The reporter’s note above the whotv.com account of this Iowa SWAT team no-knock raid says it all (save Radley Balko’s WaPo takedown): “We have some new information regarding the story we reported Monday night on a search warrant that was executed at a Des Moines home. The search was conducted to recover about $1,000 worth of items purchased with a stolen credit card. Ankeny police spokeswoman Captain Makai Echer says they consider several factors when deciding whether to send officers similar to a SWAT team to a house to serve a warrant, or simply knock on the door. In this case . . .

Echer says, officers looked at the suspects’ criminal histories and whether there could be firearms in the home. Of the three suspects that were present in the home, one has a violent arrest record for two assaults about 13-years ago and a domestic assault. Another suspect does have a permit to carry a weapon. Echer would not comment on whether that played a role in the decision.  She would also not comment on whether it was appropriate for a police officer to rip a security [camera] from the front of the house after officers had already entered.

Note to judges: it’s time to just say no to no-knock raids.

99 Responses to Des Moines SWAT Team Does What SWAT Teams Do

    • That’s what I was thinking. That’s one lucky dog.

      The police. They hate them. Officer Safety! Giggles. 🙂

      Iowa huh? Looks like they roll big out there. Bet they have an MRAP or two.

      🙂

      • Iowa cops are the worst. They dont give a sh*t about people’s rights. Not suprising though considering Iowa is a blue, control freak, “liberal” state.

        • I live on the Nebraska side of the border and when you travel you learn real quick not to fk around in Iowa. When I was younger I would habitually cruise at 80+ mph in Ne, but I wouldn’t even do 5 over across the river. Didn’t stop me from being snagged several times though.

    • I, for one, am pissed off that another door was violently beaten to death. It’s time to ban battering rams and to outlaw the kicking of doors….

    • I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the officer ripping the camera out of the wall. Maybe it had to do with terrorism.

  1. One has to ask why the PoPo would disable the cameras…if they were doing legitimate work consistent with procedure, one would expect that video would be helpful to their arrest/investigation. If something went wrong (I.e they had to shoot the dog) the video would help verify they were attacked….makes me wonder what they were trying to hide, or what they were planning to do that they didn’t want video of it….

    • I can imagine they wouldn’t want a suspect inside to see what the cops were doing outside. But that argument ends once the officers have actually entered. It really makes no sense.

    • What is it that the cops and DA’s say? “If you have nothing to hide, why would you object to being filmed?”

      • Exactly.
        Not knowing any background whatsoever, them ripping the camera and covering the other one is very interesting.
        And damning. The people actually could make claims such as sexual assault and the police would look very guilty having covered things up. Quite literally.

      • Not sure why they would use a SWAT team in the irst place for a proerty crime…… that didn’t involve weapons or threats of violence. seems like an inapropriarte use of forceto me.

        I personally don’t careif someone videos me while I’m at work, I just ask not to get in my face with the camera. its not polite.

        • They discovered that one of the occupants had a CCW. I bet they also knew he was carrying in the bathroom. Huh?

      • Much as I hate to stick up for these clowns, you have to consider the possibility that there is a crook inside watching what’s going on outside so he can either escape or do harm to the officers.

        • I’ll be waiting for the Ankeny PD to be releasing the footage from the on body cams the officers were wearing then.

    • The funny part to me was that they ripped out and destroyed cameras…as if they weren’t ON CAMERA! As if they’d get away with it without being filmed while doing it. What did they think they were going to do, take the film out of it?

  2. The problem is….This happens way to often!

    SWAT has been used politically to deter speech for a long while.

    More citizen oversight?

  3. When seconds count, cops are just minutes away.
    When seconds don’t count, cops kick in your door, shoot your dog (or dogfish if you have an aquarium?), and brake someone’s jaw to prove they were resisting a fist. Good thing we live in a civilized country.

    • … and to add – I suggest to never call the police unless it’s absolutely unavoidable. They cause far more trouble than they are worth. Especially in domestic violence cases. They come over and display their considerable expertise at escalating any situation. They do this because they are psychopaths and fascists and also to generate an excuse to become violent and smash someone’s head.

      As far as shooting dogs is concerned, they don’t need an excuse for that.

  4. People wonder why I am more afraid of the police then “criminals”. However in this case the police were acting like criminals.

  5. Questions for any police officers, current or former, who are lurking or commenting.

    I notice on vidyas, the news, the cops TV shows, etc. that there is always a lot of swearing at people by the police like “Don’t move or I will shoot you in the F’ing face.” Or “Get on the F’ing ground.” Etc.

    So, my questions are:

    Is this how it is with your department?

    Do you roll like that?

    Is it SOP to say things like that or is it kind of professional bro talk?

    Do you think it’s professional?

    • FoRealz,
      It is unprofessional. Period.
      In my old agency, (I’m retired), cursing out of place would get you at least one day off without pay.
      Unprofessional behavior at all got you time off.
      I got a day off, (without pay), for “looking sarcastic”. True story.
      Sometimes it’s hard to not roll your eyes…

      And I don’t lurk.

      • Did you also get remedial training to learn how to look sincere? Was there a rule against looking ironic too?

