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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2008 at 08:22
Bigdaddy0381 View Drop Down
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I came across this on another site and thought it was interresting and thought I would share it with ya'll
 
 
 
 
Friday, July 25, 2008 News

Americans Are Living (And Dying) In A Militarized Police State
Dave Gibson

Dave Gibson is a freelance writer living in Norfolk, Va.

Dave Gibson
May 05, 2008

Today, police departments across the United States more closely resemble an occupying army than they do public servants responding to calls for help. Police officers can now be seen wearing helmets and body armor and carrying AR-15's, just to deliver simple warrants. The militarization of our police departments not only gives the appearance of a military dictatorship but places the public at great risk.

No less than 70 percent of U.S. cities now have SWAT teams. In cities with a population of 50,000 or more, 90 percent have SWAT teams.

Eastern Kentucky University professor Peter Kraska told the Washington Post that SWAT teams are currently sent out 40,000 times a year in the U.S. During the 1980's, SWAT teams were only used 3,000 times a year. Most of the time, SWAT teams are being sent out to simply serve warrants on non-violent drug offenders.

Many municipalities are using Homeland Security grants to even purchase large armored vehicles. The Pittsburgh Police Department now uses their 20-ton armored truck complete with rotating turret and gun ports to deliver many of their warrants. Pittsburgh Police Sgt. Barry Budd recently told the Associate Press: "We live on being prepared for 'what if'."

Our police departments now regularly receive free surplus equipment from the U.S. military, which they readily accept. The training being given at many police academies appears to be the type of tactics one would use in Baghdad, rather than Baltimore. It would seem that our police officers are being readied for war, with the American public as the enemy. In the last several years, there has been a transformation from community policing to pre-emptive assaults

On January 24, 2006, Dr. Salvatore Culosi was shot and killed outside his house by a Fairfax County SWAT officer. Police used the SWAT team to serve a documents search warrant, after Dr. Culosi came under suspicion for taking sports bets. The investigation began after Fairfax Detective David Baucom solicited a bet with Dr. Culosi at a local sports bar.

Dr. Culosi was standing outside his home while talking with Det. Baucom, when SWAT Officer Deval Bullock quickly approached with his gun drawn and fatally shot Dr. Culosi in the chest. Court documents report that Culosi never made any threatening movements and made no attempt to run as he watched the SWAT team move in around him.

Dr. Culosi had no history of violence nor any criminal history whatsoever. He operated two successful optometry clinics at Wal-Marts in Manassas and Warrenton, Va. His parents have filed a $12 million lawsuit against the county of Fairfax, Va.

On the night of January 17, 2008, a police SWAT team surrounded Ryan Frederick´s home in Chesapeake, Va. The police were there to serve a drug warrant based on a tip from a criminal informant.

As usual, 28 year-old Ryan Frederick had gone to sleep early in order to leave the house before dawn for his job with a soda distributor. He awoke to a commotion of screams and the distinct sound of someone breaking down his front door.

Frederick´s house had been broken into a few days earlier, being a slight man of only a little over 100 pounds, Frederick feared for his safety. After the break-in, he purchased a gun.

Understandably frightened, Frederick grabbed his gun and when he got to the front of his house, he saw a man trying to crawl through the bottom portion of his door. Terrified that the intruders had returned, he fired.

The man he shot was not an aggressive burglar, nor a drug-crazed murderer, he was Det. Jarrod Shivers. The police detective and military veteran died almost immediately. Frederick was charged with first-degree murder and now sits in a jail cell awaiting trial.

As for the marijuana-growing operation for which police were looking, nothing was found. Only a very small amount of marijuana was discovered on the Frederick property, only enough to charge him with misdemeanor possession. Frederick has admitted that he uses marijuana occasionally but has never been involved with producing nor selling the drug.

