Archive for the 'SWAT Raids' Category



Virginia State Police Raid Wrong Address

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 4 weeks ago

WTVR.com:

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.

State Police cite an ongoing drug investigation as why they can’t comment any further.

Ms. Hunter doesn’t say, but I suspect the LEOs pointed rifles at her head.  They can’t comment any further because they screwed up, and we wouldn’t want the public to get wind of things like this, would we now?  They may start to question why we have to do raids like this in the first place.

At 75 years old, it’s seriously in doubt that she posed any threat to anyone, much less the police, and the fact that she was zip tied is obscene.  Hey, but at least the LEOs got to go home safely at the end of their shift, and that’s what’s really important, right?

NYPD Tangles With Vicious Killer Parakeet

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 3 weeks ago

DNAinfo New York:

ST. GEORGE — A Staten Island woman has sued the city claiming police entered her St. George home without a warrant, beat her family and killed her beloved pet parakeet, according to court documents.Last year, Evelyn Lugo’s bird, Tito, was thrown from his cage after it was knocked off a dresser as cops came into her Corson Avenue home, the Daily News first reported.

The officers then stepped on the bird intentionally, killing it, court documents say.

Officers also beat two of Lugo’s sons, her daughter and a family friend, the lawsuit claims.

According to court documents, police entered Lugo’s home on Sept. 2, 2012, as her family was celebrating Labor Day.

Police stopped and questioned her son Edwin Avellanet as he was outside throwing out garbage and asked for identification, the lawsuit says. When he refused to show any, officers allegedly grabbed his right arm and Avellanet broke free and ran into the building.

Officers broke windows of the home, and when Lugo opened the front door she was thrown outside by police, court papers say.

When inside, police allegedly struck Avellanet two or three times with a hard object, struck their friend in the face and threw a woman into the dresser with the bird cage on it, court documents say.

Police then allegedly pepper sprayed Lugo’s daughter and son, according to the documents.

Lugo’s son, daughter and family friend were arrested and all three were taken to Staten Island University Hospital in custody.

They were treated for multiple facial lacerations and lacerations to the head. Lugo’s daughter was also treated for an asthma attack, the court papers say.

All charges were eventually dropped and sealed by Richmond County Supreme Court, the lawsuit says.

Lugo could not be reached for comment on the story.

The city’s Law Department did not say why police entered the home last year, or what charges were lodged against the family, but said they’re reviewing the case.

“We will review the allegations in the complaint, which at this point are merely allegations,” a spokeswoman for the department said.

But what isn’t “merely allegations” is that the family was beaten up, as we can ascertain from the lacerations.  And apparently there is a dead parakeet.

Look, I know what you’re thinking, but here is the scoop on the event.  That parakeet could have been concealing a weapon, or worse, it could have gotten into a pecker fight (um, excuse me, I guess we would call it a bill fight) with the cops.  This could have been worse than a bull terrier going after the cops.  And as it stands now, at least they got to go home safely at the end of their shift.

That’s what really matters, after all.  As for the parakeet, perhaps he shouldn’t have resisted arrest.  All dogs and parakeets involved in police raids reflexively get shot by cops unless they roll over or run away.

Eighty Year Old Man Shot Dead In Bed By L.A. County Sheriff

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

KTLA5:

The wife of an 80-year-old man who was shot dead by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies in a mistaken meth lab raid is planning to sue the county for $50 million, she said.

On the morning of June 27, detectives raided the couple’s home in unincorporated Littlerock, serving a search warrant granted because the property allegedly smelled of the ingredients used to make methamphetamine, according to sheriff’s department officials.

There’s a dispute about what exactly happened at the home in the 36600 block of 117th Street East (map), east of Palmdale, but Eugene Mallory ended up dead, shot six times.

No evidence of a meth operation was ever found, though sheriff’s officials say marijuana was found on the property.

On Friday, attorney James Bergener plans to announce his filing of a civil lawsuit on behalf of Mallory’s widow Tonya Pate against the sheriff’s department and the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, which Pate says released Mallory’s remains to an out-of-state relative. Pate will ask for upwards of $50 million.

During the June raid, Mallory raised a semi-automatic handgun in response to deputies, who fired on him, the sheriff’s department said at the time. Two guns were recovered at the scene, according to sheriff’s department spokesman Steve Whitmore.

“Age does not preclude somebody from being aggressive toward deputies,” Whitmore said. “The lesson here is… don’t pull a gun on a deputy.”

