Subject Of Missouri SWAT Raid Was No Angel

By
May 8, 2010

There's a video of a February drug raid making the rounds. I realize the video is compelling, but a closer look paints a somewhat different picture than many blogs have indicated.

Andrew has already posted this, and I'm late to the game because I couldn't bring myself to watch it, but nonetheless, I feel compelled to remark.  Yes, folks, this is your war on drugs:

After he watched it, my more temperate better half was literally shaking with anger. 

But frankly I don't care if the owner of the pot was a drug dealer. For that matter, I do not care if he had a mountain of marijuana in his back yard in which he liked to roll around naked. It still wouldn't constitute a good reason for armed men to burst through his door without knocking, much less light up the family pets in front of the kid.

While police are reviewing their procedures, the target was hardly an angel.

Four co-defendants who pled guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana in Boone County will be sentenced: Joseph Blair Nardi (Columbia, MO, 10 a.m.), Jonathan Eric Whitworth (Columbia, MO, 11 a.m.),David Scott Steinbruegge (St. Peters, MO, 1 p.m.), and Robertson Blake Alexander (Columbia, MO, 2 p.m.)

I wonder how Megan's more temperate better half would have felt if confronting him on their front lawn after he took out six cars and kept going as recently as 2008 while plastered, telling the homeowner, F-ck you, for good measure.

Roberts said his primary concern immediately after the accident was finding out if the driver was OK.

“We asked him to stop, and he said, ‘F— you’ before hitting two more cars,” Roberts said.

The driver pushed his way between two of the cars to get back onto the street and sped away, leaving skid marks on the grass, Roberts said.

“Our lawn basically looks like one giant pool table with cars instead of balls,” Roberts said.

Jonathan Eric Whitworth, 23, of 1501 Kinloch Court, was arrested at 2:40 a.m. Friday at his home on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident and duty to maintain financial responsibility. He was released from the Boone County Jail on $5,000 bail at 8:44 a.m.

And here's a slice of his rap sheet. The dog yelping in the video was a Corgi hit in the paw inadvertently, as it was jumping near the pit bull, which was later dispatched. Officers claim it had tried to attack them twice. And as I said, they are reviewing their procedures. The latest local report is here. There's audio of the chief responding to questions, too. I'm not saying the raid deserves a complete pass. But not every story is displayed accurately in a brief web video, either.

FWIW, Jonathan Whitworth, the target of the raid, has a federal drug conviction and a history of combative arrests. Here is a sliver of this poor “victim’s” history. WHITWORTH, JONATHAN E 31302CM13089 Defendant ST V JONATHAN E WHITWORTH Criminal/Infract.-see Charges 12/27/2002… COLUMBIA, MO Circuit 31 Greene Circuit Division, WHITWORTH, JONATHAN E 31304CM7792 Defendant ST V JONATHAN E WHITWORTH Criminal/Infract.-see Charges 08/30/2004
COLUMBIA, MO Circuit 31 Greene Circuit Division
WHITWORTH, JONATHAN ERIC 04CR164249 Defendant ST V JONATHAN ERIC WHITWORTH Criminal/Infract.-see Charges 01/14/2004
COLUMBIA, MO Circuit 13 Boone Circuit Division
WHITWORTH, JONATHAN ERIC 08BA-CR02900 Defendant ST V JONATHAN ERIC WHITWORTH Criminal/Infract.-see Charges 06/26/2008
COLUMBIA, MO Circuit 13 Boone Circuit Division
WHITWORTH, JONATHAN ERIC 10BA-CR00983 Defendant ST V JONATHAN ERIC WHITWORTH Criminal/Infract.-see Charges 03/09/2010
COLUMBIA, MO Circuit 13 Boone Circuit Division……

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Comments:
  1. rowin says:

    This video perfectly displays THE TYRANNY OF GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES IN 2010. Those police are the thugs we arm ourselves against when we exercise our second amendment rights. Don’t think it can’t happen to you. Botched raids happen all the time. If some gang, police or otherwise, comes knocking down my door, I’m shooting first and asking questions later.

