From the commentator LTC F underneath yesterday’s Question of the Day:

“The odds of [having a SWAT team invade your home] are slim, but they’re not zero. Again, a long time ago in a county far far away, I served as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff. (That meant that the county got about six eight hour shifts a month for free out of me, usually covering for someone on vacation.) Back then I wore a nice light blue shirt, with dark blue pants, sporting a nice stripe down the leg, a white stetson, cowboy boots, and big, shiny six pointed star badge. I wore a leather gun belt and smiled a lot at the good folks who would have paid my salary if I got one. I carried a Smith and Wesson Highway Patrolman in .357, and there was a shotgun in the rack on the dash. I didn’t look like a storm trooper (I saved that for my paying job) . . .

Today, the Deputies in that same county wear black shirts and pants with a cloth badge sewn over the pocket (subdued, no doubt for camouflage), the same ballistic eye protection I wore in Iraq and Afghanistan, semi-auto’s in thigh holsters, combat boots, and a perpetual scowl. They have Kevlar helmets and vests in the trunk, along with M16s (as in full auto, rock and roll hell yeah get some) and flashbangs. They look more like a stormtrooper than I do, and damnit I AM A STORMTROOPER.

When did we decide that we were going to militarize our police? When did we decide that the Fourth Amendment didn’t preclude masked gunmen under the authority of “THE STATE” from knocking our doors off the hinges, throwing HAND GRENADES through our windows, shooting our dogs, and zip tying our kids?

When did we decide that our police need armored cars (the Killeen PD uses the same armored patrol vehicle that the MP’s used in Baghdad) and drones? How much more are we willing to put up with?

The problem with toys, is that if we have them, we’re going to use them, if nothing else to justify having them. When the number of fires started declining every year, fire departments starting sticking an EMT on every engine company and rolling them on every medical call. Presto, despite half the number of fires as 1975, they do three times the number of calls, so obviously they need the big budget. Why send SWAT to serve all of your warrants? So we can justify the budget.

Sometimes I don’t recognize the America that I’ve spent the last 23 years defending from ‘all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ Lately the domestic enemies scare me more than the foreign.”

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66 Responses to LTC F: “When Did We Decide We Were Going to Militarize Our Police?”

  1. Amen. Hays County has an armored vehicle with a huge battering ram sticking out the front. Hays county is a sleepy rural town south of Austin. How many times a year do they have a real need for an armored battering ram? The police are out of control these days.

    • I don’t think it’s so much of the police that are out of control, but the governing branch of whatever jurisdiction you happen to be subject to.

      Sen. Dianne Feinstein, in response to 50 caliber weapons, was recently highly concerned about their ability “to penetrate armored limousines.”

      If the fevered imagination of the good Senator is afraid of her fellow citizens for that, why wouldn’t she employ war-like police forces as an adjunct to the plates of steel in the sides of her car?

      The hoi polloi are apparently getting a little frightening.

      • You bring up a very good point Kirk. The elites have good reason to be concerned, in the sense that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Well founded or irrational as it may be, they see the world and their place in it very differently than many people do. In my perspective, they live in a world of court intrigue and skullduggery, populated by the likes of Guy Fawkes, Robespierre and a slew of other Machiavellian sorts. If I were Diane, I don’t think that I’d sleep very well either.

        Which brings me to mission creep, budget creep and the sum of all fears creep. I can’t think of who said it now or exactly how they said it (perhaps Orwell) but to justify their existence and budget they must keep the hoi polloi agitated and in a constant state of fear. The litany of alphabet agencies and their foils is long and growing; terrorists, narcotraficantes psicopático, militias, right wing racists, kidnappers, gang-bangers, etc., etc. The world is a really, really incredibly scary place, you can’t possibly understand how really, really scary it is because you don’t have their extra-special knowledge and skills, their job # 1 is to protect us from all of the boogeymen (real or imagined, whether we like it or not), and it’s all for the greater good of the republic, mom, apple pie, the American way and the children (of course, always the children)…… Or not. They promise to kiss the boo boo and make it all better if they just have a little more money, a little more power, a few more really cool toys and an ever more cowed and compliant population.