Pate said Mallory, a former engineer with Lockheed Martin, respected law enforcement and would never have used a gun against officers.

“He would never point a gun at officers,” said Pate, 48. “Every day I stay in that house with that bloody bedroom … where I know he was taken from me for no reason.”

Mallory did own two guns that were in the house, Pate said. She said his glasses were beside his bed when he was killed, and could not have seen because of poor eyesight.

“He was shot in his bed before there was any warning given,” Bergener said..

Marijuana was found on another part of the property where Tonya’s lived, she said.

“There was a drug operation that was certainly going on in this house,” Whitmore said.

There was a drug operation that was certainly going on in the house.  Certainly.  Even though there is no evidence, because, certainly.  And shut up, they explained.

I have noted before the exigent conditions that can obtain in situations of home invasion – and a police raid is a home invasion – including the fact that wearing police insignia and tactical gear and announcing themselves as police is a favorite method of the serious criminals now.  Poor eyesight is yet another condition.  The Sheriff’s department has no way of proving that Mallory knew they were LEOs.  Mallory cannot be reached for comment.

But then this condition obtains in most situations, doesn’t it?  Can anyone ever know that those busting in the door are real LEOs?  Can anyone ever know that those shadows moving in the dark are not there to harm him?  Can anyone ever know – in the presence of flash bangs, gunfire, screaming and shouting and cursing – that they are not under threat by someone intending malice?

And listen to the takeaway.  “The lesson here is don’t pull a gun on a deputy.”  Because, you know, only LEOs get to be concerned about going home safely at the end of their shift.  Because, shut up.  Just lock up your damn guns since you can never be sure about anything.

Update On Mr. Eurie Stamps

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

Metrowest Daily News:

FRAMINGHAM — Two weeks before he officially left the Framingham Police Department, outgoing Chief Steven Carl disbanded the department’s SWAT team, about two and a half years after an accidental fatal shooting during a raid.

In a memo sent to the department on Sept. 26, Carl, whose last day was Friday, announced that the SWAT team was no more. Carl left to take a job as the new Assumption College director of public safety and campus police chief.

The head of the SWAT team, Deputy Police Chief Craig Davis also had his last day with the department on Friday. He starts as the new Ashland Police chief on Monday.

“Chief Carl disbanded the SWAT team and one of the main reasons articulated was that myself and Deputy (Steven) Trask did not have the training needed to lead the team,” acting Chief Kenneth Ferguson said on Friday.

The team came under scrutiny in 2011 when a Framingham man was accidentally shot and killed by SWAT team member Officer Paul Duncan in a drug raid on Fountain Street.

On Jan. 5, 2011, Duncan shot Eurie Stamps Sr., 68, who was laying on the ground, when Duncan lost his balance and tripped, firing the M4 submachine gun once. The shot killed Stamps.

Police arrested Stamps’ stepson, Joseph Bushfan, who was the target of the raid that night.

The Middlesex district attorney’s office ruled the shooting was accidental. The Stamps family has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against Duncan and the town, partially blaming the town’s “policy or custom of grossly inadequate training and supervision of its police officers.”

After the shooting, Carl assembled a community panel to look at the shooting, and the chief instituted several policy changes after an independent probe of the team by SWAT expert Steve Ijames.

Some of the changes included reducing the team from 18 members to 12, increasing training and a mandate for officers to keep a firearm’s safety on until the weapon is needed.

Yes, you read that right.  After defending their SWAT team and its tactics, they disbanded the team because they didn’t have the necessary training to lead the team.

Briefly recall what happened.  Completely innocent Mr. Eurie Stamps was prone as he was instructed to be by the invading police, and Paul Duncan tripped over his prone body causing a sympathetic muscle reflex and firing his rifle into Mr. Stamps, killing him.

And yes, you read that right.  Rather than call the SWAT team murderous thugs, or Keystone Cops with rifles, “SWAT expert” Ijames recommended that weapons’ safety be put on.

Let that wash over you again.  In order to keep from shooting people, SWAT teams were then instructed to put their weapons on safe.  He found no fault with anyone involved with the event.  Think … about … that.  If this wasn’t true it would be so laughable as to be bad fiction.  IJames isn’t stupid – just a dishonest and awful man.  As for the leaders responsible for this awful invasion and murder – eh, off to new jobs.  Good as gold.  Got to tie up loose ends before riding off into the sunset.

In other news, Mr. Eurie Stamps couldn’t be reached for comment.