    • there is usually very little swearing at people by the cops I work with. somethimes they do curse at people but its usually because they don’t understand otherwise.

      I’ve always tried to impress upon the new guys to keep a calm tone and be polite and generally act like you would IF you were being recorded. What would you rather have someone say that watched you fight with someone “the cop was calling him a SOB and swearing at him to get on the F-ing ground and yelling and carrying on” or “the cop told him in a calm voice to get on the ground then the guy went crazy the cop was acting like a professional not a cowboy?”

    • It used to be frowned upon but nowdays it’s becoming more common. Some cops do it for the shock value and some are just caught up in the moment. I think it’s unprofessional but sometimes emotions get the best of us. None of our department policies say anything about using foul language nor have I heard of someone being punished for it.

    • I think that the cops ought to be held to the same standards of conduct as other government employees, like say for instance the folks at the DMV. On second thought, we’re probably better off as we are now.

  6. PC leftist city council hires quota baby and make her head cop. What could go wrong at the copshop with no adult in charge?

    • And of course this was the West Bumphukt, Iowa PD raging outside of their jurisdiction. Whatever could be wrong with that?

  7. I second the no more no knocks, do the the stops on the road. Although, how can they suit up to kick some citizen ass then? Randy

  8. All the outcry on the No-Knock Warrant? Don’t blame the police, blame the judges who sign off on it. If judges didn’t approve of it (they have no liability) then the Police would be forced to adjust their tactics.

    Dude walks around the house with a holstered sidearm even when he’s taking a dump? Hmmmm….if you feel that its necessary to do this, maybe you need to move to a safer neighborhood.

    • Do you lock your doors before you go to bed? If you feel it is necessary to do this, maybe you need to move to a safer neighborhood. FIFY

    • “Hmmm”; I carry at home as I carry out in the world, for the same reason; if it had been the illegal criminals instead of the legal criminals breaking down the door; having a gun on you would be essential.

      I guess you haven’t been keeping up with current events; the illegal criminals have been doing home invasions in middle class neighborhoods ’cause they have all the good stuff.

    • Ehh. Maybe he just got back from the store and had to go?

      Dunno.

      Dude had to poop. Don’t hate the playah.

      When I get home I don’t necessarily take my holster off or put my gun away. I might be going back out or have other stuff to do. Like go to the john real bad. 🙂

      I guess some guys might have a personal policy of locking everything up as soon as they get in. Sometimes I do, but usually not. I don’t see doing either one as out of the norm.

      If I had to put my holster back on, load up and such every time I went in and out of the house during the day, it would be irritating to me. And I live in the best neighborhood in ‘Merica.

      (Hint: whatever neighborhood I live in is the best. My tier 1 awesome improves the whole block.)

      But that’s like just my personal ‘pinion. Others will have variable mileage.

      😉

    • Dude walks around the house with a holstered sidearm even when he’s taking a dump?

      I carry all the time everywhere. Y’know what that makes me?

      Smart.

    • “…if you feel that its necessary to do this, maybe you need to move to a safer neighborhood.”

      Seems to me this incident proved it truly IS necessary.

    • Yeah, don’t blame the guy who’s actually assualting your home… he is not personally responsible for his actions. Obviously, he’s just a mindless robot following the orders of his puppeteers. Besides, how can he feed his family if he quits his job in protest? He’s just trying to get home safely every night.

      Does that sum up your position, Grumpy?

  9. I lived in Ankeny for about 6 months. It’s a very quiet sleepy suburb where the cops have absolutely nothing to do but bust speeders where I-35 drops down to a 65mph limit. Six months of that and I’d be itching to bust down some doors and shoot some perps myself. Which is why I’m not a cop. There’s way too many of them anyway.

  10. To determine whether a swat team should be called out, some departments I know of use a document that lists risk factors; if enough ‘points’ rack up, it triggers a swat team. The problem is that many such lists are so vague as to require every warrant be served by such a team. Could there be guns in the house? Well… sure, there COULD be. Guess that’s a yes. Could there be a violent felon? Well, they could have a friend over, so…

    I suspect a lot of these protocols are created by the swat teams who, remember, need to justify their own existence…

  11. So please don’t give me any gruff for saying I hate the police.

    As someone who has always stayed out of trouble, I fear the police far more than any street thug without a badge. You can’t fight back against the fascist thugs with badges.

  12. When I was a kid in the 1970’s we used to hear stories about people in the Soviet Union living in fear of the midnight knock on the door by the KGB. I remember thinking how terrible it was that people had to live like that.

    Now, looking back on those stories, all I can think of is how amazingly nice and polite the KGB was compared to modern American cops.

    • I was thinking the same thing.

      When I was a kid we laughed about those poor bastards in Russia having to live with police checkpoints, border guards and the KGB kicking in their doors at midnight.

      Yeah.

      I mean, maybe there is more to the story here in this vidya, and it doesn’t sound like the residents are Snow White angels, but it seems that sending half a platoon of guys there with ballistic shields and rifles is a bit much over a stolen credit card.