        Unfortunately, I suspect that things will naturally have to get a lot worse before they get any much better. In engineering, we know that the larger and more complex the system, the more controls need to be placed to keep things running smoothly. Analogous constraints and controls need to be applied to human social organization. One could well argue that we had much greater freedom and far less fear when we were a country of one hundred fifty million souls than we are today with a population of three hundred thirteen million. And so it goes.

        Watch your top knot brother.

        • Indeed. I think the agitation meme was Orwell. One thing that cuts through the quality of quantity and inherently complex systems to manage them is the sanctity of Life combined with the sovereignty of every individual.

          Or so it seems to me.

  2. This is some scary stuff. It also seems like there is way too much attention being given to law abiding citizens that want to keep and bear arms to protect their loved ones. The state gives the privilege and then labels you as a nutjob that needs to have their weapons confiscated. How many stories do we hear of police officers responding to a “man with a gun” call that turns out to be a conceal carry permit holder that is doing nothing wrong and then winds up getting killed. What happened to analyzing the situation first before shooting someone? If you show up at the scene and there is a nut job waving a gun threatening people then by all means kill them dead on the spot. Like I said, scary stuff.

  3. I’m thinking the 1986 FBI Miami Shootout had a huge effect. The LEOs don’t want to ever face another situation where they are outgunned and less prepared than the bad guys.

    • I agree, I think it was a gradual change with few big events thrown it to shove it along. Another big one that comes to mind is the 1997 North Hollywood shootout, things really changed after that one. Every LEO wanted an M-16 after that.

    • But we are not, despite the claim, at “war” on drugs or the American people. There is almost always time to stand back and wait. The inclination for the police to act with extreme violence at every occasion and not warning people before serving a warrant is what this nation was founded to be against.

      This is how dozens of people got killed in Waco.

    • I think you could potentially go back even further. The Barrow Gang and the Dillinger Gang both upped the ante in firepower considerably, meriting a dramatic increase in police firepower.

      • This is also very true, but back then it was mainly the Fed’s picking up BAR’s and Thompson’s… not small town America.

  4. Well, I will give 2 examples, Oklahoma City, and them 2 nuckle heads who robbed the Bank of America in Cali. A heavily armed civilian population, which has as much fire power as the police, could be a cause of concern for them. But I do side with the guy who said, you dont need swat to serve a warrant. I think a lot of things could be solved with a little compasion and understanding better than a raid. But for those times when you need your storm troopers, I say, send them in. Just to throw this out their, I am not LE, nor do I agree with most of what they do, nor do I agree with any infringement on any ones right to bear arms. I emplore everyone out their to get out and vote these liberals out who think they are saving us from ourselves, I dont need saving, and I’m sure you dont either. Vote to get big brother out of our lives.

  5. Fedzilla has been incrementally doing this for years. In 2008 B. O., in a speech, said the he wanted a civilian police force that is just as powerful and well-equipped as our military, and the dumb-downed sheep voted for him anyway. Beam me up Scotty.

    • Yep, and it’s really no mystery. The very rich and very poor want super police forces. Without these the very rich [a la Feinstein] do not feel safe. Without these the poor know the government can’t take the 70%’s money and give it to them. The real coup lay in convincing the middle 70% that somehow they themselves needed domestic police rivaling the National Guard in firepower and surveillence ability. But succeed they did. The war on drugs played a vital role in this endeavor to persuade. Has anyone’s child been saved from drugs by all this “war on drugs”? Doesn’t appear so judging by statistics. Armored limousines, indeed! They don’t stop the high-caliber dealers, apparently. I preferred the old-fashioned concept in America, where a lightly-armed sheriff called out the citizens when more firepower was needed. That, though, required trusting the citizens and the concept was broken by very high rates of immigration, alien-seeming new-comers. That trust has to be rebuilt.