Prior:

The Moral Case Against SWAT Raids

Chicago SWAT Raid Gone Terribly Wrong

Modified SWAT Tactics After The Death Of Eurie Stamps

Jose Guerena Case Settled, Sheriff Dupnik Speaks

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

The case of Jose Guerena has been settled for what is purported to be $ 3.4 million.  It isn’t enough.  Sheriff Dupnik and all member of the SWAT team that crashed into Jose Guerena’s home that day and murdered him deserve to be in prison, or hanging from a rope.

Keep his mouth shut?  Why no.  Sheriff Dupnik isn’t that smart (via WRSA).

What I fear has been lost in this discussion is that the SWAT officers who serve this county are extremely judicious in their use of deadly force.

The Sheriff’s Department approved the formation of the first SWAT Team in Pima County in 1971. Since then, over more than 40 years, there have been more than 2,000 warrants served by the SWAT officers.

Deadly force has been used exactly one time during the serving of a warrant — in this case — even though SWAT is used in only the highest-risk cases.

That isn’t just fortunate happenstance.

When officers are considered for this highly trained unit, physical strength and shooting skill remain important assets. But the critical asset that trumps all others is the ability to practice restraint in the use of physical force coupled with critical thinking, which comes into play in identifying appropriate methods to resolve a tactical problem, whether it’s a hostage situation, a terrorist incident or a high-risk arrest. It’s called emotional intelligence, and it is the No. 1 priority in the selection process.

Words directly from the Sheriff writing in Arizona Daily Star.  And Dupnik is a liar.  He knows that what he said isn’t the truth, and he said it anyway.  That’s a sin.

I invite you to go back and watch the video again of the raid, and read the report(s).  Jose Guerena got off exactly zero (0) shots at the SWAT team, and the SWAT team killed him (Guerena had more self restraint that I would have in those circumstances).  In the end, no evidence was found linking him or his folks to any of the accused crimes.  The solution in matters such as this is to send a uniformed officer who knocks on the door and asks to speak to the owner of the home.  But the SWAT soldier-boys want to be cool.  You know what I’ve said about this.  Pulling off raids on Americans is cowardly.  If you want to be cool, sign up, get the training, and fly across the pond and do it for real like my son did.

But go back again and watch the video.  People are milling around as if nothing important is about to take place, loud music is playing, and the officers look like they don’t even have the discipline of teenagers playing paint ball.

Sheriff Dupnik is an ass clown, and so it’s appropriate that his SWAT team is comprised of ass clowns.  In this case, they’re ass clowns with guns and a badge, and that makes them dangerous and evil.

WRSA has contact information for the Sheriff.

Prior:

The Jose Guerena Raid: A Demonstration Of Tactical Incompetence

Further Analysis Of The Jose Guerena Raid

Sheriff Dupnik Speaks On The Jose Guerena SWAT Raid

Elitists And “Men In Black” SWAT Tactics

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Mike Vanderboegh has a link that should interest all of my readers.  He cites the horrible PoliceOne.com again.

“After this (SWAT) operation, I was fascinated by the social media discussion that blossomed among ill-informed knuckleheads who were certain that the government was taking over.”

[ ... ]

“What is it with this growing concept that SWAT teams shouldn’t exist? Why shouldn’t officers utilize the same technologies, weapon systems, and tactics that our military comrades do? We should, and we will.”

[ ... ]

“Black helicopters and mysterious warriors exist. They are America’s answer to the evil men that the anti-SWAT crowd wouldn’t dare face. We will make mistakes but we are duty-bound to do what we can to minimize the chances of mistakes occurring.”

[ ... ]

“I do believe to some degree that we SWAT operators should swathe ourselves in a cloak of mysteriousness….”

I’ll have more comments about this later, but it’s remarkable how bold and brazen PoliceOne.com has become at demonstrating to the world what kind of communists they really are.  But this snippet in particular interested me.

Black helicopters and mysterious warriors exist. They are America’s answer to the evil men that the anti-SWAT crowd wouldn’t dare face.

Now go back and read one LEO comment (see Steve Jarvis) to my article The Hazards Of A Militarized Police Force.

Guys like this sit around and talk shit about cops until they have something go wrong and then start screaming that the cops don’t show up quick (sic) enough.

So let’s overlook the fact that he needs to retake his English grammar classes.  I responded this.

Jarvis, I assure you. You will never see any of my readers “screaming” about the police not showing up quick (sic – quickly) enough. We don’t want or need your protection.

