Police Militarization And The Challenge For The Courts

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 1 month 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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  1. On August 29, 2013 at 6:35 am, Me said:

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

    Enough with the playtime Rambo.

  2. On August 29, 2013 at 10:07 am, Mt Top Patriot said:

    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 for reason to prevail over hubris of militant law man’s dichotomy.

    The reality is the social contract is rapidly dissolving. No one is safe at some point.

    Where does this slippery precipice end?

    What are these violent lawless men with badges thinking?
    They are the ones entrusted with sacred duties to stand between anarchy and civility. When they themselves become the very thing they are to defend from, the entire equation changes.

    When, at what point is it then, the very protections they afford themselves, freedom from invasion and death upon their homes, their families, their liberty to be free from fear of this tyranny, becomes moot, and the same terrorism they visited upon others come to visit them?

    What planet are these HIT and SWAT team thugs from, their superiors, and the political class that provides the fig leaf of legitimacy of monopoly of violence of the state, how ignorant of the unintended consequences, the ramifications of lawlessness this is?

    It doesn’t take a degree in Rocket science to grasp the fact that at some juncture in this act of willful destruction of civil society, at some point those who are victims of this police state culture, decide they have had enough.

    What, all of a sudden, when revolt results in visitation of the same, or worse, the invasion of their homes, the destruction of their property, the violations of their primal freedoms, death of their loved ones, what, are they then going to use the rule of law to protect themselves?

    Where does this all end?
    Not good from the looks of things.

    They will need something other than their guns, military equipment, and self appointed authority for protections. A lot more of something else.

    Because the simple truth exists that there are a lot more people who will have had enough of this lawless bloody bullshit than the ones perpetrating it.

    To top it all off with a wonderful garnish of totalitarian agitprop, it is not enough to violate and impose a system of control through threat of violence if one does not comply upon a lawful people with violent tactics, no, it is this same corrupt system of power that creates out of whole cloth the fiction anybody whom believes in the rule of law and the gospels of Liberty, who even dare speak of these things of reason and civility, are domestic enemies, are to be classified as such.
    And dealt with accordingly.

    It is the Catch 22 of tyranny.
    What a Gordian knot.

    It is a disaster in the making.

  3. On August 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm, Heyoka said:

    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 this case is still good law, has not been overturned.

    2. The courts today are sat by attorneys that have been educated in the government schools. Even the Harvard and Yale elite-God I hate that term all men are created equal is my view point-and the likes of Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter were outright self-declared communists. So how far down the rabbit hole of elitist supremacy of the state mind set and decades of indoctrination in these so called institutions of higher education have we sank??? Saying that I mean to paint this picture-the courts are not going to be on the People’s side they are going to protect their twisted and unconstitutional view that the state is supreme. This is direct conflict to Marbury v Madison. (Please look into these cases, they available on the net as are the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Resolves, the declaration of Independence and Madison’s Notes on the Debates of the Constitution. This is the knowledge that has been kept from us and it will dispel the cloud of double speak and endless Red Herrings and fallacious statements made by the usual suspects.

    Now consider John Locke’s Second treatise on Civil Government. Locke stated that whoever uses force without the right or law being on his side dissolves the civil contract, all bonds are dissolved and everyone has the right to defend themselves against the aggressor. I dare say the Locke’s comments on “Life Liberty and Property” that every man has a right to was considered by the Framers as sacred ground. They used his words almost to the letter when they wrote the Declaration. Of course the dissolution of our bonds to England is exactly on point to Locke’s words. So it is safe to say they paid equal respect to the rest of his reasoning. The Bill of Rights is a testament to the limits inferred by the Framers. Madison said that the “powers delegated were few and defined”, Federalist Paper 45. Hamilton was very specific on the abuses that government might rationalize. He said the Bill of Rights would be dangerous by providing a plausible pretext for those disposed to usurp and assume greater powers than was intended. Hell they have even violated the black and white English that is written. I see no power to subject the people in abject horror of the police force for nonviolent matters stated in the Constitution. And as we have pointed out, the safe guards that were present in colonial times, even under a king, have been swept away.

    What we are witnessing is “State Sponsored terrorism”. The term is in every Government Manual and it defines exactly what is going on in the police action we see here. The definition of terrorism is, “The use of violence or the threat of violence to produce a psychological effect to bring about a change in behavior and policy.” These are their words, their definition of terrorism. How Orwellian to call the People terrorists because they would resist tyranny, while all the time terrorizing the People to cow them down. This is exactly what is going on. The liberal anti-gun nuts already preach this when they whine that no armed force of citizens could resist the power of the police or military; how absurd to think that the right to keep and bear are to resist government tyranny. (Who can make war with the Beast??) Make no mistake about what is going on here. The powers that be are putting us in our place as lesser beings because we do not belong to their “elite” class. Can you imagine what it will be like in 2 years, 5 years or 10 if it is not checked????

