Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, June 19, 2011

FBI/Police raid targets children

I've posted about illegitimate SWAT raids, but this one struck me as especially egregious and morally reprehensible. We've recently heard in the news about a child being killed in a raid where one of the officers fired a round which hit the little girl. Here no one was killed, fortunately, but imagine being a parent and seeing officers actually target your small children, even momentarily.

Denise Adams, 58, said seeing the red dots from the officers' targeting lasers crawl across her children's faces also has cost her faith in law enforcement. "I don't want to, but this was terrifying," she sobbed.

Per the husband , The incident destroyed his confidence in the police and his ability to sleep through the night, he said.

"They had guns on my wife, my babies. I'd like to know how they would feel -- the people in my house -- if that happened to them," he said.

What is especially disturbing is the knowledge that, due to prior court cases and the recent Supreme Court decision which dismantled the Fourth Amendment, the FBI and police will suffer no consequences whatsoever, in spite of the fact that they could have easily killed children had their trigger discipline failed.

The fact that the Supreme Court feels it has the authority to ignore one of the original amendments listed in the Bill of Rights does not make it so. The fact that the FBI, ATF, the Department of Education, county and city SWAT teams and other law enforcement entities believe it is acceptable to utilize dangerously armed officers in the service of warrants for non-violent crime is also wrong, and it will not change until American citizens demand that it change. Obviously the courts and Congress have no interest in protecting not just the rights, but the very lives of our citizens, our women and children.

As a police officer, I was involved in a number of incidents where guns were pointed at me. Had I wished, I could have easily gotten away with murder in two of the cases, by shooting the young men who had done so. In one case I knew the suspect, who actually only pointed his rifle in my direction accidentally, although it was a call where he had been pointing it at his father, who had been threatening him physically (both were adults, and the father did not live at the suspect's house.) In another, the suspect threw his gun down when he realized he was facing a police officer (responding to a loud music call where the suspect and a friend had been packaging marijuana for sale.) Had either incident been handled by SWAT, both of those young men would probably be dead. Had either of the cases been handled by the "felony cops" who seem to be so common in law enforcement these days, those men would have died.

SWAT teams in this country have looser, more violent Rules Of Engagement than do our servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan (and yes, we still have soldiers in Iraq) where they are at constant risk of being shot by AK-47, RPG (rocket-propelled grenade), and blown up by IED (improvised explosive device) or "suicide"- bombers.

We citizens have allowed it to get this bad, by not insisting to our elected representatives, our mayor, city councils, county commissioners, police chiefs and Sheriffs, that they defund and shut down any SWAT teams which abuse their authority and true purpose. SWAT should only be used in hostage situations and when responding to incidents where the suspect (s) are already armed and have a history of violence. As we saw in the Jose Guerena murder, simply being an armed citizen is not sufficient reason to use SWAT.

It is probably too late to effect a change through the usual political system, but our silence when this happens in our community makes us complicit in the continuation of this unacceptable state of affairs.

Read more: Bellevue family sues FBI over 'terrifying' raid - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_742235.html#ixzz1Pjgb7ITD

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