      • Having the misfortune of living the greater Miami area, I would say my day-to-day dealings with immigrants whether legal or not were far more pleasant than dealing with the NYC rejects that had to blow a lid or have an attitude about everything. Given the choice, I would trust an illegal Haitian over most of the NYC turds I dealt with.

        The trust that needs to be rebuilt needs to be from within our own country.

  6. I admire LTC F, and thank you for your service to our nation. Those who say that the transformation of the police was gradual are correct. I was there and saw it. We increasingly came across people with better firepower than we had. One of the final things that led to our department carrying AR-15s occurred around 1990. An officer armed with a Colt Delta Elite 10mm was confronted by a dude with an AK-47 during a domestic call. He survived by shooting first and accurately. Shortly thereafter, myself and other officers were pursing a guy who had flashed an Uzi on the beach and fired at someone. We were armed with handguns.

    We continued to run across people who were heavily armed, and the department decided that we needed to be as well armed as they were. It was simply a matter of catch-up.

    People clamor for the right to own AKs and ARs and bitch about the assault weapons ban. I agree… law abiding citizens should be able to own them. But bad guys own them too. And that, in a nut shell is what happened over time. The police equalized what they encountered on the streets. The police being well armed is Not your problem if you’re not a criminal. If the federal government goes bad, your problem then will be the M1-A1 Abrams tank.

    • well, that begs the question, if there ever was a military coup, would the local police be on our side (local guys) vs the military? Hard to say. When you study militarized governments, and there is a rebellion, usually some of the military defect. You never really hear what side the local police are on. I guess it depends if they are still getting paid or not.

      • I’m PD, and I’m on the side of the law – abiding citizens. I did get called a “welfare queen” on this site, which did offend me slightly, but I am on the side of the law – abiding citizen nonetheless. Most of the men and women I work with are the same way. And I live and work in California, which is disgustingly liberal for the most part, albeit not completely lost.

        • That was me who called you a welfare queen. The problem with being on the side of the law, is that when SHTF, you will be required by law to follow orders. You know how easy it is to change a law if the powers that be want to? You’ll follow orders like a good welfare queen just so you can enjoy a negligibility higher standard of living than you would in the private sector. You claim to be on the side of law abiding citizens, but are you really? Are you a member of the oath keepers? And if so, do you actually wear your patch, quite possibly in violation of department policy? Chances are you are not because your on a SWAT team and want to remain feeling ‘special’.

        • matt, I appreciate your passion, and as lawyer I have no reason to trust cops — but the fact that Accur81 is here indicates to me that he’s one of us, not one of “them.” Don’t let the uni blind you to the man wearing it. That wouldn’t be fair.

        • He is a “sniper” on a SWAT team, his job is to shoot people without question. He doesnt bother to investigate them before pulling the trigger, he quite simply cant. I’d love to hear him respond to my comments about the oath keepers.

        • Think of it this way, if you see someone dressed up as a gang banger, are you going to give him the benefit of the doubt, or are you going to judge him before you get to know him? And it is really hard to say that he is not “one of them” when he calls himself a “sniper” presumably on a SWAT team, and this article is about the militarization of the police. Go back and read his comments on the article about snipers in stadiums from a week or so ago.

        • Believe it or not, you don’t judge until you talk to the person. I know some cops who don’t follow that logic, but treating everyone with dignity and respect until they deserve otherwise has gotten me into far fewer foot chases and physical fights.

        • Can you tell me how a SWAT “sniper” can treat people with dignity and respect at 100+ yards?

        • Like you said, that’s not their job. You can only hope that the officers involved with the preliminary investigation and contact with the suspect followed that rule. There are two types of people who get into law enforcement:

          1. Those that want to help people
          2. Those that were picked on growing up and want to “get back” at the world

          We don’t need the second type and try to ferret them out in the FTO phase.

