Author Topic: Scenes from a militarized America: Iowa family ‘terrorized’  (Read 252 times)

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Offline flowers

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Scenes from a militarized America: Iowa family ‘terrorized’
« on: February 04, 2014, 05:17:00 PM »

From the images in the video, you’d think they were looking for an escaped murderer or a house full of hit men. No, none of that. They were looking for a few people suspected of credit card fraud. None of the people they were looking for were inside of the house, nor was any of the stolen property they were looking for. They did arrest two houseguests of the family on what the news report says were unrelated charges, one for a probation violation and one for possession of illegal drugs.

A couple other points about this story. First, note that the police say they knocked and announced themselves before the raid. The knock and announce requirement has a long history in U.S. and English common law. Its purpose was to give the occupants of a home the opportunity to avoid property damage and unnecessary violence by giving them time to come to the door and let the police in peacefully. As you can see from the video, the knock and announce today is largely a formality. The original purpose is gone. From the perspective of the people inside, there’s really no difference between this sort of “knock and announce” and a no-knock raid. (The covering of the officers’ faces is also troubling, though also not uncommon.)

Historically, the other purpose of the knock-and-announce requirement is to avoid the inevitable tragedy that can result if homeowners mistake raiding police for criminal intruders. As the requirement has been eroded, allegedly to protect the safety of police officers, we’ve seen plenty of tragedy — and many of those tragedies have been the deaths of police officers. There was another one just last December. And it almost happened here:

    Prince’s son, Justin Ross, was in the bathroom when police burst in, and he was carrying a gun that he has the legal right to carry. “I stood up, I drew my weapon, I started to get myself together to get out the door, I heard someone in the main room say police. I re-holstered my weapon sat back down and put my hands in my lap,” Ross recalls.

Ross says he didn’t hear the police announcement until after one officer had already attempted to kick in the door. Had that officer been successful, there’s a good chance that Ross, the police officer, or both would be dead. The police department would then have inevitably argued that Ross should have known that they were law enforcement. But you can’t simultaneously argue that these violent, volatile tactics are necessary to take suspects by surprise and that the same suspects you’re taking by surprise should have known all along that they were being raided by police. Well you can, and police do, and judges and prosecutors usually support them. But the arguments don’t logically coexist.

Offline happyg

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Re: Scenes from a militarized America: Iowa family ‘terrorized’
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2014, 05:44:35 PM »
Lots of cops in my family, but I'm still leery of the ones I don't know.

Offline Fishrrman

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Re: Scenes from a militarized America: Iowa family ‘terrorized’
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2014, 10:11:54 PM »
Surprised this was published by the Washington Post, which I would otherwise expect to march to the beat of "statism"...

What will it take for a citizenry to disarm police that have gone out of all bounds of control ?

Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: Scenes from a militarized America: Iowa family ‘terrorized’
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 11:13:26 PM »
Couple of months ago there was a drug raid that involved just regular officers but it was a no knock warrant.  The person inside opened fire on the police with an AR-15 and killed one deputy.

Right now, he's sitting in jail on a capital murder charge.  They did find some pot, but nothing of significance.  If they had thought the guy was such a threat, why not send the SWAT team who wear heavy body armor instead of just investigators and patrol officers who are not as well protected against small, high velocity rounds.

Anyway, we'll see how it all plays out.  He got (pro-bono) one of the best (or worst depending on your point of view) defense attorneys in Texas.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

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