It’s laughable, really, how the SWAT teams see themselves as the savior-warrior of the American people, when in reality, no one I’ve talked to wants them around.  I admit that most of my readers have weapons … a lot of them.  But the idea that any of us would turn to a SWAT team rather than pick up one of our many, tactically positioned weapons in our home, is preposterous.

As a secondary point, the fact that we couldn’t also pick up one of our weapons at work (because of gun-free zones) is the only reason we are sitting ducks in the workplace.  It’s a problem that the government creates – and then pretends to solve.

Finally, I’ve seen commenters at reddit/guns (probably LEOs) who use slurs against people who would be so dumb (wink) as to clear rooms in their own home rather than hole themselves up and call the police.  I hope that you’re not one of those commenters, and I hope that you are not stupid enough to hole yourself up in a room and try to wait out a criminal, as if drywall is protection against a bullet.  I’ll speak more to this later as well.

Police Militarization And The Challenge For The Courts

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 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

Counterinsurgency Cops

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

CBS 60 Minutes recently did an absolutely fawning review of a police department in Springfield, Massachusetts, who claims to have implemented counterinsurgency tactics (hereafter COIN – Lesley Stahl incorrectly calls it a strategy, when it is more correctly a set of tactics, techniques and procedures).  You can watch the segment on your own time, but it’s worth pointing out that 60 Minutes didn’t do anything earth-shattering in this segment.  This is a fairly well known and well rehearsed report from 2012, and it is here that we will turn our attention.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) – It’s a story CBS 3 has been following - the success of a state and Springfield police initiative in the city’s North End.

Law enforcement and residents say it’s transforming their neighborhood and cutting crime by 68 percent.

“I wish every hotspot community could use it, it has changed the lives of people here,” said Jose Claudio, director of the New North Citizens Council.

Claudio has lived in arguably the city’s most dangerous neighborhood for more than 40 years.

But he and many others aren’t giving up on it.

“This is our city, this is our neighborhood, we need to all work together,” he said.

After a particularly violent week that claimed three lives in the fall of 2009, police and residents were finally fed up with the violence.

“It was, it was a wake-up call for all of us,” said state police Trooper Michael Cutone.

Cutone took a lesson from his time in the Army Special Forces in Iraq and applied them to the streets in the North End.

“Gang members and drug dealers operate very similar to insurgents…by paralyzing the community and instilling fear in the community,” Cutone said.

But it’s more than just locking people up.

“It starts with every neighbor, it starts with every resident of Springfield,” said Claudio.

Claudio invites people he knows involved in the community to weekly meetings. Community and religious leaders and Springfield and state police meet there to talk about recent arrests, complaints and programs that are helping teens.

Issues brought up at Thursday’s meeting led state police to a home on Washburn Street, where a group of kids has allegedly been terrorizing one family.

Cutone says all too often this neighborhood swallows young kids up into a world of fear and abuse.

And most of the time gangs are seen as the only way out.

“It’s very difficult for that young person to say ‘no’ and they get sucked into the gang, so we have to have a counter-message, and one of those counter-messages is Joseph Mendoza,” Cutone said.

CBS 3 first introduced you to Pfc. Joseph Mendoza last week just days after he had graduated from Marine Corp boot camp.

Since seeing his story as a North End kid staying out of trouble and succeeding, families have approached his mom on how they can do the same.

“First young man from this community to go to the student trooper program, a year later from that joins the Marine Corp,” said Cutone.

But his story is not the only one of hope and survival coming out of this neighborhood.

Some of the people that go to the weekly meetings have done time, learned the hard way and are now paying it forward in various ways.

“It’s very humbling and rewarding at the same time,” Cutone said.

Claudio says he knows that once this group continues to scrape away the crime, the people of the North End can turn a corner.

“If everybody takes that pride and makes it happen, this city will be the comeback city,” Claudio said.

C-3 policing is catching the attention of law enforcement all over the nation.

Since seeing its benefits, police from California and North Carolina have visited Springfield to learn about it.

Police in Paterson, New Jersey, have learned about the COIN approach allegedly used in Springfield, and are reaching out to their police department to obtain mentoring to adopt those same tactics.

Analysis & Commentary

The 60 Minutes report is more remarkable for what it doesn’t say concerning the application of COIN in America.  This didn’t begin in a vacuum.  The theoretical underpinnings for this approach have been in the developmental stages for a long time.

