Wednesday, May 07, 2014

From a guy who knows something about SWAT use

In effect, SWAT teams manufacture, through their presence and very tactics and procedures, the circumstances that allow them, under color of authority, to kill citizens, whose only crime is often trying to respond to an unimaginable attack on their home. This is particularly horrific when the police murder innocent people or people guilty of no more than violation of minor, non-violent crimes or even bureaucratic regulations.  Of course, any citizen with the presence of mind to take up a firearm to protect themselves, their family and their home against armed intruders they often do not recognize as police officers could find themselves on the receiving end of a panicky and uncontrolled barrage of gunfire.

Police executives will often arrogantly proclaim “anyone that points a gun at cops is going to get killed.” Unfortunately, the courts often let them get away with that kind of mindless, blanket action. There is no question that there are circumstances so dangerous to the public and the police that SWAT teams and what are essentially military-style tactics and rules of engagement are justifiable, but those circumstances are rare indeed and should be easily articulable before and after the action. Contrast this with SWAT teams violently attacking citizens in their homes acting only on the possibility that any citizen might be armed and might be moved to use firearms to defend themselves and those they love. Any citizen manufacturing a situation that will give the appearance of legal justification to kill another will surely be charged with premeditated murder. How is a SWAT team doing the same thing any different in intention or outcome? Kenneth Wright and Dan Allgyer are lucky to be alive.

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