Ryan Frederick has no prior history of violence, nor any criminal history whatsoever. He took care of his grandmother until her death two years ago, had a full-time job, and recently became engaged. In his spare time, he worked in his yard and tended to his Koi pond…Not quite the drug kingpin type!


However, based solely on the word of an informant, police obtained a warrant and stormed into this man´s house in the dark of night. The information turned out to be false, a police officer and father of three is dead, and a decent young man´s life is now over.

When Ryan Frederick awoke to the sounds of his home being invaded, he did what many of us would do. He acted reasonably when he grabbed his gun to defend himself and fired at a man who he believed was breaking into his home to do him harm.

Had the police simply went to his home during the daytime and knocked on his door, they could have questioned Frederick and found their information to be groundless. A little traditional police work could have saved the life of a police officer and the Shivers and Frederick families would have remained whole.

The Ryan Frederick story is truly frightening because this same scenario could play itself out in your home or mine. In the age of militarized police departments, we are all in danger.

Here are a few more recent victims of our militarized police departments:

Cheryl Lynn Noel, a mom who was shot by police for picking up her legally registered handgun. She went for her gun to defend herself after a SWAT team in the middle of the night, broke into her Baltimore, MD home. Police stormed her house that night because they claim to have found marijuana seeds in the family's trash can.

Rev. Acelyne Williams, 75 of Boston, died of a heart attack as a SWAT team broke into his home. Police actually had the wrong address.

92 year old Kathryn Johnston who was so fearful that she never left her home and would only open her door after friends who placed her groceries on the front porch had left, was killed by an Atlanta SWAT team last year. An erroneous tip from an informant was enough for the Atlanta Police Department to invade her home. Police have since admitted to lying to obtain a search warrant and to planting drugs in her home after killing her.

In 2006, a 52 member SWAT team stormed into a Denver home in search of a friendly small-stakes poker game. The same thing happened a few months later when SWAT and K-9 units barged in on a charity poker game in Baltimore.

When someone straps on body armor and large caliber weapons, their adrenalin levels begin to surge. As they arrive at the scene, those levels increase. When these now militarized police officers actually break into a dark home and begin shouting at terrified citizens, severe injury and death is likely to occur. It is beyond reason to employ these tactics on anyone other than hardened, violent criminals.

SWAT teams were created in the wake of the 1966 University of Texas sniper shooting spree by ex-marine Charles Whitman. Police did not have the firepower to reach Whitman, who was perched atop the 27-story clock tower. Civilians with hunting rifles came to the scene and joined with police in the effort to stop Whitman. Eventually, police officers and a well-armed citizen scaled the stairs of the tower
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2008 at 10:46
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 No comment except ...  yes those were extremely unexcusable mistakes . Brought on by lousey administrative blunders that the highest ranking officials in those departments should be held accountable and punished for . But it is also a complete shame when our law enforcement has to be equipped like military assault teams to deal with the over armed illegal elements in our country . I have never seen or heard of any swat or tactical team serving warrants for non violent or suspected non armed citizens .
 The people of the United States don't know how close we came to complete martial law the following hours after 911 . We were one heartbeat from it in every city . In reality ... as I was informed at the time ...Washington , DC was under a virtual lockdown ... martial law effect .  Armed military in armed vehicles securing the whole area .... including streets in selected areas . As you know and I have stated before ... I am involved with the current administration and have links to federal organizations and allies and was sent a warning NOT to try to enter the area without complete authorization .... there was one brief viewing on the national news of the humvees and military .... but was blocked and forbidden to be viewed and reported thereafter . You don't know how close we came my friends ! When Air Force one is cruising with THE MAN onboard and his feet are'nt allowed to touch ground ... as it was then ... take the hint .    