The so-called war on drugs was the casus belli for the militarization of the local police forces in the U.S., although it took time to effect the evolution far and wide.  Near the end of the campaign in Iraq, the favorite think tank of the left, the RAND Corporation, published a report in 2009 entitled Does The United States Need A New Police Force For Stability Operations?  In it, Seth Jones, et. al., conclude:

Weighing all considerations, the researchers concluded that the best option would be a 6,000-person hybrid force headquartered in the U.S. Marshals Service. The personnel in reserve status could be employed in state and local police forces so they would be able to exercise police functions in a civilian population daily and could be called up as needed.

The Marshals Service was deemed to have many of the requisite skills. However, its training and management capabilities would need to be expanded to take on this large mission, and it would have to recruit additional personnel as well. The annual cost, $637 million, is reasonable given the capability it buys. The cost savings in relieving military forces of these duties could be greater than required to create the SPF.

The Military Police option was attractive for a number of reasons, especially its capacity, training, and logistical capabilities, but its inability to engage in policing activities when not deployed was a major stumbling block. The Posse Comitatus Act precludes military personnel from exercising police functions in a civilian setting, and legislative relief might be difficult to get.

Not to be outdone or left behind, the military establishment has weighed in with papers advocating the use of U.S. troops for a similar mission on American soil.  One example, causing me forever to lose any respect for Small Wars Journal, was entitled Full Spectrum Operations In The Homeland: A Vision Of The Future, and SWJ followed this up later with Political Violence Prevention: Profiling Domestic Terrorists.  The former paper advocated the use of U.S. military troops for stability operations in America, while the later paper advocated the use of human terrain systems for profiling “domestic terrorists” (I discussed these papers here).

Just to ensure that we all knew that the full force of the think tanks was behind this effort, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point published Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right (via Western Rifle Shooters Association).  Several observations may be made at this point.  First, while the seeds for military operations on American soil by police and/or U.S. troops had been planted long ago, watching war occur for a decade across our television screens caused a change in those whose predilections would point them in the direction of waring on American soil.

This is how it is to be done, it was easy to conclude.  Social science with a gun: community involvement, town meetings, law enforcement knowledge of everyone all of the time, biometrics to track people (and especially men of military age), door kicking and killing as punitive measures, all sanctioned by the authorities and fully approved.  A new mission.  No longer will we merely perform constabulary duties.  We must rebuild our cities, bring stability, and ensure that the centralized planners work with the military leaders to guide us all.  The example has been set, and we’ve watched it unfold before our eyes for ten years.  It has been paraded across our television screens for years, and now we know how to do it.

Second, in order to effect this revised mission, they must have the same tactics, same military hardware, and the same doctrine.  Police involving the community sounds warm and acceptable to the uninitiated, but it has a dark underbelly.  The carrot and stick approach requires that they perform as COIN troops, as forces of occupation, to enforce their will.  War is, after all is said and done, the use of violence to enforce your will.

And this history of COIN in America has indeed been violent, partly because of the paradigm which guides the mission.  I know something about the mission because my son is a former Marine and conducted operations in Fallujah in 2007.  He performed counter-sniper operations, cleared rooms with an M4, cleared rooms with his Squad Automatic Weapon, performed satellite patrols, and operated an M2 aboard a helicopter targeting insurgents as they crossed over the Euphrates River into Fallujah after checkpoints had locked down the city.  Marine Corps 2/6 went into Fallujah hard in the summer of 2007, but there’s an interesting instance that demonstrates how SWAT teams operate in America.

The Marines had control of Fallujah, but on rare ocassion special operations would roll through the city on their way to Ramadi after bad actors.  On one such occasion when my son and one other Marine were coupled with Iraqi Police in one precinct, U.S. special operations based in Baghdad sped through his AO.  He stopped them, and emphatically stated, “If you ever speed through my AO like that again in an unmarked vehicle, without uniforms and insignia, I’ll light you up like a f****** Christmas tree and laugh while you bleed out.  You inform me the next time you’re in my AO.”

After that SO and the Marine Corps in Fallujah had a clear understanding and there were no more problems.  But special operations desires anonymity, all of the time.  I am unpersuaded that this is primarily for OPSEC or protection of families, since there is no anonymity for conventional Army or Marines.  But SWAT teams have taken on the same tactics in America, wearing hoods, prohibiting photography, and generally refusing to divulge their identities.

Hood1

Hood2

In Chicago SWAT Raid Gone Terribly Wrong, we discussed a case in which the Chicago SWAT team raided a wrong address, hurling profanity at the family, pointing weapons at children, and demanding that one eleven month old show his hands.  I later filed a FOIA request to find out the identities of the officers, and the request was denied.  To have divulged the identities of the officers would not comport with the paradigm of special operations.  But the problem runs deeper, and while we could run through the litany of dilemmas brought by the militarization of police in America, we’ll discuss it is three headings.