  2. Pug says:

    Well, society is certainly safer now that the dog has been shot.

  3. NeoKong says:

    As far as I know the police cannot kick in your door and raid your house for any crime you have already been to court for. They were there on a drug bust and they came up with nothing. Saying that the victim of the raid is a jerk with a police record does not exonerate them. Using that logic would mean that police could spot someone they arrested six months ago on the street and shoot their dog and say “So what….he’s no angel”
    They screwed up.

  4. rowin says:

    This is the BIG GOVERNMENT POLICE STATE in action. The primary purpose of these kinds of raids is to justify the excessive price tag of maintaining militarized police units, and to justify demands for more money and a bigger police budget the next year.

  5. Matt says:

    This is just proof that some people will find any reason to defend the police. A lot of people defended fascism too.

  6. sookie says:

    I’m sure this guy is not an angel. And he may well deserve to be put in jail.
    What in the hell were they doing serving a search warrant like this with kids in the house? How is what they did any safer than than him driving down the street intoxicated? We’re going to give our cops poor judgment a pass because he was no angel? Really? That’s the level we expect them to rise to?
    As to the charges, what are the criminal infractions exactly? I notice that the specifics are not pasted at the link you posted.

  7. Dan Riehl says:

    I’m impressed by all the libertarian compassion for a child being raised by an angry drug dealing, drunk driving felon. I really am.

  8. Matt says:

    And what exactly did kicking in the door and shooting the dog do to help the child again?

  9. Nick Danger says:

    Bah, just another apologist for The Man. I’m no angel either. But I don’t think a single cocaine bust at AGE 18 and a DWI years ago makes this guy a scumbag who deserves what he got, which is basically what you’re implying here. Let’s not forget that the cops found no scales, no cash, and no guns in this raid. The guy’s no drug dealer. Drug dealers have all of the above. Let’s also not forget that the total amount of marijuana found was 1 gram.
    Thanks but no thanks. I’ll stick with my original theory that the cops are the scumbags in this situation.

  10. Greg Bowers says:

    Dan Riehl, you’re a stupid POS. Go sign up for raids with this posse, as clearly you need to get some kind of job where you don’t need a brain. This isn’t ABOUT whether the guy is a felon; it isn’t ABOUT whether the guy had a bunch of misdemeanours, or felonies (we have no idea what the charges are that the author lists above, they could be petty theft, or they could be possession of illegal substances. It doesn’t say.) It isn’t ABOUT what he is or what he’s done, it’s about the fact that he is in his private HOME, with his wife, pets and children, and he’s having it invaded in the middle of the night by a bunch of redneck cops who are looking for any excuse to kick him in the lower back and off his dog. This is ABOUT the RULE OF LAW and the rule of law isn’t an exception to the law itself; it’s about the proper use of NECESSARY force in order to detain and arrest an individual and following the proper LEGAL procedures in order to do so. There would be no official review of this arrest unless there was considerable evidence to suggest that the officers broke the law in trying to maintain it (whether unintentionally or intentionally is not the question…they’re supposed to be trained in those procedures and follow them to the letter). This is what fascism looks like. This is what Jews faced on a nightly basis in Berlin in the 1930’s. It’s ugly, it’s immoral, it’s illegal, and it’s happening right in the beautiful heartland of the USA: ‘Missourah’. Welcome to your nightmare, America. After the immigration law just passed in Arizona, the legal use of taser’s….civil war is just a breath away. All it will take is one major event to tip the balance in favor of total and utter anarchy. (say, an attempt on Obama’s life… civil war will be here).
    Now, listen, Dan Riehl, because I know you’re a little thick, so I’m going to be totally explicit: I’m NOT defending “an angry drug dealing, drunk driving felon” for his indiscretions and what you’re so certain is his utterly reprehensible child-rearing practices. I’m NOT defending those actions, I’m defending his basic legal rights, the rights that protect him until he’s sentenced to time in prison (and even there) no matter WHAT he’s done. That’s the POINT of this story, it’s the point of the video being posted. So take your moral superiority and your own expertise at raising children and apply it (libertarianally) to your OWN life, and your OWN children’s lives, and leave Whitworth to the blind eyes of Lady Justice; or, when that civil war happens, you might just get beat upside your head by grandma’s cast iron frying pan until you get it through your thick skull that two right’s don’t make a wrong. My own children got that in pre-kindergarten. It’s a pretty simple lesson.