        • I understand that, but my point is not everyone is out to “get you.” Believe me that most officers would rather encounter someone posting on this site rather than their usual stops. A lot of cops are not gun people, but the ones who are typically support the 2A as much as anyone on this site. My point is that most officers are there because they want to help the community, not oppress it. Some will always blindly follow orders, others will exercise discretion and better judgement. It’s a mixed bag as anywhere in society, but most departments try to eliminate potential problems before they start through some sort of FTO (field training officer) program.

    • I would agree, except it seems that with each passing day, and each passing law, we all get a little closer to being deemed a criminal.
      We now live in a country where people have had guns shoved in their faces for selling raw milk.

      Guy with an uzi who intends to hurt people? Yeah, I’m glad the responding officers have an AR in the trunk. it’s when a good citizen is looking down the barrel of one over something that really could have been handled with a knock at the door, and a conversation, that I have a problem with it.

      In my AO, a woman recently found herself in leg shackles over an expired dog license. I’m not making that up.

      There are times that the application of force is necessary to protect the public, and the lives of the officers involved, and there are times it would be thuggish. That line is blurring.

    • I don’t begrudge the cops having guns. I don’t like the idea that they have to have swat teams and no-knock warrants and they execute dogs. How many more people are going to get killed by swat teams raiding the wrong, or even the right house before we as a people demand that our servants behave better?

    • The police being well armed is Not your problem if you’re not a criminal.

      It sure is if the police screw up the address on a no-knock warrant served by SWAT doing the bidding of DEA or whoever. In that case, by all that is just, every one of the home invaders should be shot dead, and the homeowner should get a grand jury no-bid. Then the homeowner should sue the police officials responsible, personally and the locality in general, and bankrupt them all.

      I won’t hold my breath.

  7. The government has no right to man portable weapons that the average man has no right to own. That’s my philosophy. I honestly do think automatic individual arms should be unregulated and people should be able to own rocket launchers.

  8. Hmm… When did this all start to happen? I probably am a bit older than RF or LTC F. See I remember the early 1960’s as a kid. I distinctly remember the urban race riots of the 1960’s. See I remember the 82nd Airborne deployed in LA. I remember the National Guard shooting people in Newark. I remember a store owner pointing a loaded .44 magnum at me in the dark of a city. As the entire NYC police force was engaged in suppressing riots in Harlem. I remember JFK, MLK, RFK, George Wallace and others getting shot on TV. I remember the Viet Nam protests. As a 14 year old in HS, I barely escaped being beaten down by the precursor to SWAT, the NYC Tactical Patrol Force. I remember a quote from the PM of Israel describing when in 1968 he came to the US as Ambassador. How HE was shocked to see machine gun nests surrounding the Pentagon and riots paralyzing cities in the heat of summer. I remember in NYC when the lights went out (the second time) and the citizens of the south Bronx burned down SQUARE MILES of apartment buildings and stores. I remember when in 1975 ABC put a show on called SWAT with Steve Forrest. It so shocked the viewer sensibilities that they would pile out of a dead black van that in the second season they repainted the van a lite blue. My old man told me stories of 1920’s and 1930’s NYC cops with state of the art Tommy guns taking on the illegal liquor trade.

    When did the police change? I have to tell you that folks always think that the world started when they were born. But the power of the state has been exercised over the masses since Christ was born. Different dress maybe. Different weapons maybe. But the view that somehow things were all sweetness and light in the past is misleading at best.

    • Thank you Tommy Knocker for your post. Most people feel “that the nation is falling apart”, or “the world is coming to an end”, or “communism/socialism/marxism is taking over” etc. Whatever people fear is what they see at all times.