While SWAT teams have adopted the tactics of the military, they aren’t trained like the military.  One prime example of this is the death of Mr. Eurie Stamps.  Mr. Stamps was innocent of any wrongdoing.  The police of Framingham, MA., forcibly entered his home and forced him into the prone position on the floor.  One officer who had his finger on the trigger of his weapon stumbled over Mr. Stamps and discharged his firearm into the completely compliant Mr. Stamps, killing him.  My son has been trained to overcome the sympathetic muscle reflex to pull the trigger of his weapon if he stumbles, but SWAT teams have not been through such training, and will never sustain the pressure, get the training or be required to have such skills and abilities.

Max Velocity sums up the situation very well in his discussion of the horrible situation in which the head of a household finds himself in a SWAT raid.

Realizing that this is a Law Enforcement raid, you decline to open fire. The stack comes in through the door. If you decline to fight, you better drop that weapon before they see it, or they will riddle you with bullets. At this point, you are putting your trust in the restraint of the HIT team. They now own you, your house and your family. Remember, they are poorly trained and afraid. They want to go home at the end of their shift. Your safety is not really their concern, only as far as any liability goes. If they kill or injure anyone, they will cover it up and get away with it. You are encouraged to pursue these actions within the system of the courts, but there will never be any satisfaction to be had there. The courts are corrupt and stacked towards the HIT team.

Oh yea, and they just shot and killed your beloved family pet as they made entry.

Remember: It is very important to note that any danger created by the HIT raid is unnecessary and purely created by the actions of the HIT itself. The very methods they use are creating danger, in particular for the home occupants. The HIT is liable, pure and simple, for their unnecessary militarized actions. Any threat to “officer safety” is greatly overborne by the threat to civilian victim safety, and entirely avoidable by the use of civilized methods, as opposed to the current thuggery.

What to expect? If you are not killed immediately, you will have weapons pointed at you. You wife and kids will be rousted out of bed, the family dogs killed and laying around thrashing in front of them. Rifle barrels will be pointed at your family. Death is only a twitchy trigger finger away. You and your wife will be screamed at, cussed at, thrown to the ground and restrained. If you argue you will be tasered and beaten if not shot, until you ‘stop resisting.’ Anyone in your house who is slow to react, such as a handicapped adult looking relative or child, or an ornery old WWII veteran from the Greatest Generation, risks being shot and killed for not immediately complying with orders.

The HIT team now owns your house and your family. They will tear it apart looking for whatever it is they are looking for, even if it is the wrong address. Your kids will be segregated until a social worker arrives to take custody of them. They are now wards of the state until you are freed. You property will be torn up. You will be cussed at and threatened by HIT team guys looking like military in their full gear. They will take all your legally owned firearms and you will never see them again.

They are afraid, trigger happy, generally untrained to perform these functions, and poorly led.  In fact, SWAT teams in America will never rise to the level of control, discipline, leadership and training in special operations or the U.S. Marines.

Even if SWAT teams were trained like the military, their actions violate the fourth amendment of the U.S. constitution.  This is true even if they obtain bench warrants for said operations (although oftentimes they do not).  They operate with virtual impunity since their actions have judicial approval.  In other words, they can generally find a judge who will sign anything.  Without judicial approval for these tactics they would cease to exist, and thus the problem has its cancer deep into the fabric of the establishment.  Judges are usually very well know and deeply influential in their communities anyway, and they not only know about these tactics, they approve of them, both implicitly and explicitly.  The brutality with which the occupants of a home are treated is seen as collateral damage in a society that needs to be controlled with the application of force.

The application of force isn’t discriminatory.  The Pittsburgh SWAT dragged a ten year old out of the bathtub and made him stand naked next to his four year old sister at gunpoint.  The Detroit police were all in a tizzy over an art gallery.

The moment the assault rifles surrounded her, Angie Wong was standing in a leafy art-gallery courtyard with her boyfriend, a lawyer named Paul Kaiser. It was just past 2 A.M., in May, 2008. Wong was twenty-two years old and was dressed for an evening out, in crisp white jeans, a white top, and tall heels that made it difficult not to wobble. The couple had stopped by a regular event hosted by the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID), a red brick gallery with the aim of “turning Detroit into a model city,” and arrived to find a tipsy, jubilant scene: inside, gallerygoers were looking at art and dancing to a d.j …

Only then did masked figures with guns storm the crowd, shouting, “Get on the fucking ground! Get down, get down!”   Some forty Detroit police officers dressed in commando gear ordered the gallery attendees to line up on their knees, then took their car keys and confiscated their vehicles, largely on the grounds that the gallery lacked the proper permits for dancing and drinking.

