Moral/Rational case against SWAT raids
An interesting post. The comments, many by military who served in Iraq, are likewise of interest. I don't doubt that there are situations where use of a SWAT team is wise, but it seems to be becoming the default tool for search warrant execution. One commenter notes such a team was used, with fatal results, to arrest a doctor for gambling on sports events. I noted earlier use of a team, flash-bangs, and an armored vehicle in Maricopa County, to raid a guy charged with cockfighting. I know a fellow in Tucson who experienced that sort of a raid on charges of forgery (not even faking a signature; in AZ forgery includes any use of a "false document").
That expert sounds like a hired gun. Look at his SWAT call out formula. There is no situation (i.e., point total) where SWAT is inappropriate. The scale goes from SWAT "optional" for 1-16 points, to SWAT team commander "weighs in" (17-24, and how is this any different than optional); and 25+ SWAT is "necessary."
Here's the full quote on this silly system from the article:
"Using a SWAT team is considered optional under that formula if the tally is 1 to 16 points, while the commander weighs in if it totals 17 to 24 points. Team activation is considered necessary if the total is 25 or higher."
Posted by: Sertorius at September 14, 2011 09:56 AM
Serrotius, I noticed exactly the same thing.
Everyone knows the US military is not supposed to be used against civilians and for good reason. One has to wonder, if the civilian police (yes - coming from a former military LEO the are civilians) are armed and "trained" like the military, what's the difference?
Posted by: Jim at September 14, 2011 12:48 PM
Mission creep. The justification for using a SWAT unit increasingly seems to be "because we have one", and not because the particular circumstances (which are exceedingly rare) actually call for it.
Plus the ones who go in for that kind of work are even more adrenaline junkies than your average cop (who are bad enough), and they get bored with training exercises all the time and want "real world" action...with often tragic results.
There was an article in our local paper not long ago talking about the increasing militarization of police forces and how it is problematic when combat veterans become police officers; who tend to be quicker to initiate deadly force and less likely to try more diplomatic, community-minded policing the way career cops who have always been civilian cops and not military would do instead...
The upshot being that good soldiers don't always make the best cops for that reason.
No shit; look at the Black & Tans in Ireland back in the day...
Posted by: JJR at September 14, 2011 10:51 PM
1. Escalation of Force.
2. Hierarchy and Status.
3. Parlimentary Revolutionism.
1) If you build it, they will come. If you respond with rifles, they will respond with machine guns. If you respond with a knock on the door by an unarmed uniform officer... they will just f*ck*ng kill you.
2) SWAT is enviable. You are either SWAT or not. Your choice is a) uniformed patrol (e.i., "target") or pre-reaction SWAT. Pick one. (P.S. action beats reaction.)
3) Violent revolution kills the host. Bureaucratic revolution is incremental and acceptable. If you WANT an autocratic society, implement it slowly, elstwise the host revolts. If SWAT slowly expands until all "hostile takeovers" are handled by "armed intrusion", then you have successfully advanced the pardigm.
SOLUTION: Legalize the crime.
Why are drugs illegal, anyway?
Why are unannounced forcible entries by the State ALWAYS legal?
Why are agents of the state immune from prosecution?
What would happen if the Police WENT AWAY and we had to deal with crime ourselves? Would the cartels become mega-corporations like GE and Squibb and AstraZenica? Why would that be BAD, exactly?
Posted by: Jim D. at September 15, 2011 12:56 AM