Edited by mercenary1947 - July/30/2008 at 10:52
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2008 at 10:54
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I know exactly how close we came. I also saw it from the inside out. I know where I was at that time and it shut down atl just because what is here that not very many people know about and what happened. Most of the things that happened here are kept under wraps and it is on most campuses across the nation. I know it is a drop in the bucket of what you see but I know the reality of what could have happened in a blink of an eye. One well place explosive could level most of down town.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2008 at 11:27
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it's definately interesting, but i think the militarization of our local PD is not necessarily bad.  it just means we have stepped up to much more intensive training procedures for officers.  mistakes will happen, but to ask if this is "martial law" is a little absurd.  martial law implies that we are without a civil government, and that is not the case.
 
interesting article......but it seems a little over the top.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2008 at 19:27
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I still believe that our Government is setting the table for absolute, and ungoverned control. This is just a step further in that direction.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2008 at 20:34
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While I agree that mistakes were made,and that SWAT Teams are used inappropiately in some jurisdictions, they are necessary, and they do save lives.
We had a chief that disbanded our tactical unit (a combination swat team and street crimes unit) because he thought the patrol division could handle any situation. One afternoon my partner and I were told to serve a Mental Inquest Warrent (MIW) on a man that had threatened to kill his family and self. When we knocked on the front door we heared a pump shotgun rack on the other side of the door. We now had a barricaded suspect. Long story short; this incident went into the wee hours of the morning, and because we didn't have a trained coordinated unit, there was miscomunication. The man was shot and killed by an officer who kicked in the a door and entered the house, when he was just supposed to kick in the door and retreat. Had the man not been a nut case he would have killed the officer because he was quicker on the trigger, but every time he thought the police could hear him he would rack the shotgun to scare the police and emptied his shotgun.
If we had a SWAT team, this would have been an easy one for them to resolve without anyone getting hurt. As it was we had poor tactics, communication, and untrained leadership.
Now we have a procedure to see if the SWAT team should be used on a search or arrest warrent so that they are not used on non-violent offenders or low risk warrents.
SWAT teams are great to have when you need them. You just don't need them for everything
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2008 at 15:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2008 at 16:02
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One of my best friends growing up named Blake G. He was a great deputy. He was on the small 6 man swat team of the town I'm from. They went to serve a non violent warrant. This was the 3rd time this guy was to go to jail from child molestation (great system). They went thru the front door and got the guy they were after. Blake was following someone with the shield entered a back bed room to clear the house. The guy’s father raised up from the bed fired one shot. The shot hit the shield then hit Blake right under his left eye. Blake didn't make it out of the house alive. His life was taken for a nonviolent person. It was someone else in the house that took it. I can see where swat is needed but when it really comes down to it you really never know no matter what prep surveillance you have.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2008 at 16:11
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Americans Are Living (And Dying) In A Militarized Police State
Dave Gibson

Dave Gibson is a freelance writer living in Norfolk, Va.
 
I can't guess Mr. Gibson's motive, but it appears he is trying to cause a stink about swat teams and the like. If he values responsible reporting I would hope he would rather stress the need for well trained teams as an answer to the excessively well armed gang and criminal elements of our day. He could also point out the mis-use of these elite defenders by incompitent command and politically motivated big shots. The swat team leaders and members that I am in contact with repeatedly comment on having to cater to self absorbed and/or political minded commanders, chief's and commissions. Mainly under threat of loosing funding if they question the merit of the call. Then if things go bad all eyes are on the "rogue" officer that screwed up. It rarely comes out, what info the team was acting on that may have caused their actions. And then ofcourse you have the individual who had no business on the team to start with. A disaster looking to happen. I see that police work has become as dangerous and unappreciated by polititians and local gov as my soldiers work is in todays combat assignments. We answer the call for any need and assignment that some of these hip-shot cpt's come up with. That they think will earn them a bronze star and if it goes south then they want to blame the soldier for screwing up. I say that after getting first hand intel on why two of my soldiers died in June. Any man reguardless of rank that puts another man in harms way and then turns his complete attention to (something of no value) should be stripped and shipped asap. That goes for any form of inforcement.
 