    But to the point, if members of the police want to play army there is a place to go, let them enlist. I would say that if they attempt to use their military type aggression on the citizens-as they have been-then the citizens have the right to resist the excessive force. Hell I am on board with the writer with the steel core rounds but I think buck and ball below the belt a better deterrent. Femoral arteries are gushers and a blasted hip socket will leave the Tango bleeding out and screaming his head off. Of course catching them on their stack up with a steel core .50 BMG round would really put a dent into the entry formation and give it quite a stall, especially if you could get a head on shot and thread the needle on the whole stack. If they want to act like military then treat them as such and respond in a military type fashion. Of course you could do a little 4th Gen War and go after the policy makers. If every egregious act is responded to by taking it to the policy maker’s door, the policy would soon change.

  4. On August 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm, Mt Top Patriot said:

    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

    “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 beating around the bush here.
    This All about guns. Everything these scumbags do revolves ultimately about guns. It is guns that give these pieces of shit their power. It is guns that they fear. It is guns that they must control if they are to take over America. In order to rule with an iron fist, it is guns that they must take from the populous in order obtain that absolute power. It is guns they understand like none other are the real power behind anything. It is guns this system of government ultimately now lives by and the threat to use them ultimately if one refuses to simply comply. The consent of the governed is a long dead memory to the leviathan. It is the monopoly of violence which is it’s lynchpin of it’s power now. It is guns that they use to enforce everything.
    And it is guns in the hands of We The People that they fear most.
    Any thing else is a cheap side show.

    Every believer in Liberty must grasp the cold hard truth where our sovereignty and our sovereign lawful will exists ultimately through the barrel of Our guns. The premise of tyranny over consent and peaceful redress is the lawful principle that if the Liberty to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our property, our rule of law is prohibited, if peaceful redress that is an inherently crucial component of our Liberty is prohibited, then violent redress becomes a matter of fact, it becomes a matter of survival as free men.

    The traitors in government better get it thru their power diseased brain cells if they make peaceful redress, and accountability, impossible, they make violent redress inevitable.

    Didn’t a former President say that same thing?

    The cold hard truth natural sovereignty and sovereign lawful will exists ultimately through the barrel of a gun. The principle the Liberty to protect ones selves, loved ones, property, the rule of law, is prohibited, if peaceful redress, that is an inherently crucial component of Liberty is prohibited, then violent redress becomes a matter of fact, it becomes a matter of survival for free men.

    It is apparent at this stage where not a single person, involved in Waco, Fast and Furious, Ruby Ridge, Benghazi, and countless police state tragedies every day, has been held in account, not to even mention the arrest and trial for the crimes of murder and other felonious treason’s, (things any person not a member of this elite class would suffer dire consequences for), the rule of law has become a foregone conclusion. A joke. For the ruling elites, their political power now grows not from consent of the people, but out of the barrel of a gun.

    By their actions in this evil strategy of creating a false narrative to “legitimize” a false crisis as means, to create a pretense to discredit the virtues and law of the 2nd and 4th amendment, freedom of speech, the very concepts of rule of law, and all who cling to such archaic ideas, the underlying motivations they wish to protect can only mean that the ruling class commands the use of the gun to advance and solidify it’s power.

    Indeed, the gun must never be allowed to command the ruling class.

    What other reasoning exists for the absence of virtually any accountability by any party in the grave matters of corruption, treason, violence and the most high crimes possible transpiring before our very eyes committed by the state and it’s actors?
    The cold blooded premeditated murders of hundreds of people? The gross violations of the very integrity of our national security and rule of law?Of the checks and balances of power?

    Violations of the very fabric of the culture and the idea of sovereign people.

    Orchestrated within the inner sanctums of the highest power of the land, power mutated for tyrannical purposes of imposing the will of corrupt officials, through the auspices and power of monopoly of force via the legislative, executive, judicial, and regulatory branches of our government, filtered down to where the dirty work is performed by a Praetorian class, dipping it’s metaphorical toes in the waters on the edge of the Rubicon?

    There is no separations of power. The legitimacy of government as codified in our governing documents no longer exists. The tyrants and traitors who constitute this leviathan of tyrannical madness have declared a fucking lawless illegitimate free for-all on our asses.

    Shooting the motherfuckers, killing every damned one of them when they come to murder you and your loved ones, your beloved pooch for God’s sake, in the dead of night, in ones castle, isn’t an option, it is a duty, a prerequisite to ones Liberty.
    If you fail to at least try and protect what matters most, well you really screwed up, because you didn’t kill a scumbag who will get better and bolder at doing this insidious deed, and now some other poor slob and his loved ones has to face the same fate as you from thugs paid and equipped on your dime.

    In your heart of hearts, is it right that some other guy has to die for your liberty?

    Isn’t that how this terrible mess began?

    Want to place bets which one of us gets a flash bang in the wee hours, our beloved pooch shot for sport, and a magazine or two of lead in our naked arses just for talking truth to power here?


    Remember, you just may be next.

  5. On August 29, 2013 at 9:02 pm, Yuri said:

    The Rule of Law is dead. Behave accordingly.

  6. On August 30, 2013 at 6:28 am, mac said:

    To all above………WELL STATED!!

  7. On August 31, 2013 at 9:30 am, Mark Matis said:

    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:

    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?

  8. On September 2, 2013 at 7:06 am, Roger J said:

    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 wonder whether officialdom has lost its bearings. Fortunately, no people or companion animals died in that raid. As such, it is beginning to look atypical.

    If sir, you want to be considered a “civilian” officer, then begin acting civilly. And make sure your brothers in blue do the same.

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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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