      For example, show a picture of an Arab and people think Terrorist, show a picture of a black teen in his favored garments and he’s a thug, and show a picture of a white man in a police uniform striking someone and it’s police brutality, and show a picture of an asian and he will seem hardworking and nonthreatening.

      The truth is, and always will be, we are primates who’s ability to control our emotion’s separates us from face/genitalia eating chimpanzees. It’s not getting worse, it’s not getting better, it’s just waves like a sin wave, or cos wave if you prefer.

  9. I don’t know when it started but I can tell you when the 4th Amendment finally disappeared for good:

    When we all tacitly approved airport scanners.

    If you can have your person searched to board a plane then what’s to prevent it when you board a train, bus, enter a public building, restaurant, movie theater or shopping mall?

    Currently, the technology is crude, large, heavy and expensive. In 10-15 years these scanners will be small, cheap and everywhere. Instead of fuzzy monochrome images, they will render high-resolution color images of every item in your pockets and article of clothing you wear. It won’t even require you to consent or pass through the device with your knowledge. The technology will be built right into surveillance cameras and the renderings will be stored in face recognition data bases. It will only be limited by terabytes and there will be no shortage of terabytes.

    • Yeah… those airport scanners don’t really violate the 4th amendment. You don’t need to take a plane anywhere, and any time you do you agree to the terms when you purchase your ticket. Considering how deadly a plane can become I am ok with higher security at airports, though I do think that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

      As for your idea of the scanners… they already exist (except for the color part, but that is not actually doable for reasons nobody cares about). A cheap camcorder with a night vision setting can be used to look through clothing and in fact is already used as such in Japanese airports. Though instead of the government it is done by perverts to look up skirts and past panties.

      • That is just this side of an urban legend. Certain models of camcorders made 15 years ago could kindasorta see through clothes under ideal circumstances. They were recalled and replaced. Even a regular camera can “see through” certain kinds of clothing, again under ideal circumstances. I’ve had to delete a few perfectly innocent pictures of folks due to, I’m guessing, a shift in color balance that made white underwear underneath a dark loose-knit article of clothing show up clearly, when you couldn’t see it at all with the, ah, naked eye.

        There isn’t anyone walking around with a super-secret spy camcorder taking pictures of your pocketknife and keychain.

        • And cheap cameras today can do it too. Google search “pervert Alert: S95-styled” an article by gizmodo should come up. I did not mean to imply that it saw through all clothing, but it does work on thinner fabrics, and I assume a purpose built version, or user tweaked with a more powerful IR light and sensor would see through thicker fabric.

  10. Well, I’m sorry to say, the time when we started militarizing our police is when we lost the war on terror.

    The goal of 9/11 was to make us all so afraid that all of our freedoms were taken from us, we were all paranoid that more terrorist attacks would take place, and the government would become an enemy of the people to try to protect itself.

    I am not allowed to have a rifle like in the next state over simply because people are afraid. I an an OIF/OEF vet, and shooting is a hobby of mine – but the government is too afraid of me to let me match the arms that I have a right to keep and bear with their own arsenals. Even though all of their firearms are, in fact, versions of a civilian weapon, made by civilian weapons manufacturers.

    The terrorists won. That’s why we need SWAT teams that can come into our houses, break down our doors, ziptie our kids, shoot our dogs… And then make us pay for the damages because they had “probable cause” that they made up, even though they really wanted to go into our next door neighbor’s house.

  11. You see it here in Canada as well. As far as I know all major cities in Canada have armored vehicles for their police forces. I don’t know about no knock warrants though, never heard of that up here.