A naked ten year old in a bathtub, dancing and drinking at an art gallery … these are the things occupying the SWAT teams of America. In the case of Brian Terry’s death, border agents initially fired bean bags at the killers.  Yet bean bags were precisely what killed a 95 year old innocent man in Park Forrest (via Mike Vanderboegh).

The old man, described by a family member as “wobbly” on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.

First they tased him, but that didn’t work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.

“The Japanese military couldn’t get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job,” Wrana’s family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday

Illegal Mexicans bent on killing, or a 95 year old veteran of WWII who had done no wrong.  Eh … what’s the difference?  Actually, the irony of these two cases is quite sad.  In the one situation that should garner our support for militarized policing – the border – the authorities are prevented from acting in a manner which would secure the border.  Illegal aliens are (a) promising votes for the Democrats, and (b) workers for Archer-Daniels-Midland and Monsanto as they scarf up family run farms, which they despise, while the American ratepayer and taxpayer foots the bill for medical care, uninsured motorist coverage, welfare and food stamps.  Illegal aliens are loved by the big corporations in light of the corporate welfare that we all pay, and an economic disaster for the balance of Americans.  The border is easy enough to secure, and remains open because the elite and powerful in both parties want it to be open.  So a better way to state this problem may not be that the use of force isn’t discriminating, but that it is discriminating according to the wishes of the power brokers in America.

Finally, the COIN narrative is false.  For those who are interested in the details of my assertions, see the category The Anbar Narrative.  This is a subject that Professor and Colonel Gian Gentile (of West Point) and I have discussed in detail together – that is, the Petraeus narrative is a happy story made for the masses who do not understand warfare.  Petraeus, it is said, stopped being brutal, befriended the people, brought peace to their neighborhoods, listened to the town leaders, and placed his folk in harm’s way in order to make the people safer and thus win hearts and minds.  Winning hearts and minds means that they give up the insurgents, and presto, counterinsurgency made easy.

But there is nothing easy about it, it didn’t exactly happen that way, and in the end more than a thousand Marines perished in the Anbar Province and more than 4000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines perished in Iraq.  Afghanistan was the campaign led by the social planners rather than a war fought by the NCOs and their men.  Thus we lost in Afghanistan.  Many tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and others perished in Iraq, and the scene on the street and in the countryside was brutal, bloody and awful.  The belief that the COIN narrative can be applied in America or any place else by coupling with the community is a myth, at least as far as that narrative has been told to America.

The police cannot apply such a paradigm in the hopes of ameliorating social and cultural problems, because the police and armed forces cannot change the soul of mankind.

Summary and Conclusion

The evolution of militarized police in America has its doctrinal roots long ago, but has seen an acceleration during the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The mission has evolved to one of COIN and stability operations, but this is a mission too far for constables.  No constabulary operation or operations can possibly bring cultural change to a community.  Thus the police have become occupational forces, without the training, discipline or leadership of the military, but with veritable impunity and complete judicial approval for their actions.

The use of force is indiscriminate, and armed invasion teams are being used to enforce trivial warrants that at one time would have been enforced by uniformed officers acting wisely and with restraint.  In many cases the innocent suffer, and animals are routinely shot as a potential threat before any other actions occur.  The police will always paint a happy face on their community involvement, but it’s corollary - de facto legalized home invasions by occupational forces – is the dark underbelly for which they anticipate and expect treatment as heroes, much like military troops returning from a hard deployment.

A man’s home is his castle and he has a God-given right to defend it, and thus armed invasion teams, state sanctioned or not and in all but the most extreme circumstances like situations with hostages, are evil and the men who perpetrate them are deeply sinful.  These raids violate constitutional protections, but the judiciary is in bed with the executive branch rather than acting as a balance and counterweight to it.  Judicial approval for these tactics is complete and comprehensive.

Max Velocity has another excellent article where he discusses for us the only possible solutions.  Submit or resist.  Resistance may and probably will mean that you resist alone.  But submission may be equally dangerous, as armed teams acting as LEOs have become a favorite tactic of crime gangs.  Submission may mean that you’re dropping your weapon only to learn that those invading your home intend to rape your wife and kill you and your children.  The health and safety of your family may be at stake, and in fact, the very health and future of the republic.  Choose wisely.  But remember as you choose, the same establishment who would send armed invasion teams to shatter the safety of your home would prefer that you not have weapons.  It makes their job much easier.