  11. Greg Bowers says:

    Ahhh…so you not only posted that comment, but you’re also the author of this drivel. Figures.

  12. Greg Bowers says:

    Sookie, you have it. Spot on.

  13. Ryan Lee says:

    Ok I agree with pretty much all that asside from the whole tangent about Jews. What does anything have to do with Vietnam Walter?! I DON’T ROLL ON SHOBBOS!!!

  14. Greg Bowers says:

    “the whole tangent about Jews”??…Ryan, I mentioned the Jewish situation in Germany as an analogy in ONE sentence! How does that constitute a whole tangent?? (And I maintain it’s not a tangent, it’s directly relevant).

  15. bocomo says:

    I live in Columbia, MO. We are enraged. Nothing in memory has brought our community together like this. I have not the time to read all of your comments on this blog, as I have been looking at blogs about our fair community from all over the world..
    The history of the video here:
    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/may/06/complete-coverage-february-2010-swat-raid/
    The video was obtained by our local newspaper who for once, acted like real journalists. The police did not want or ever intend for this video to be seen. I am surprised they didn’t “lose” it.
    A good place to get a feel of how Columbians are reacting to this story here, read the comments after this news article:
    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/may/06/chief-details-swat-incident/
    and the comments after this article. Trouble brewing in our fair town….
    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/may/03/drug-raid-inquiry-is-ongoing/

  16. TheNewGuy says:

    Thank you, Dan.
    Integrity is telling the whole truth, even when it’s hard. Radley Balko and his fans sure left out a lot of details in their effort to smear the Columbia police, and spin this into a public relations disaster. I wonder if anyone will ask Balko and his fans if they stand by their selective “reporting?” Glenn Reynolds? Jimbo@Blackfive? Ms. McArdle? I’m looking at you.
    Balko’s sensational claim that the team “fires seven rounds at family’s pit bull and corgi (?!) as a seven-year-old looks on.” is highly suspect. If you watch the video Balko himself posted, you only hear four rounds fired, and it’s plain that the child was in the other end of the house when the dog was shot.
    The claim that the slain dog was in a cage is also highly suspect, since the local Fox affiliate reported the opposite.
    If you’re going to tell the story, and claim to tell the truth, tell the WHOLE truth, including WHY the police might have felt SWAT was necessary. Criminal history is important. The fact that the suspect had resisted arrest before is important. A prior history of dealing drugs (and substance abuse) is important. The fact that he’s an ex-con…
    Tell the whole story if you’re going to do it. Lying by omission? That makes you a propagandist.
    As Balko would say, “just so we’re clear.”

  17. Pinandpuller says:

    Yeah TheNewGuy-this was practically the midnight ride of Paul Revere.

  18. zb says:

    Riehl’s “argument” amounts to the standard refrain of every corrupt cop and DA who ever lived: “I’m sure he was guilty of SOMETHING”

  19. noseeum says:

    “Balko’s sensational claim that the team ‘fires seven rounds at family’s pit bull and corgi (?!) as a seven-year-old looks on.’ is highly suspect. If you watch the video Balko himself posted, you only hear four rounds fired, and it’s plain that the child was in the other end of the house when the dog was shot.”
    TheNewGuy translation: It is perfectly reasonable to fire 4 shots and kill a dog after breaking into someone’s house at 3 AM as long as the kid who witnesses it is only within earshot and more than 6 feet away, but we can all certainly agree that 7 shots would be a terrible offense to mankind. Balko is a jerk for pretending these honorable police officers crossed the magical 6 shot line and should be be subject to a 3 am drug raid.

