Saturday, January 3, 2015

I just read

where an old man just got shot by the police in a botched raid.

The warrant was issued based on the word of a meth dealer. That doesn't sound like a very reliable source to me. People like that would testify to anything if it would do them any good.

This sort of stuff has been happening too often lately and there have been casualties on both sides. Citizens, some of which have been totally innocent have been injured and killed. So have a number of police officers.

These raids are patently dangerous and should be avoided where at all possible. It's a whole lot easier to simply pick someone up downtown and a lot less dangerous.

When someone crashes through a door at some odd hour the innocent homeowner has a right to assume that whoever it is isn't there for any good reason. Personally, as a juror, I would have a hard time convicting someone that shot an invader in the middle of the night. Police officer or not. 

They may say that they identified themselves all they want but that really holds little water. Criminals invading homes identify themselves as being police officers all the time. 

The powers that be will come up with all sorts of excuses to justify the use of dynamic entry but the truth of the matter is that it generally is not necessary. You simply pick the suspect up and then take the warrant over to the premises and search the home. It's really quite simple, and a whole lot safer.

Actually I saw this coming many years ago when police departments in cities started forming SWAT teams. 

While they were (and still are) a useful tool in certain circumstances, they are being overused in situations that do not require the use of them.

This is the age old case of having to justify having something that doesn't get used very often. In order to justify the expense some departments have simply added responsibilities to the teams, such as conducting drug raids.

There are really not a whole lot of hostage cases or major shootouts that require the skills of a SWAT team. Good police work can generally avoid the need to use extraordinary tactics. Cops will just have to work a little smarter and be a little more patient.

Incidentally, good police work also includes making sure you raid the right house. I have read of a number of botched raids where police raided the wrong house! 

Of course, the police authorities will babble on about how officer safety justifies the use of dynamic entry teams. The truth of the matter is that dynamic entry is dangerous to citizen and officer alike.

I'm not saying that the SWAT teams should be abolished. Occasionally they have their place and can be a good tool.

What I am saying is that SWAT tactics and dynamic entry should not be used as a substitute for good police work.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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