Update: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention, and welcome Instapundit readers.

Thanks to Western Rifle Shooters Association for the attention.  WRSA has some worthy ideas for confronting local leadership to ascertain where they stand on these issues.  All politics is local – or at least, it should be.

Thanks to Mike Vanderboegh for the attention.

Thanks to David Codrea for the attention.  David has some salient ideas on hood-wearing shooters.

Other reading:

Max Velocity Tactical, The Home Invasion Dilemma – Discussion & Scenarios

Max Velocity Tactical, Solutions – Followup To The Home Invasion Dilemma

Jack Minor, WND Reports On SWAT Raids On The Innocent

Prior:

Son, Will You Fire On American Citizens?

Police Arrest Man For Filming Raid, Then Shoot His Dog In Front Of Him

Yet Another Wrong Home SWAT Raid

You Have No Right To Invade My Home Or Kill My Beasts

SWAT Team Rams Wrong Man’s Car

The Hazards Of A Militarized Police Force

Another Wrong-Home SWAT Raid

Apparent No-Basis Raid In Kansas

Chicago SWAT Raid Gone Terribly Wrong

Jack Booted SWAT Raids

Police Officers Never Intentionally Pointed Guns At A Sleeping Toddler

Arkansas Town Unleashes SWAT To Patrols Streets

Ogden SWAT Team Raids Wrong Home

Yet Another SWAT Team Raid On The Wrong Home

SWAT Team Terrorizes Family In Wrong Home Raid

What Does A SWAT Team And Eight Children Have In Common?

SWAT Raids A Snake Shooting

SWAT-Capades

Continuing SWAT Raids Errors And Pranks

DEA SWAT Raid And Ninth Circuit Ruling

ATF SWAT Failure

D.C. Police Bullies

One Police Officer Dead And Five Wounded From No-Knock Raid

Judges Siding With SWAT Tactics

The Moral Case Against SWAT Raids

Department Of Education SWAT Raid On Kenneth Wright

The Jose Guerena Raid: A Demonstration Of Tactical Incompetence

Police Arrest Man For Filming Raid, Then Shoot His Dog In Front Of Him

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

Professor Reynolds co-authored the paper A Due Process Right To Record The Police, while he also points to Morgan Manning’s article on photographers’ rights.  But the constitution matters not to the Hawthorne, California police department, who arrested a man for filming a raid, drawing out a protective dog and then shooting the dog in front of him.

As I’ve written before, you have no right to invade my home or kill my beasts.  You can add to that list “arrest me for photographing you, you bunch of statist, totalitarian thugs.”

Oh, and add to that the fact that I think the officer is a pussy. I wouldn’t have had to shoot the dog to get control of it.

Prior: SWAT Raids

Yet Another Wrong Home SWAT Raid

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

In an instance of police incompetence and unnecessarily endangered citizens, Pittsburgh is the scene of yet another wrong home SWAT raid.

A woman is demanding answers after she said SWAT teams mistakenly raided her Sheraden home Tuesday.

Jessica Earnest told Channel 11 News that SWAT teams burst into her Faronia Street home Tuesday afternoon looking for a wanted man, but they had the wrong house.

Some of the damage left behind was overturned beds, an air vent cover pulled from the wall and ransacked rooms.

Earnest said officers handcuffed her with her two young children close by.

“The way they all came in here and just threw smoke bombs and kicked in the door, we could have gotten hurt,” Earnest said.

Earnest said she moved into the home less than a week ago and she’s never heard of the man police were looking for.

She said officers apologized and handed her a search warrant before they left. Channel 11’s Alan Jennings reported the warrant had bad information.

Yes, people could have gotten hurt.  It’s happened before, to both innocent citizens and the police.  If a dog had been in the home, it would have been killed so that the police could be assured of “going home safely at the end of their shift.”  And it’s a good thing toddlers weren’t in their cribs either.

You have no right to invade my home, and there are easier ways to apprehend people.  You do good detective work, find the individual of interest when he is away from other people, and use pepper spray if he resists.

But of course, that wouldn’t be as sexy as dressing up in Soldier-boy uniforms and tactical gear and being operators operating tactically with tactical gear while they operate, would it?

Prior: SWAT Raid category


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