Sunday, July 01, 2012

More on some of the recent SWAT idiocies

over at Captain's Journal; several links in the post to other posts. I'm going to borrow a few bits:
That night it would have been perfectly reasonable to send over a couple of uniformed officers (common uniforms, shirts and ties), knock on the door, and then communicate their concerns: “Sir, we received a phone call concerning a potential problem or disturbance in this area, and we would like to sit and chat with you for a few minutes. May we come in, or perhaps you would like to come down to the precinct to chat with us?”

But with the increasing militarization of police activities in America, this is rarely good enough any more. But the police aren’t the military, and even if they were, such tactics are inherently dangerous. PoorEurie Stamps perished in a mistaken SWAT raid due to an officer, who had no trigger discipline, stumbling with a round chambered in his rifle and shooting Mr. Stamps (due to sympathetic muscle reflexes) who was prone on the floor. Mr. Jose Guerena was shot to death in his home in a SWAT raid that looked like it was conducted by the keystone cops. Such tactics are also dangerous for the police officers conducting the raids.
Responsible firearms owners know this. That’s why most firearms owners have worked so hard, and are so hard on each other, concerning proper trigger discipline. The investigator in this so-called “independent” investigation knows this too. That he didn’t bring it up is informative. This officer is guilty of malfeasance by entering a home such as this with his finger on the trigger. Moreover, take particular note of the circumstances. Not only had this poor man surrendered, he was on the floor. The officer in question was attempting to secure him, and this … with his finger on the trigger of a rifle with a round chambered
(Note: AND THE SAFETY OFF). The officer lost his balance, and lo and behold, he discharged his weapon. Not only is this officer inept, his trainer(s) and supervision is inept, and perhaps even dishonest, to have accepted such a slanted “independent” assessment of the incident, and to allow this SWAT team out with weapons to terrorize citizens with their ineptitude.
Ms. Griego asks, “How hard can it be for authorities to track this woman down?” The answer, of course, is that it isn’t hard to track people down. It requires basic police work, and apprehension can be done safely and without ugly incidents such as this one. According to my friend, Captain Dickson Skipper of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, most apprehensions can be done physically, or with the really belligerent ones, using pepper spray. But military tactics have replaced basic police work in America, with the behavior of tacti-cool “operators” justified by judges looking the other way, as if all of this is necessary to maintain order and peace.

And finally
Having spent time in Fallujah clearing rooms with the U.S. Marines, my own son’s perspective is more peaceful than what he had to perpetrate on that city: “So, you want to be an operator? Good. Sign up, take the training, fly across the pond, and do it for real. If you are a police officer in the U.S., you should first and foremost see yourself as a peace officer.”
They should; but if you're just a peace officer you don't get to put on ninja suits and kick doors and throw grenades and kill people by incompetence and get away with it and, most of all, you don't get to invite the local tv people to shoot video of you raiding the WRONG DAMNED HOUSE.

Consider this:
So the cops did some more investigation and decided that the threats had come from a house on the same street. This time, apparently recognizing they had gone a little nuts on the first raid, the police department didn’t send a SWAT team at all. Despite believing that they now had the right location and that a threat-making bomber lurked within, they just sent officers up to the door.
Gee, wouldn't it have been nice if they'd done this at the first house instead of breaking doors and throwing grenades in and sticking guns in peoples' faces?

1 comment:

BobG said...

"There's a reason we separate military and the police: one fights the enemy of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people."
- Commander Adama from the series "Battlestar Galactica"