Thursday, May 6, 2010

SWAT Team Drug Raid Video

Radley Balko at Reason.com revisits a previous post:

In February, I wrote the following about a drug raid in Missouri:

SWAT team breaks into home, fires seven rounds at family's pit bull and corgi (?!) as a seven-year-old looks on.

They found a "small amount" of marijuana, enough for a misdemeanor charge. The parents were then charged with child endangerment.

So smoking pot = "child endangerment." Storming a home with guns, then firing bullets into the family pets as a child looks on = necessary police procedures to ensure everyone's safety.

Just so we're clear.

Now there's video, which you can watch below. It's horrifying, but I'd urge you to watch it, and to send it to the drug warriors in your life. This is the blunt-end result of all the war imagery and militaristic rhetoric politicians have been spewing for the last 30 years—cops dressed like soldiers, barreling through the front door middle of the night, slaughtering the family pets, filling the house with bullets in the presence of children, then having the audacity to charge the parents with endangering their own kid. There are 100-150 of these raids every day in America, the vast, vast majority like this one, to serve a warrant for a consensual crime.

But they did prevent Jonathan Whitworth from smoking the pot they found in his possession. So I guess this mission was a success.

Here's the video:

Look at the house. It isn't a drug den or a crack house, these are your next door neighbors and their kid. This happened in America. Per a discussion in the comment section of a previous post, this is one of the costs beyond the billions we spend every year on the failed War on Drugs. Of course, this video doesn't definitively prove that it's a failure (as Balko says, they did successfully stop this guy from smoking his cannabis) but is this what you imagine when you think of the drug war succeeding?


1 comment:

Boyd Petrie said...

That was horrifying. The sound of that dog's pained yelping was like a dagger to my ears. Child endangerment my ass. I want to know what evidence they had to support the search warrant.