or who they’re primarily used against.

The reddit comments are priceless:

If they are private corporations, then they shouldn’t have immunity from being sued. That’s just bullshit.

I believe the bigger issue is that if they claim themselves to be “private corporations” then they should have zero access to surplus weapons of war. If they want their tanks, they have to pay full price like everybody else. It’s cool, they’re a corporation, so you know they can afford it.  While we’re at it, we should probably get rid of their public funding. Nobody likes a Wellfare Queen.

Not to mention liscenses for all of those personally owned automatic weapons. Also demolitions licenses for all of those personally owned explosives.

Also, as private corporations if they show up at my doorstep with ill intent I can safely stand my ground.

Can you say “secret police?”  Or Gestapo?  This argument is the most crass, brazen, insulting thing SWAT could have done concerning truthfulness in law enforcement.  Not even Soldiers and Marines get to claim secrecy like this if they get charged with violation of the ROE.

And this certainly doesn’t comport with Herschel’s law (named by Ned Weatherby).  As for the Massachusetts SWAT teams, they have long ago lost the mandate of heaven.  When that happens, it’s not immoral to treat them like the criminals they are.

A SWAT Team Blew A Hole In My Two Year Old Son

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

By now you are all aware of the SWAT raid where in Cornelia, just outside of Atlanta, where cops threw a flash bang into a crib.  Here’s an update and first hand account, a perspective you need to hear.

After the SWAT team broke down the door, they threw a flashbang grenade inside. It landed in my son’s crib.

Flashbang grenades were created for soldiers to use during battle. When they explode, the noise is so loud and the flash is so bright that anyone close by is temporarily blinded and deafened. It’s been three weeks since the flashbang exploded next to my sleeping baby, and he’s still covered in burns.

There’s still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs. At least that’s what I’ve been told; I’m afraid to look.

My husband’s nephew, the one they were looking for, wasn’t there. He doesn’t even live in that house. After breaking down the door, throwing my husband to the ground, and screaming at my children, the officers – armed with M16s – filed through the house like they were playing war. They searched for drugs and never found any.

I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.

[ ... ]

As of the afternoon of 6/24/2014, Baby Bou Bou has been taken out of the medically induced coma and transferred to a new hospital to begin rehabilitation. The hole in his chest has yet to heal, and doctors are still not able to fully assess lasting brain damage.

So the officer prevented a mother from assisting her screaming child who had just had a hole blown in him, and lied to her about the condition of her child.  The man who did this deserves to be hung by his scrotum until it decays and falls off.  And unless you repent, you sorry sack of shit, God will not forget your actions.  You will pay for your sins.

But hey, the cops got to push around some folks, blow a hole in a child, perhaps inflict TBI, and go home safely at the end of their shift.  Mission accomplished.  I hope their mothers are all proud of what they’ve become.  Make sure, cops, to tell your mothers what you did that night.

Houston Police Department Raid Grandmother And Autistic Boy In Wrong Address Operation

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

The video has the complete story.  Notice the same elements I point to every time I link one of these sorry tales.  Lack of muzzle discipline (if you or I pointed rifles at someone we would be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon), lack of discernment, assumption that everyone is a criminal, destruction of private property, lose of confidence in the police, and refusal of the police to apologize or explain.

In fact, notice at the very end of the video.  The Houston Police Department obviously lied to the press, claiming that police never entered the home.  As I’ve said before in the context of the reflexive shooting of family dogs in SWAT raids (parroting one of my commenters), “if you need to speak with the occupant of the home, make an appointment.”  I don’t give a damn about your evidence-gathering.

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Wrongful Police Raid And Chum In The Water

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 1 week ago

Like sharks feeding on chum, there has been another wrongful police raid.

Cops stormed a Kalamazoo, Mich., house looking for a man named Chum — a drug dealer who apparently hadn’t lived there for a year.

The home’s current occupants, the Handley family, had no idea who Chum was.

But as a result of the police SWAT tactics — which involved kicking down the back door, ransacking every room and making the occupants feel like endangered victims — the two young Handley children now believe Chum is coming to get them, and have nightmares to that effect. They are also afraid of the police, according to WWMT.

“One dream was about Chum coming in our house with a gun saying ‘Get on the ground,” said 8-year-old Aurora Handley.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety burst into the home and handcuffed the parents.

“I thought it was someone trying to rob us or hurt us,” said Jeremy Handley, the father, in a statement.

The children hid in the closet while police moved from room to room trashing the premises in search of drugs and cash. They found neither.

After admitting they made a mistake and should have known that Chum no longer lived there, the cops gave the kids some stuffed animals. Aurora and Brenden appreciate the new toys, but they are still mortified.

Well, since the cops gave toys away everything is cool, I guess.  SWAT raid = toys for the kids.  Who could argue with such an arrangement?

Police Antics And SWAT-Capades

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 2 weeks ago

It’s a well worn category here, and that itself is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Amerika.  Here is the first report we discussed just recently.

HENRICO, Va. (WTVR) –Ruth Hunter, a 75-year-old woman, said she was tied up while State Police invaded her Henrico apartment.

She said officers told her during the raid what they were looking for, and court documents also show the information. She said she had nothing to do with the investigation.