  20. Jesper Kristensen says:

    Reminds me a bit of The Unforgiven where Gene Hackman’s character (the local sheriff), bursts out “innocent of what?” What a world we’re crafting for ourselves where it becomes OK to traumatize a 7-year old kid like that with the defence being that someone was not an “angel”. Since when do only angels enjoy civil liberties, due process and other good principles such as the punishment must fit the crime?
    We should be bigger than rely on tribalistic stuff like that. As if it’s “us” vs. “them”, with “them” referring to anyone not in our tribe – such as the defendant in this video and his little kid. But maybe it’s your fanatical religion that blurs the lines here, since obviously the kid somehow “deserved it” because he happened to be born into that particular family. Personally I never really got that whole thing with punishing not only the parent but also their offspring in seven generations or somesuch.
    There’s a bunch of similar cases here: http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/drug-war-victim/
    That said, what’s your stance on the Cheye Calvo case? Angel enough for you – or do you just ASSume the guilt of anyone the police desides to bust using excessive force?

  21. awesome says:

    Shorter Dan Riehl:
    Cops can do no wrong and anyone who disagrees is a freedom-hating loser!

  22. Jesper Kristensen says:

    @Greg Bowers: I just wanted to add something Jack Cole from LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) once told me. Police – and the law – is all about “distribution”. Whether or not something is actually sold, or in what quantity, or under which circumstances, is less important. What he did back in the sixties and seventies as an undercover narc was to infiltrate groups of friends on campuses, and if no one managed to light up a spliff and pass it around he’d urge someone to fetch the marijuana. Once that happened and the joint had been passed around he’d simply arrest the person for “distribution”, and the police department would later make a press conference, parade all the bags of green, and say something like “this is the seizures from a hundred drug dealers”.
    And the press would eat it up without question. Not once time during his tenure did a journalist ask just what kind of “drug dealer” these people were. Everyone would simply assume that these “drug dealers” were gun-toting, murderous gangster types that force marijuana down the lungs of innocent second-graders, and not just a bunch of adult friends sharing a little bit of MJ at a party. Indeed, when the people he put behind bars for years got out, pretty much only the “drug community” would welcome them back. In Jack’s own words: “We created the whole problem”.
    But as you so eloquently put it, it’s not about whether people are “angels” or not. In fact, judging from the many well-documented cases there have been plenty of cases where those invaded were indeed close enough to that label, but as we also know that there’s hardly a case where even the “angels” got an apology. Even where the police has served a no-knock warrant at the wrong house it’s the rule to charge the innocent citizen with capital murder if he thought he was being robbed and accidentally shot an invading cop/SWAT-member.

  23. Patrick says:

    Oh, he was a bad guy? I guess that’s okay then.

  24. James Hare says:

    What did his kid do? What did his dogs do? Seems like they paid a pretty hard price for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  25. Liberty60 says:

    What benefit to the public was served by this? Yes, he was a petty criminal, and yes, he was holding 1 gram of marijuana.
    Is this really helping our society, to turn police into paramilitary units? Isn’t there any other way to enforce law and order beside this?
    Is the neighborhood and city one bit safer today as a result?
    This shows the stupidity of turning over ever-increasing state power in the endless “war” on drugs. We, the citizens, become the collateral damage, and the Constitution we claim to love is the first casualty when we go to war against a large segment of our own society.

  26. theod says:

    I bet anybody a thou$and dollar$ that Mr. Riehl would feel much differently if police were to break into his home in a similar fashion using an incorrect address after receiving a tip from an unreliable & desperate drug user who has already been pinched by the cops. That exact scenario plays out quite often. This is simply unacceptable and Mr. Riehl, it seems, has simply been able to insulate himself from police overreach. The police love the drug laws because they can now afford heavy artillery courtesy of the Feds, enjoy the heady power of draconian attack policies, and profitable confiscation practices (of course, making themselves de facto partners of drug dealers). These are not benefits of a quasi-free society.