I'm gonna stop before I get worked up and go brake somebodies jaw!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2008 at 16:13
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I can see why they want to use tactical teams for this as it can be extremely dangerous for them.  But on the other side, if someone kicked the door into my house in the middle of the night I can assure you I would be up with either my AR or my Benelli M4 ready to fight.  In that case I am going to die most likely as I will be out gunned and out maned.  But chances are I will shoot back kill or hurt some of them to. 

Whereas if they just would have knocked on my door and let me answer it I would and I would be completely reasonable about it what ever their beef was.

This is one of those things I don't think there is a right answer for.  It is a double edged sword and no matter what way it is done it is only going to cause problems.  Prepared people are going to fight back and that is going to cause deaths on both sides.  But if you don't do it with a tac team then officers are going to be out gunned at times and killed that way.

This is another reason I am grateful to live in a very small town.  I know a big share of the police in my county and know that something like that will never happen to me.  If they have a problem and need to talk to me they will knock on my door and it will be dealt with that way. 
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Seems like to me that SWAT teams are used primarily for drug busts and weapon beefs. 

Would SWAT teams still be "needed" if drugs were legalized and weapon laws were loosened?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2008 at 16:25
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My threads always seem to ruffle the tail feathers.

 

I agree that the system is screwed up and some ego behind a badge gets in the way of the good guys (police/deputies) allot. I would be the same way if my door was busted down in the middle of the night. What bothers me more than anything is that it could happen at anytime. A wrong mail box number could put me in the grave (witch might make some happy). I have only got a few speeding tickets. I support the local law and do my best to be on the right side of the line. I have even given hand to hand classes to some of our finest but in the end it could happen to me. It is very sad but true.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2008 at 16:27
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Seems like to me that SWAT teams are used primarily for drug busts and weapon beefs. 

Would SWAT teams still be "needed" if drugs were legalized and weapon laws were loosened?
 
 
yes, I think so.There is ALWAYS going to be some nut case that will couse trouble.
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I wonder Bd, did that team knock on the front door and make a reasonable effort to raise someone in the house before they entered the house?
I think the problem is swat teams are being used to serve warrents that don't need a swat response. The real problem is no knock warrents. No knock warrents (at least in my state) are warrents where the police do not have to announce their presence before entering the premises in order to prevent the distruction of evidence, or escape of suspects, or reduce the threat to officers serving the warrent.
Not every warrent requires a no knock response. As it is here an officer serving a warrent must make a reasonable effort to raise someone at the primeses and announce your intent to them before forceng entry. This cuts down on mistaken identity.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2008 at 16:43
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Originally posted by BeltFed BeltFed wrote:

I wonder Bd, did that team knock on the front door and make a reasonable effort to raise someone in the house before they entered the house?
I think the problem is swat teams are being used to serve warrents that don't need a swat response. The real problem is no knock warrents. No knock warrents (at least in my state) are warrents where the police do not have to announce their presence before entering the premises in order to prevent the distruction of evidence, or escape of suspects, or reduce the threat to officers serving the warrent.
Not every warrent requires a no knock response. As it is here an officer serving a warrent must make a reasonable effort to raise someone at the primeses and announce your intent to them before forceng entry. This cuts down on mistaken identity.
 
 It was a No Knock. The guy had been known to run and was on the run from skipping bond.
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In Tulsa once a year they have a warrant hunt. Focusing on going after delinquent traffic violations. It is preformed by the swat team. Also on a normal day there is only one officer assigned to track down dangerous felons. On an average there are 62 officers assigned to seatbelt enforcement. This was statistics from the local Fox station. If the official's in charge would deploy the officers to catch the free raining felons in stead of the housewives running to the store we would all be safer and the crime here could be curved drastically. When questioned the police spokesman said that the practice kept the officers out of  dangerous situations. I thought that was what we paid them for. To lessen the danger of the public. Now I'm Mad again.  Devil


Edited by 3_tens - July/31/2008 at 18:19
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