Virginia State Police said a drug investigation is what prompted a Henrico County magistrate to issue a warrant for an apartment in the 5600 block of Crenshaw road.

The woman claims that officers ultimately arrested a man who lives two doors down from her.

“I thought someone was breaking in to rob or kill me,” Hunter said.

Seconds after her front door flies open Hunter said she heard a voice yell “Police!”

“…Took my hands with a tie-thing and said ‘You’re under arrest’ and started asking questions,” she recalled. “The more I told them I didn’t know these people, the more he continued.”

Hunter said that police left her apartment and went two doors down, while she was left handcuffed with a zip tie.

The fiancé of the man arrested says she was there at the time, and asked CBS 6 to hide her identity

“Just so happened they came to the apartment and they got it mixed up,’ she said.

The team left her zip tied because as you know, seventy five year old women are such an ever-present danger to law enforcement.  She could have thrown down with the best of them while they were busy doing other things, like going to the right house rather than grandmother’s place.

Next up, police in Miami-Dade badly beat a young man with Down Syndrome for packing a Colostomy bag.

Gilberto Powell says the police were following him in their cruiser as he was walking home. The police report says the officers decided to stop Gilberto after they noticed a “bulge” in Gilberto’s pants. After an officer tried to conduct a patdown, the report claims Gilberto attempted to flee.

Gilberto denies trying to run away and says he did everything the officer asked him to do. What happened next resulted in the photograph above.

After Powell was finally handcuffed and questioned, the officers realized he was “mentally challenged, was not capable of understanding our commands, and that the bulge in his waistband was a colostomy bag,” the report said.

By that time, Gilberto had been hit, knocked to the ground and the bag had reportedly been ripped from his body. The father says by the time he and Gilberto’s mother ran outside to their son, the cops had removed Gilberto’s pants and had him out there in his boxer shorts.

The mother asked the officer, “Didn’t you know he was a Down Syndrome kid?” to which the cop responded, “I’m not a doctor, I didn’t know.”

The family’s attorney Philip Gold said that it should’ve been immediately obvious that Gilberto has special needs.

If you just look at Gilberto, he 5-foot-3, 130 pounds with Down Syndrome, it’s 100 percent obvious he has Down Syndrome,” he said. It’s impossible to believe [the police's story] if you hear one word out of Gilberto’s mouth.”

Because even though Florida’s stop and identify statute applies only to prowling and loitering, 5 foot tall boys with Down syndrome and colostomy bags are such a danger to society.

Next up, news from Framingham.

A Boston television station reported Thursday night,  Framingham Police and members of the Massachusetts State Police raided the wrong apartment Thursday morning, when conducting a drug raid.

The police meant to raid 78A at 6 a.m. Thursday morning but instead raided 78B, which was occupied by a mom and her five children, ranging in age from 4 to 18.

Oh, what’s the difference, 78A and 78B?  The alpha-numeric characters are, after all, so similar.  I’m sure that officers pointed rifles at women and children just in case, you know, so they could be assured of going home safely at the end of their shift.  But don’t forget that we have history with the Framingham Police Department when innocent Mr. Eurie Stamps was shot to death by their SWAT team.

Finally, no door is safe with a SWAT team on the prowl.

Midland-A Midland family says they don’t feel safe in their own home after the Midland Police Department’s SWAT team kicked in their front door during last Friday’s tragic standoff.

The family is asking that the city fix the damages that were made to their door, but it could take several weeks before the city takes any action.

For the past four nights, Cesar Reyna and his girlfriend have not been able to sleep in peace knowing that at anytime someone could walk right through their front door.

“I worry for the safety of my son, anything can happen whenever,” said Reyna. “Anybody can just walk into my house, it’s just uncomfortable.”

When Reyna got home from work last Friday night, his front door was wide open and police officers covered his front lawn.

“I came out and talked to them [police officers] and they said they had kicked it in, but they wouldn’t tell me why,” said Reyna.

According to Sarah Higgins,  the Public Information Officer for Midland, the SWAT team knocked on the door several times before kicking it in. She said the team had to evacuate the home being that it was right across the street from were the standoff took place.

Reyna and his family were told to call the City’s Safety and Risk Management department to file a claim for the damages that were made to their door, but when they did make the call they were told their case wouldn’t be reviewed until May 13.

These folks weren’t just on some correct or incorrect raid party list.  They lived across the street from the raid party.  They had the misfortune of living in the wrong place, and the SWAT team decided to bust in their door, and are now guilty of breaking and entering, trespassing, violation of due process rights, violation of rights against illegal search and seizure, destruction of property, vandalism, and so on the list could go.  But hey, they got to go home safely at the end of their shift.

The saddest part about all of this is that no judge in America, local, state or federal, so much as gives a damn about any of this.  They all play for the same team.  And in anticipation of comments concerning the root cause of this sorry state of affairs, it isn’t either police or judges (or politicians, for that matter).  It’s not either-or.  It’s both-and.  All participating parties are culpable for the moral obscenity and the grotesque, twisted monster that has become our system of justice.  Let the fan boys from PoliceOne.com chew on these things for a while.


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