  27. Contemplationist says:

    Yeah, this is the worst aspect about Conservatives. The reflexive defense of cops. What purpose was served in preventing people from smoking pot by charging into a family’s home dead of night, killing their dog, endangering their child?
    Tell me, Dan, if it was you (yes, wrong houses have been raided too – many times), and as a Conservative you certainly might have a nice shotgun to protect your family from thugs, and you see thugs barge in with guns and shooting your dog, would you be alive?
    Stop sucking the cops’ dicks and please re-evaluate the drug war.

  28. Rhayader says:

    It doesn’t matter one bit whether this guy was an “angel” or not. This was a despicable show of force, plain and simple. Even more infuriating is the fact that this is a common occurrence all over the US.

  29. Jordan says:

    Couple of points here:
    1) “History of combative arrests” Does this mean he came at cops with a gun? Probably not, or else he’d be in the pen now. More like he was verbally or maybe physically uncooperative. Dan, do you think that cops are such wimps that seven of them can’t overpower a single man without automatic weapons?
    2) There were two reasons stated by the police for having a SWAT team serve the warrant. One was that the drugs may be gone if they didn’t overpower the suspect. Well, it’s first ridiculous to think that anyone could destroy a large amount of marijuana in the time it would take to serve the warrant peacefully. For that matter, the guy couldn’t destroy it at all if they chose to detain him while he was out of the house. But more to the point, the police ADMIT that they waited eight days to serve the warrant, so all the urgency arguments are moot. The other stated reason is that drug dealers are typically heavily armed. We “know” this because of TV/movies and because the police (who need to justify their expensive SWAT units) tell us so. Perhaps Dan could agree at a minimum that the presence of weapons that might actually justify militarized raids should be tracked and publicly reported. These raids are disturbing enough that the burden of proof should be on the police.
    3) Dan is silent, as are the police, about the information that led to the warrant. Was it an anonymous tip? If so, you’d think there would be a little concern about lending people with grudges the ability to have heavily armed police storming through one’s door. Was it a tip from a confidential informant? Perhaps Dan can explain why one set of drug-dealing or drug-using scum is reliable enough to use their information while a second set is given the treatment seen in the video.

  30. david says:

    this is the dumbest defense I’ve ever seen. Like commenters pointed out above, we shouldn’t adjust police conduct based on a suspect’s past behavior. How many arrests would you say amount to the basic forfeiture of your 4th amendment rights? Also, police conduct tends to coalesce around a norm. If you want to start adjusting police conduct to people with records, people w/o records will suffer the same abuse.

  31. TheNewGuy says:

    No… it simply becomes more clear, as more information comes out, why Columbia police thought a SWAT service might be necessary on this warrant.
    Mr Whitworth is only 25yo… and in his short life has managed to rack up quite a rap sheet, including a Federal conviction for trafficking marijuana AND cocaine, has a history of resisting… and that Mad-Max-esque DUI spree? Just the cherry on top. Looking at the dates of some of his convictions, he was either barely off probation, or still on, at the time of the latest incident. They did find marijuana in the house, so he obviously hasn’t cleaned up his act yet.
    And another poster is right… we don’t know all the background that went into this warrant. Did they do a controlled or undercover buy? Did a customer roll over on Mr. Whitworth?
    Maybe… maybe not… but who has more credibility in this incident so far? The police, or the OUTRAGED pro-drug folks? The latter group has been mighty selective with their facts, and has taken an incredible amount of “literary license” with their reporting, all to maximize the emotional impact. I don’t appreciate people trying to manipulate my opinion that way.
    Now… please point out to me where the Columbia police have lied.
    Exactly.

  32. TimPundit says:

    I love that the comments on this blog are almost totally against the idiotic ramblings of the blogger.
    I don’t care if the suspect was dealing cocaine out of Jesus’s butthole…they did not deserve this type of treatment and this is simply another tragic failure of the War on Americans.
    I hope the cops serve a very long term for this abuse.