    • I agree that Sept. 11, 2001 was a BIG increment forward in the militarization of police, but I also remember the summer of 1968, and the riots, the murders, the assinations, the disregard of civil rights at political conventions, and so much more. That was probably as ligitimate a birthplace for the change of police policy as any in the post WWII era. Another part of the problem is the multiple agencies all involved in law enforcement. The FBI, the DEA, the BATFE (and really big fires), the US Marshalls service, the Secret Service, the TSA, plus all the state and local agencies. Each one has its own agenda, and has to justify its existance that “it” can do what no other agency can do, therefore it needs to be continually funded, expanded, and put into more and more areas of our lives.Too many agencies each claiming expertise in their niche area, with poor cooperation between them, fosters competition to be the biggest and baddest. The result is a buch of agencies that operate like small armies, with the general population increasingly getting the short end of the stick.

  12. SWAT, drones, armored cars and all that militray gear has one purpose — to keep us obedient. Yes, us, the average decent citizens who commit no crimes, at least not malum in se crimes.

    No, SWAT isn’t there to intimidate the criminals into obedience. Criminals are never going to obey and besides, without criminals there’s no reason for cops. Cops need criminals like oncologists need cancer.

    • Unfortunately, too true. True also about so many areas of our society; the court system, the penal system, the mental health system, the medical system, etc. All are dependent on repeat business. In terms of law enforcement an old story comes to mind. Legend records a Texas Ranger stepping down from a train in a riot-torn town and being met by the locals who said, “They only sent one Ranger?” His reply, “You only got one riot, don’t you?”

  13. My neighbor who’s a good guy, likes to smoke some pot, no biggie, it’s a victim-less “crime”. Apparently someone wanted to settle a score with him and calls the cops and told them he was selling dope. So on nothing more than the word of a tattletale they raid his home, I was outside at the time and 8 paramilitary police with AR15’s kicked in his front door, the court records the next day showed him arrested for one eighth of an ounce of cannabis. A joint, wonder how much that nonsense costs us? We’ve talked about it many times since it happened, he was fined 350 bucks with a night in county….over a joint, raided with assault weapons in full paramilitary garb over a joint. Police Chief never returned my three calls inquiring why we are wasting money on that bullsh!t.

  14. I’m by no means anti-law enforcement. My dad was the chairman of the police personnel board in the small town I grew up in, every night in the spring and summer a police car would be parked in front of our house when a cop stopped by to talk to my dad in the driveway. Those same cops ate half their meals in the volunteer fire station I was a member of. I was a reserve Deputy. Three of my neighbors are LE, two Deputies and a Texas State Trooper.

    What I am is anti-militarization of the police, and pro- Fourth Amendment. I forget who said, “The clothes make the man.” I saw it when I was a young Lieutenant in the 82d Airborne Division. Stick a maroon beret on a kid fresh out of jump school, tell him he’s elite, and I’ll be damned if he doesn’t act that way. The problem is that some of those “elite” young paratroopers treated their fellow Soldiers of the “leg” variety with contempt.

    I see the same thing with police today…not all, but enough to concern me. I95 ran through my patrol area when I was a Deputy. I made more than my fair share (especially when you consider I only worked about six nights a month) of high risk traffic stops on I95. We didn’t have dash cameras and wear microphones in those days, but if we did and you wanted to show some of my stops on TV you wouldn’t have to bleep out any of my language like you see on COPS now a days. It’s amazing how calling an obvious smack head who’s hiding something in his car “Sir” will keep a situation calm. As in, “Sir I need you step out of your vehicle, with your hands over your head and back up towards me please.” Or a simple, “Sir, is their anything in your pockets I should know about before I pat you down?” Treating people as people goes a long way to keeping things non-violent.

    Part of dressing cops as Soldiers, and briefing warrants like a military operation, complete with talk of “actions on the objective” and “targets” is that they tend to act like Soldiers and treat suspects as targets. When your serving a warrant on the wrong address or there are innocent kids around, the results can be tragic.

    Waco is a prime example. I’d have to dig through too many cartons of books that I haven’t unpacked in a few moves to find it, but there was a great book written about the Branch Davidian fiasco. Two of the people interviewed were Texas Rangers, who had visited Karesh, and were friendly with him and his followers. Had the ATF let them knock on the door and ask him to come down to answer some questions, thirty something lives…including two ATF Agents…could have been saved. Instead, masked men, dressed in black, threw flash bang grenades in windows and were shocked when people shot back.

