Are SWAT Teams Overused?

Are SWAT Teams Overused?

This is a discussion on Are SWAT Teams Overused? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; In the linked article, the author states (among other things) "An investigation by Denver's Rocky Mountain News revealed that of the 146 no-knock raids conducted ...

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Thread: Are SWAT Teams Overused?

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    Are SWAT Teams Overused?

    In the linked article, the author states (among other things) "An investigation by Denver's Rocky Mountain News revealed that of the 146 no-knock raids conducted in Denver in 2000, only 49 resulted in charges. And only two resulted in prison sentences for suspects targeted in the raids." While this may not be representative of all departments, it is a disturbing statistic.

    After discussing that there have been raids on wrong houses, the following is also stated in the article "homeowners who mistake officers for robbers can be sentenced for assault or murder if they take defensive actions resulting in harm to police." Kind of makes you think about the hierarchy of rights confered by the law and the courts and where the castle doctrine and 4th amendment rank.

    SWAT Team Mania: The War Against the American Citizen

    As I have stated before, I think we should be petitioning our Congressmen and Senators for legislation reaffirming the founders' intent in the 4th amendment and providing guidance to the courts about the 4th amendment. While the courts have acted as if they have powers superior to the other 2 branches of government, they are equal in power to the others and the Congres and Executive can tell the courts that they have erred in their application of the Constitution. They do this by passing legislation that makes it clear how the Constitution is to be applied. If the legislation is not consistent with the Constitution, an amendment would be in order, but in this case, legislation, consistent with the 4th amendment, making it clear to all what is and is not acceptable behaviour would greatly benefit the American people - we the people.

    I am interested in your thoughts.
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    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    Judging by the number of LEO killings this year during execution of arrest warrants at residences, I think tactical teams are being underutilized.

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    I'm going to disagree Chad.

    Botched Paramilitary Police Raids
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    I think it depends entirely on where you are located.

    The local SRT here hasnt been deployed for several months. Down south in the big city of Little Rock, where the percentage of certifiable riff-raff is much higher, they get deployed often.

    Its a matter of perspective that is influenced by many things. Population, crime, the attitudes of CLEO's, the mayor, the city council and even the SRT leaders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    I'm going to disagree Chad.

    Botched Paramilitary Police Raids
    paaiyan - very interesting link. I read the articles for Ohio. While there were some cases that were clearly abuse and some that were clearly justified, many appeared to ID petty criminals then use SWAT to address the issue. This is somewhat akin to to killing the fly on your kitchen wall with a sledge hammer - you have properly identified the job to be done, but have not employed the right tool resulting in far too much collateral damage.

    Good discussion guys and gals. Let's keep the discussion civil (as it has been so far). We can disagree, but let's not get disagreeable.
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    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Well in my state, actually county, they send out the SWAT Team for gambling Warrants, which in this case meant a death sentence for this orthopedic surgeon who IIRC had no prior record. Police Officer was not charged with a crime, retired with full benefits and now teaches defensive tactics.

    Fairfax SWAT team kills optomistrist: Article from Fox News. « Clint's blog
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    Member Array paullie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Rogers View Post
    Judging by the number of LEO killings this year during execution of arrest warrants at residences, I think tactical teams are being underutilized.
    what is the "number"?

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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    Overall I do not appreciate the para-militarization of police forces in America. At nearly 50 years old I am more law abiding than ever in my life yet I am inceasingly more fearful and more intimidated by the law enforcement community. The use of no knock and SWAT scares me for the future of our nation.
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    You shoot somebody by mistake (cop or civilian), the price should be the same...why not?
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    You shoot somebody by mistake (cop or civilian), the price should be the same...why not?
    Makes sense to me - equal protection under the law.
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    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqgrill View Post
    Overall I do not appreciate the para-militarization of police forces in America. At nearly 50 years old I am more law abiding than ever in my life yet I am inceasingly more fearful and more intimidated by the law enforcement community. The use of no knock and SWAT scares me for the future of our nation.
    I'm with you 100% "bbqgrill". S.W.A.T. has it's place and is needed, but I feel it is way over used. I stated in another thread here, that when S.W.A.T. was new in the 1960's it was actually only used for "special" situations. Where the police were outgunned, hostage and standoff situations, and warrants on dangerous suspects. To me, it is disgraceful SWAT is deployed to serve warrants on non-violent suspects. It is a recipe for disaster, as we've all seen here recently with what went on in Tucson and Sacramento. Not to mention, the implications of the "what if" it's a home invasion and the BG's yell POLICE as they kick down your door. They both (BG's and SWAT) wear ski masks now...
    I'm afraid that if the Lord doesn't come back first...one more generation and this country will be unrecognizable.
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    Senior Member Array DaRedneck's Avatar
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    I agree fellas. I had never really given it much thought but after reading y'alls links and posts, SWAT certainly has its place, but it has gotten out of hand. I had no idea they were doing no knocks to serve warrants on non violent criminals. I assumed (yeah I know) they still were just used for serious SHTF times. Guess I have been asleep at the wheel on this one.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    You know, I have a whole heck of a lot of respect for the police. I'm glad a few people here agree with me though, that SWAT and no-knock warrants especially are entirely overused. I don't have a problem with LE having SWAT teams. I do have a problem with no-knock warrants. SWAT should never be used on anyone but a confirmed - and I mean CONFIRMED - dangerous suspect.

    I've read a ton of stories on that map I linked to. There's at least one case of an elderly gentleman having a heart attack on the spot during a raid on the wrong people, and spending two weeks in a cardiac care unit before succumbing to heart failure six months later. There are multiple cases of police raiding the wrong homes and people attempting to defend themselves. One was a young woman who had been burgled a month prior. She had her maintenance man install new locks, bars on the windows and motion activated lights. When she thought she was being burgled again she cowered in her room with a recently purchased handgun and was killed by police.

    Heck, there are at least three cases I read where police not only raided the wrong homes, they killed unarmed, innocent people for doing nothing. One was a young man who walked outside and was shot in the head, one was an older deaf gentleman who was cooking breakfast for his friend and one... One that really burns me up was a raid on a family home. The police broke in a plate glass sliding door and while they had the family down on the ground someone's finger "slipped" and an 11-year-old girl was shot in the head and killed.

    Nothing anyone can say can convince me that SWAT teams aren't overused. Do they have their place? Of course. The North Hollywood shootout comes to mind. Known violent suspects, like murderers, armed robbers etc. These are the kinds of people who even the police need to be protected from.

    I personally believe that in order to execute a raid on a home like these, there should be more than just one judge involved. Judges are obviously signing off on warrants with evidence that is either highly exaggerated, falsified or just non-existent. Something is seriously wrong with the system, and it needs to be fixed ASAP.
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    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    over used? probably but bureaucrats need to justify the huge amount of monies spent/wasted so swat team get called out to jaywalking control ( sarcasm off)

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    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    Are SWAT raids overused? - ABSOLUTELY!

    Just one more piece of evidence: SWAT Team Mania: The War Against the American Citizen
    'Be careful, even in small matters' - Miyamoto Musashi

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