  33. Howard Beale says:

    “who has more credibility in this incident so far? The police, or the OUTRAGED pro-drug folks? ”
    Well, certainly not you, New Guy. And judging from the video, it ain’t the cops either.

  34. TheNewGuy says:

    Keep smoking whatever you’re smoking, Tim. The police aren’t going to jail. Like it or not, they were serving a legal warrant.
    Mr. Whitworth likely WILL end up back in jail… though not on the current charges. That’s just a prediction… based on the fact that he’s a multiple-time recidivist.
    He obviously doesn’t learn from his mistakes.

  35. TheNewGuy says:

    It’s not my credibility that’s at issue here, Mr. Beale… it’s everyone who has joined this little lynching party. They need to decide how much they value the truth, and their own integrity.
    One side has actually told a more complete story. The other side has deliberately omitted important information, told half-truths, used cheap emotionalism, and spun the incident to generate in outrage what they lack in actual facts.
    It’s a shame you can’t see the difference.
    I’m sympathetic to the marijuana legalization argument (I draw the line at cocaine, meth, etc… unless you can guarantee we won’t end up paying for their medical bills and rehab) My thing is this: don’t lie to me. Don’t feed me a line of BS and tug on my heartstrings in order to advance your political agenda.
    If you have to do THAT to make your argument work? I’m not interested.

  36. Shoggoth says:

    NewGuy,
    I’m not “pro-drug” or anti-cop or any such silly thing. Hell, I’m so boringly law-abiding I didn’t even use Napster when it first arrived.
    But I do have eyes. And my eyes show me civilian police officers kitted out like a Marine Corps assault team smashing into a suburban home, shooting a guy’s dogs and terrorizing his family… for what, exactly?
    So the guy is a scumbag. Ok. So they were serving a legal search/arrest warrant. Again, ok. I don’t see anyone claiming otherwise.
    The point is not that cops shouldn’t do their job, but rather: What IS their job and HOW should they do it?
    We don’t need to see Whitworth as some kind of civil rights hero to recoil in disgust and alarm at the berserk law-enforcement militarism on display here.
    Good thing this guy didn’t have three dogs, or two dogs and a cat… the cops might have called in artillery support and leveled the whole block.

  37. TheNewGuy says:

    Shoggoth said: “But I do have eyes. And my eyes show me civilian police officers kitted out like a Marine Corps assault team smashing into a suburban home, shooting a guy’s dogs and terrorizing his family… for what, exactly?”
    Is that you, John Kerry… is this me?
    12/4/2005: “And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women”
    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/node/3092#ixzz0nYfdoigF
    Kerry deliberately chose those words for their emotive effect, just as you did, to build up a caricature that he could attack. You did the same thing with your comment about “berserk law-enforcement militarism.” Is that how you want to advance your political agenda?

  38. noseeum says:

    NewGuy, not even the police are saying they had any credible belief that this guy would be heavily armed or a threat to them. Check out Jordan’s post above. Here were the two reasons for the SWAT team request:
    1. If they didn’t burst into the house, the drugs might be gone
    2. Drug dealers are typically heavily armed (with no statistical support for this assertion whatsoever
    These reasons are pathetic, and a judge authorized the warrant. Tell me, even if point 1 is true, (which in the case of tons of pot it’s not. You can’t destroy pounds of pot in a minute), do you think people’s lives should be put at risk? The police are basically saying, “it’s worth risking innocent people’s lives to ensure we get the drug evidence.” How could you possibly believe that’s true? Don’t you think the police should be forced to maybe sit in a car outside and wait for the guy to walk out and maybe arrest him outside first? And maybe if that fails try the break in? This was their very first choice. They did nothing before hand to minimize the risk to the citizens of their town. That’s despicable.
    Assertion 2 is absolute nonsense. It’s the most ridiculous generalization one can imagine. They didn’t even attempt to provide evidence that this particular man might be heavily armed. It was just simply, “we think this guy has drugs, so that means he most likely has guns, and we need to break his door down.” Talk about lazy police work. The judge should be disciplined for approving this warrant as well.
    You are bringing up points about the suspect, but the police didn’t even use them to get their warrant. They just made a bunch of generalizations, and apparently that was enough to kill a dog.