    There are times and people who call for violent execution of no knock warrants, but there aren’t many. That’s my concern.

    Sorry to ramble…I’m a bit passionate about this subject.

    • Sir, I thank you for your service, to our Nation and the communities that you’ve served in. You are truly the voice of reason and rationality. I wish that you and many more like minded souls as yourself were instructors at our police academies.

    • Sorry to ramble…I’m a bit passionate about this subject.

      LTC F, that kind of passion requires no apology whatsoever. On the contrary, it should be applauded.

  15. Waco was indeed a tragedy, as was Ruby Ridge, perpetrated by the federal government not local law enforcement. Mistakes are made by local LE, but not nearly to the degree that some seem to think. As a hostage negotiator I’ve been on many swat callouts. Not one was at the wrong address, ever. Of course we only use swat for serious situations, or on what we Know are high risk warrants such as murder, etc.

    Of course many things are different in other parts of the country. In Texas the LE officers I know believe in the 2nd and 4th amendments and uphold the constitution. I can’t speak for the anti-gun states and their police actions. I’d hate to live in NYC or Chicago, but again, the actions of police in those areas directly reflect their attitude towards guns in general.

    Like David Crockett said, “You can all go to hell. I’m going to Texas.”

    • I don’t think this is limited to the Feds. Thanks to laws that allow local governments to seize property remotely connected to the drug trade, and judges giving warrants based on at best shady information, we’ve created a dangerous situation.

      A few examples from local law enforcement:

      Berwyn Heights MD: Despite intercepting a FEDEX package containing marijuana at the FEDEX warehouse, Prince Georges County Sheriff Dept decided to allow the package to be delivered to the mayor’s residence. SWAT team zip tied his elderly mother in law, dragged him out of the house in his underwear, shot his two labs in the back yard, in front of his wife and kids. He had no connection to the package. A network regularly shipped packages to houses where they didn’t expect anyone to be home during the day and picked them up off the front stoop. Was there a need to conduct a SWAT raid on this house?

      In Boston MA a confidential informant gave the wrong address for a street dealer. The SWAT team raided the apartment of a 75 year old retired Methodist Minister, who died of a hear attack after being thrown to the floor and handcuffed by masked men. Of course the masked men were Boston PD SWAT. He died in cuffs.

      Hamilton, Ontario Canada, on a wrong address SWAT raid for a street dealer, a 75 year old refugee from Mynamar required 12 stitches after being struck in the head with the butt of a rifle, after failing to comply with orders from masked men who entered his house. The masked men were Hamilton PD SWAT.

      A 61 year old Lebanon TN man was shot and killed and his wife handcuffed and thrown to the floor when she screamed at him to get his gun when masked men broke into his home. The masked men were Lebanon PD SWAT, executing a drug raid on the wrong address based on a warrant received based in information from a street dealer arrested earlier in the day.

      How often do we really need to execute no knock, SWAT raids for low level dealers? We’re not talking cartel heads holed up in fortresses, or meth labs, we’re talking street dealers, living in neighborhoods favored by mayors and retired ministers.

      I believe the decision to use SWAT was based on a bureaucrat in a leadership position covering his fourth point of contact. “I have SWAT, if I don’t use SWAT and something bad happens I am in trouble. If I use SWAT and something bad happens, SWAT is in trouble.”

      • Don’t forget the Marine allowed to bleed to death by Pima County AZ Sheriffs’ SWAT while his crying wife begged a 911 dispatcher for an ambulance.

        He had a family member alleged to be involved in marijuana sales…..so the Sheriff’s Dept. executed a no-knock warrant. The Marine, believing his family to be in danger because masked men were breaking into his home, stuffed his family into a closet, and armed himself with his AR15.

