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"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern."
  —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006.

Photo credit: Nigel Parry

Tasers

Since 2001, there have been 547 documented taser-related deaths in America.
Some of these were innocent people, or those with mental health issues. Many times the taser was used as an instrument of torture.


No Knock and Knock-and-announce Warrants

In the mid-80s, there were between 2,000 and 3,000 no-knock intrusions per year. As of 2011, there were as many as 80,000 no-knock searches yearly, according to USA Today and Eastern Kentucky University


SWAT Teams

Often wearing fatigues and body armor while donning military-style assault weapons, these teams conduct over 150 raids every day. In 1980, there were around 3,000 SWAT team raids in the United States. In 2001, that number had inflated to 45,000 and has since expanded to over 80,000 raids per year .
RISE OF THE PARAMILITARY POLICE
Published On May 26, 2014 | By CopBlock |

What a coincidence


If you noticed in the statistics, there were 80,000 no knock warrants and 80,000 SWAT raids. These numbers come from different studies and sources for two different actions. There seems to be a correlation.


What needs to be done


While there is hope Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson's proposed legislation, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (PDF), will reign in the Pentagon's 1033 program that gives war machines to local law enforcement, more than likely nothing will be done by this Congress unless the House can attach an ammendment to defund Obamacare or close every women's health center in America. The President cannot change the law. That leaves the remaining branch of the government to end this take-over of our streets by the paramilitary police.

We don't have to be Constitutional lawyers to know that judges are the ones passing out these no knock warrants as well as knock-and-announce warrants. Local judges and prosecutors are also responsible for giving murderous cops a slap on the wrist after a they enjoy a taxpayer paid two week vacation.

This is where the pressure needs to be applied. Like it has been said, "All politics is local". A Supreme Court Justice also said, "If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern."
  —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006.

Indeed, this has reached grave proportions. Just take a look at the Cato Institute map of botched raids that demonstrates a "widespread pattern".

Click here for the interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko.
Each point is a case-by-case description of a raid gone wrong.

Different states have different procedures for seating judges. Some are appointed while others are elected. You should know how this is done in your area and become part of the process. I would suggest a Letter to the Editor campaign if there are egregious warrants issued in your community. Perhaps even standing outside a courthouse with a sign.

Training


In my mind I see a grizzled, veteran cop at a community college bragging about busting heads to a bunch of burr-headed, power-tripping, Dirty Harry wannabes who are wet-dreaming of the day they get a Crown Victoria and a Glock.

While this is hyperbole, the actions of overzealous, violent paramilitary police officers indicate that the training the cops are receiving is inadequate.

See the video below the fold to see how a botched Knock-and-announce warrant is executed.

1. 4 seconds after pounding on the door, the door is shattered.
2. 2 seconds later, flash bang
3. Grandma and teenage daughter cuffed and stuffed
4. Wrong House
5. Cops laughing

My previous diaries on tasers.

This could be the last thing you ever see: The New TASER X3
SAT OCT 24, 2009

TASERS: How Police & TASER, Inc. Bamboozle The Press
SAT NOV 21, 2009

 

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    A rising tide sinks all boats that are anchored to the bottom.

    by Zwoof on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:57:03 AM PDT

  •  ...and then there is this (8+ / 0-)

    Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops

    Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took the exam in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125. But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training.
    http://abcnews.go.com/...

    A rising tide sinks all boats that are anchored to the bottom.

    by Zwoof on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:02:28 AM PDT

  •  Tazer's have a use (4+ / 0-)

    They are good tools on the escalation of force chart between deadly force (shooting) and physical restraint holds.  They are the reason batons have been taken away from use.

    They do get abused (forced compliance) but are used tens of thousands of times a year with fewer deaths than the use of firearms.

    More training and restrictions on the use, but not a ban.  

    Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

    by DrillSgtK on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:30:13 AM PDT

    •  Same for SWAT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lightarty

      They do have a use in certain situation, which is why their name is Special Weapons and Tactics, for use in special circumstances.

      The problem is they get used all the freaking time when it isn't necessary, and it's especially a problem in smaller communities when there probably isn't the justification for even having one.

    •  Tasers are only for protecting the police (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy

      who are apparently mostly afraid all of the time. These are deadly weapons and instruments of torture.

      And guess what, being a cop is less deadly that being a fisherman, bartender, or taxi driver.

      I've seen where cops have said, "At the end of the day, it's about going home to my family."

      No, it's about "protect and Serve". It's written right there on your car and armored personnel carrier.

      A rising tide sinks all boats that are anchored to the bottom.

      by Zwoof on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:26:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what they mean by the "going home safe remark" (0+ / 0-)

        is follow your training ,use smart police tactics ect ..not that they will resort to deadly force to save my ass and do you have statistics to back your claim about fisherman and bartenders and retaliative pay scales? Lets not jump on these public servants like they are evil because they are not its the local governments responsibilities to attract ,hire and train these folks who are responsible for their actions

        •  Here ya go (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          splashy

          Number of deaths per 100,000 employed Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics-Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries - 2012

          Logging workers: 127.8
          Fishermen: 117.0
          Aircraft pilots: 53.4
          Roofers: 40.5
          Garbage collectors: 36.8
          Electrical power line installation/repair: 29.8
           Truck drivers: 22.8
          Oil and gas extraction: 21.9
          Farmers and ranchers: 21.3
          Construction workers: 17.4
          Police officers and Deputies: 14.9*
          Taxi drivers: 14.9
          Grounds maintenance: 13.9
          Drinking establishment employees: 13.0
          Welders: 10.5
          Electricians: 8.3
          Gas station attendant: 6.8
          Auto mechanics: 5.0
          Newspaper publishers: 4.8
          Carpenters: 4.7
          Janitors: 3.1
          Retail sales: 1.5
          All workers - 3.2
           * A high percentage of police officers deaths are contributed to the police office not wearing a "seat belt" when involved in a traffic accident.

          A rising tide sinks all boats that are anchored to the bottom.

          by Zwoof on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 09:17:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Zwoof - So what? Police officers and deputies get (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lightarty

            home safely BECAUSE they are armed and have the means to protect themselves.
               There are a lot of people out there who are extremely hostile to police. I've seen it in person many times. And you can sure read it in the DK comments.
               I once saw an African American police officer confront a violent man armed with numchucks. He told the guy: "I don't get paid to wrestle around with you and get all dirty. And I don't want to get your blood on my hands. I touch my woman with these hands. Those numchucks are a deadly weapon. You either drop those motherfuckers or I'm going to shoot you."
               That's pretty much the way it works. Cops don't want a fistfight or a wrestling match. They have batons, tasers, mace, and firearms so they don't have to engage in hand to hand combat.

    •  as long as you use the tazer as trained there (0+ / 0-)

      is very little danger .I have been trained and tazed as a detention officer and can attest to its effectiveness BUT ! the problem lies in the fact that most detention officers and police officers arent paid enough to attract the best and brightest .Im partly retired and was looking for health insurance so it was a good job for me but so many of my peers dont have the same options I had .Until society decides that police,prisons and teachers are crucial and important to a well run community we will continue to to have lack luster performance.......

  •  Obama is Commander in Chief (5+ / 0-)

    Why can't he issue an executive order saying that military equipment is for military use only?

  •  I was good until you started quoting the CATO (0+ / 0-)

    Institute.

    They are suspect, IMHO.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:04:43 AM PDT

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