Sleep Tight

Alan has a damn scary post up about botched SWAT Raids

This strikes me as a simple political power-grab. SWAT teams give the standard Police force military-like powers, the ever-increasing misuse of SWAT teams in raids where they are not needed puts innocent lives at risk. The fact that SWAT often makes mistakes these “hot entries” can go VERY bad.

I said over there something that makes me very sad:

Sadly I don’t think it’ll stop until the Police kick down the wrong door and the lawful home owner shoots several of the intruders before they are killed.

It will result in the death of MULTIPLE highly-trained Police officers, and at LEAST one more innocent life.

I stand behind that. Also just so you know, anybody can buy a black uniform and shout “POLICE” as they kick down your door, and there have been several cases where criminals have done just that.

I’m off to bed, sleep tight!

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23 Responses to Sleep Tight

  1. deadcenter says:

    Radley Balko is quite knowledgable on the subject. If you really want to scare yourself, get his white paper (180ish pages if memory serves) that that map is based on, frightening and infuriating at the same time.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Wow, great story, and from Canada no-less!

      Good to hear that the state does know how to act responsibly after they show their ass like this.

      Also what’s with the name? Did his parents run out of ideas from the baby books and pick up a medical text book?

  2. Thomas says:

    I used to live down the road from Sandy Smith, and a friend of mine rented a house on her property they Illegally searched, although he wasn’t home, and I sometimes played guitar in a honky tonk band with George Ruiz, Keith’s dad…:

    “The Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) and Travis County have advised U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks that they have settled the suit that TCRP filed last January on behalf of Spicewood residents Sandra Smith, David Howard, Chance Leverett, and Wayne Darling. Ms. Smith is a disabled widow, and descendent of David Crockett; and Mr. Howard, a decorated and disabled Vietnam War veteran.

    The plaintiffs were at home, on May 8, 2001, when a DPS helicopter began circling overhead, very low. To Mr. Howard, the helicopter overhead made him recall his service in Vietnam.

    Soon after the helicopter appeared, the Capital Area Drug Task Force arrived, guns drawn, and without a warrant. They searched the premises and the residences, where Mr. Leverett was sleeping. He awoke to a machine gun in his face. The Task Force officers were apparently searching for a marijuana grove that supposedly existed at the rear of Ms. Smith’s property. But, instead of marijuana, they found giant ragweed, one of the most common plants in the area.

    Travis County has agreed to pay the Plaintiffs in this case $40,000. Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe has already issued a formal written apology. Sandra Smith, owner of the property where the raid took place, said she was “glad to put this nightmare behind me and get on with my life. I hope the Sheriff and her deputies learn their lesson from this that they must respect our civil rights and treat us with dignity … not just us but all the residents of Travis County.”

    TCRP Director Jim Harrington, who is representing the residents, called the Spicewood raid “extremely shabby and flawed police work by officers who had little respect for the law and even less respect for the citizens of the community.”

    The Capital Area Drug Task Force, which has now been taken over by the Governor’s office because of its controversial performance, was involved in another raid on a residence on February 15, 2001, in which Deputy Keith G. Ruiz lost his life. The wife of the suspect in Deputy Ruiz’s death stated after the raid that she and her husband thought they were being robbed because the officers were in plain clothes and did not identify themselves.

    On December 20, 2001, the same Narcotics Task Force was involved in yet another raid on a residence that resulted in a teenager being shot to death even though he was unarmed and asleep on the couch at the time the officers stormed the residence.”

    I’ve got some rather strong opinions on Over-Exuberant policing and I’ve seen people BOTH with and without badges killed because of it in my AO. Mini-Wacos. Do you pick the guy up jogging or at work or do you shoot his dogs, get officers killed, and maybe accidentally shoot a teenager sleeping on the couch? Seems a no brainer to me.

    I had a warrant-less seach done of one of my past properties because friend’s vindictive soon to be ex-wife had gotten a restraining order and she said he might be at my place and he had guns (which he did, as he didn’t want her pawning his guns whilst she had him locked up on false charges like the last time). That fun filled day ended up with ME as well as him taken down in a “dynamic felony stop” even though I didn’t have anything to do with his wife and he had never done anything wrong and was exonerated by the courts…EVENTUALLY.

    Anybody can wear a suit and holler “POLICE”.
    Any Thomas model human who figures he’s about to be dead anyway can hose people through the walls and doors with better than 5.56 and .40S&W.

    Like Mike V’s said many a time: If you’re no longer entitled to a fair trial, you are entitled to an UNFAIR gunfight.

    If these dickweeds would stop playing Rambo, with accessories in the court system that rarely even slap their hands, maybe us III wouldn’t feel as antagonistic to them.

    Friend was recently an expert witness in a NFA trial for the defense and the defendant had a Public Defender, due to indigence, who referred to the Judge and DA as “my friends”. Case was closed before it was even opened.

    As long as these charades go on, it’s just steps closer to civil war.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      OK I can see how a field of ragweed might look like a field of pot. But why can’t these rubes get a damn warrant and simply knock on the door and ask to see the yard….and if they are refused access, they can simply present the warrant. Its not like anybody can burn an entire field, while flushing baggies scales, and drying supplies down the toilet without raising dozens of red flags.

      These No-knock SWAT raids are just a brutal work around for sloppy police work.

      • Thomas says:

        And it got my friend George’s son Keith KILLED in an ill-planned SWAT raid over less than a gram of meth…Because he was kicking in a door without announcing who he was. George still somewhat misses his son and Keith’s children don’t have a dad, for WHAT?

  3. Sadly I don’t think it’ll stop until the Police kick down the wrong door and the lawful home owner shoots several of the intruders before they are killed.

    Something akin to it already has. Remember Kathryn Johnston? Her death didn’t involve SWAT, as far as I remember, but she was still innocent.

  4. Dixie says:

    Sadly I don’t think it’ll stop until the Police kick down the wrong door and…

    … find out they just tried to raid a house full of former Recon Marines. Now *THAT* would make for an awesome film clip!

    /On a side note, your CAPTCHA is hell on those of us who are color-blind.

  5. ZK says:

    Sadly, this sort of hypothetical raid disaster has already happened, multiple times, in the incidents above and more that Radley Balko has documented in his famous whitepaper. Both innocents and police have been killed. It’s changed nothing, often not even in the community in which it occurred.

  6. Wally says:

    “Sadly I don’t think it’ll stop until the Police kick down the wrong door and the lawful home owner shoots several of the intruders before they are killed.”

    I think that would only cause the police to get even more paramilitarized.

    Had an ATF raid gone crooked today in OOB…

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  14. deadcenter says:

    I agree with Wally, such an outcome will only make things worse.

    My opinion, the solution lies in two directions. First transparency, no more sealed warrants and every police department should be overseen by a civilian review board. Second, hold everyone involved in a botched raid from the ‘confidential informant’ to the cops, to the prosecuting attoney to the judge that signed the warrant, financially responsible for 1) any property damage caused, 2) awards to the victims of the raid or their survivors if things really went bad, and 3) put cameras on the cops that upload to servers that are not accessible to the cops. We need to stop indemnifying bad behavior because it only gets us more bad behavior, the same way paying dane geld only gets you more danes.

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