        71 shots (fired into a home it was known contained children) later, Jose Guerena was dead. He had never fired a shot.

  16. You’re going to be glad they have all them ” toys” when shit go crazy. You all need to grow the fuck up. You can have all the fucking tacticool shit you want under ” HUURR DURRR MY 2ND AMENDMENT” But you want cops to be armed liked english bobbys? Come on now. I bed when tyrone kicks in your door the first thing your going to do is call the cops

  17. Keep looking and I’m sure you can find other examples. Then see if you can find the total number of swat situations in the U.S. and figure the percentage. I’m sure you will find that the percentage is extremely low. It’s analogous to concealed handgun license holders, some of whom will commit serious gun crimes, but only a small percentage. Should we disparage all CHL holders because of a few idiots?

    Bad situations make headlines because they are rare. You never see a headline of “There were 30,000 commercial airline flights today and Nothing Happened!”

    Sleep tight, I doubt if swat is hiding in the bushes.

  18. Police will never stop getting better tech and gear…nor should they. Go pray to your ruby ridge alter if you wish. There is no reason for police to be under gunned or geared. The military can not deploy on US Soil without an act of congress….so it falls to the police. When the criminals are getting better gear, then so shall the police. Beginning, middle and end of this story.

    • There is no reason for police to be under gunned or geared.

      Correct. Neither is there a reason for the police to murderer women, children and family pets. And that, my friend, is the real beginning and middle of story. But unfortunately, it’s not the end.

  19. Robert…are you pissed cause the military (Sans Special Forces) doesn’t get full auto “rock and roll” M4s but we do?

    Try to hide it a bit more egh..

      • Yea, it could be a troll. OR…it could be that this is like the umteenth article written about the same dam thing with a BS title “When did we decide to militarize our police?”.

        The horse is old, dead and tired. Police have whatever training and gear they need to do their job. And in many cases that is more training and equipment than the military. In many cases its less. But in the end it is whats needed to complete a task.

  20. I have no problem with the LEO’s being heavily armed as long as they don’t mind me joining them. Their “assault weapons” don’t scare me. I have my own and can go toe to toe. If they kick down my door then it’s truly on.

  21. Pretty sad when the cops out in town have better equipment a bigger budget and more advanced training than U.S. Marine MP’s lol if you dont think its true swing by Camp Pendleton then take a peek at what the local Sherrifs/HP/Cops/and B.P. are packin. The “Civilian” Cops are more Military than the Military

  22. I agree with quite a few of the posters. The kind of cops I don’t like to see and resent in a big way are the ones who swagger around like tin plated jackasses with dillusions of godhood and look down their noses at us citizens (their word) and if you go by one a couple miles over the speed limit, they give you that “cop look” or if they do pull you over, they come up to your window red faced and start screaming “gimme your licence! You’re getting a ticket!” Or they chew you out like you’re a little kid who has been bad. I lived in Amarillo, Texas for a decade and some of Amarillo’s “finest” were like that. Man, they walked around like stiff legged dogs! If you’ve ever seen a couple of dogs strange to each other, you know what I mean. Whatever happened to treating people politely with respect? I respect an officer who comes up to my car window and in a respectful tone of voice politely requests if there was any emergency reason for me to be going over the speed limit and asks for my license. I don’t deserve to be yelled at and called “everything but a white man”. I didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t rob a bank. I haven’t molested his kids. All I’ve done is to be a few miles too many over the posted speed limit. You can bet your sweet bibby I’m going to note his name and badge number and complain to his supervisors about his childish and unprofessional behavior. We don’t need his kind antagonizing the public against police officers. The good ones need all the PR thay can get.

  23. “When did we decide getting shot with a wood stocked Mossberg 500 was somehow much better than getting shot with a plastic AR-15?”
    -People Who Don’t Get Their Panties In A Wad Over Stupid Bullshit

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