  39. TheNewGuy says:

    Read the affidavit that went with the warrant. Not one, but two different informants reported a large quantity of marijuana, and police went through the man’s garbage to verify that marijuana was at the residence:
    http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/Police/Documents/AffidavitKinlochCourtsearchwarrant.pdf
    Noseeum: If they believed the man was heavily armed and a serious threat, they’d have gone for a no-knock service in the wee hours of the morning, not a knock-and-announce warrant at what appears to be about nine o’clock at night. There is a difference.
    More details:
    http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/Police/KinlochCourtSearchWarrantUpdate.php

  40. noseeum says:

    Newguy, nowhere in the affidavit is there reports of large stashes if guns. The only reason to believe there are guns is that there might be a lot of pot. That’s ridiculous.
    There was a baggie found in the garbage, not bags full of cuttings. That baggie proves the guy likes to smoke pot on occasion, not that he’s a potentially violent kingpin.
    The problem here is that these cops will be found to have properly followed department policy. It’s not these cops that are the problem. If they were rogue officers I would be relieved. The problem is that they believe their actions are justified. This video is “by the book.”
    That’s the problem. The book says “if we think you may have a lot of pot we can put you and your family’s life in danger. And if you or members of your family die, it’s your fault.”. And somehow you think that makes sense.

  41. Comrade Xiao says:

    Not quite Red China, but we are making good progress toward getting there!

  42. seekeronos says:

    The whole premise of a “no-knock service”, much less a SWAT service predicated upon the assumption that an empty baggie in the trash (could have been trash from the kid’s lunch the day previous) smacks of entrenching the power of the police state.
    I worry more about the tired acceptance of the Drug War and such police raids (when not fully warranted – no pun intended) by a lack of evidence that subject of the raid was a violent fugitive from justice or a paedophile … but plenty of circumstantial evidence that this man was *gasp* a recreational pot user with a bad record.
    Let his record be revisited when he comes before the courts; perhaps a better use of resources and safer still would have been a daylight raid, or a takedown once the subject had left the house.
    Of course, it goes without saying that the drug war exists not for such a noble cause of preventing America’s youth from inhaling noxious fumes, but much more to fund police departments with paramilitary gear, prisons with cheap and/or slave labour, and to keep surplus negroes and other riff-raff off the streets.

  43. Chmee says:

    The “War on Drugs” is nothing more than a sham, devised to enrich those who have the means to pass laws that benefit them and thier friends. It’s all about the money. The money never lies.
    http://solari.com/articles/scoop_narco_dummies.htm

  44. Matt says:

    Let’s just kick in everyone’s door who has any criminal record and possibly may have a bowl of pot. Then we’ll see utopia.

  45. freedomlover says:

    Yea try this on me, you will find a shotgun in your face…

  46. JR says:

    Drop a dime on Dan and see how he likes the “treatment”……..

  47. Tom Perkins says:

    Dan must be fine with this.
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/05/16/michigan.police.child/index.html?eref=igoogle_cnn
    You endorse the concept under barely credible circumstances, you endorse the inevitability that 7 year old girls will get killed for no good reason at all.

  48. Paul says:

    Why do this in the middle of the night? Why not just grab him when he leaves the house in the morning? If they would have surrounded the house in the night, then arrested him in the morning, what would have been the downside? The upside: No family trauma, no dead dog, no outrage.

    The same thing happened to David Koresh. I am NO fan of David Koresh, but a lot of trauma and death could have been avoided if they had simply stopped him in his car going to or from his compound. No need to do the Hollywood drama trip and ratchet up the risk and the excitement.