      At the least would it have been a better use of the city’s resources to just send a couple cruisers and three or four uniformed patrolmen over to do the warrant?

      Dunno.

  13. I live in the country, quiet neighborhood and I always carry!! 3 break ins in 2 yrs of elderly folks homes and both times victims were almost beaten to death for a few bucks and some baubles. I carry inside and out. 24/7.
    If I get a door kicked in at 3 in the morning I’m shooting. There’s no time to wait and see if they are “real” cops or some of the “Illegal Alien” gangs around posing as cops.
    I don’t have an adult record an most of the police and Swat here know me and know I own multiple firearms. Hope they have the smarts to knock first. They know I’m a law abiding citizen but there has been a number of times cops/constables have come to my house looking for someone just to Finally realize or admit they had the wrong house. And yes I have 911 signs at bottom of drive and in yard.

  14. We have become a nation of compliance , most people don’t care to do anything against governmental abuse of power because a lot of them are made to be afraid of the retribution brought about by the government against them , we are experienceing “Bully Government “, where we either go along or we are brought to task by the power of the government to punish us in any way possible by them , an example would be harassment by local police by ticketing you every time you drive down the street , harass you by “planting ” contriban on you which would lead to an arrest , plant contriban in your home that would lead to an arrest , these are things that have happened nationwide and have been brought to light . There are also attempts by the federal government such as harassment by different federal law enforcement agencies , or audits by the IRS , any type of harassment that suits the powers that be. This is just more of the tyranny we are facing that is happening , and will only increase until we have had enough and do what we have to to set things right .Be prepared and ready. Keep your powder dry.

  15. Last time I checked, Des Moines and Ankeny we’re two different cities. And two different departments. Good reporting there.

    That being said. I’m interested in further details.

    • Really? It’s literally a step from desmoines proper to that town. It is common to refer to subdivisions suburbs and townships by their parent metropolitan centers.

  16. Amidst all of the “jackbooted thugs” comments above (not saying I disagree) there is one point that I didn’t see anyone hit on….

    They were there to recover $1000 in merchandise. How much did the freaking raid cost?

    I’m not saying they should just let the theft go, but there really needs to be a cost/benefit at some level to justify rolling in with SWAT…….

    • Since when does any govt agency give a crap about costs? They only whine about budgets to justify raising taxes, they NEVER scale back their spending. Cops around here all have brand new Chargers, MRAPS, sidearms, K9s, license plate reading cameras, etc etc etc….. you are peeing in the wind to think there are any cost considerations when it comes to LE, theres a war on terror y’know.

  17. The fact that $1000 dollars worth of credit card fraud by a couple of two bit crooks that are guests in your home gets a visit by at least 13 (by my count) SWAT wannabees with automatic weapons and a no knock raid is unbelievable. To me, there is no justification beyond simple thuggery on behalf of the cops.

    I know that there are a bunch of cops on TTAG who contribute. Based on the story as portrayed here, can any of you justify methods and procedures used by the Police in this story? Yes? Let’s hear it. If not, when are one of you going to summon the balls to just say NO to these tactics and uphold the Constitution you swore to?

    I would submit that the only thing that saved the dog’s life was the camera system. Obviously the kids set up the system to dump the video offsite or hid media it really well. Otherwise, you can be certain that there would be no video evidence at all.

    Fortunately, no knock raids are not permitted in NH, However, if a cop or sheriff is told to serve a warrant at a home (for a good reason) with firearms and a bunch of people who know how to use them (like mine is), isn’t their responsibility to do so peaceably? Knock on the door, present the warrant, be respectful, give the people time to get dressed and enter the home. If dangerous people getting served greet a uniformed officer at the door with a firearm and refuse to submit, sure, roll in the SWAT team.

    I watch this video and it makes me think that the cops were looking for a fight…hence the destroying and covering of cameras. Sooner or later, people are going to stop submitting and the cops are going to get what they want. They will enter the home of people who are better armed and better trained. Every single day this country is turning out exceptionally well trained and combat hardened men who respect the law but will not be bullied. It is just a matter of time before something horrible happens.

  18. Gotta put all that stuff they bought with federal Homeland Security grants to work or they may not get another grant next year.

  19. Do away with no knock raids….good idea. About time. The term “for officer safety” can justify anything under any circumstances. Police work is inherently dangerous just as some jobs are more inherently dangerous than police work. One should be aware and accept this prior to applying for the position. To approach everyone and every situation with a heavy handed mentality is paranoia driving the situation. If merely having a gun is justification for no knock and pushing people around than how do we approach the police? Are we not justified in doing the same to them when we are confronted? How do they get greater rights to self defense. Would not preemptive actions on the part of a citizen when confronted by police be just as justified as the reverse? I would argue that it would.
    We are not training dummies. We are not targets. Police officers are killed in the line of duty. Civilians are killed as a result of police officers being in the line of duty. Who is in the greater fear of their life when confronted by a person with a gun belt, taser, Asp and the mentality that they are God?
    This problem is exacerbated by the willingness of the courts to rubber stamp violence and testimony by police. If charged, a defendant would need multiple witnesses on his behalf to counter police statements. IF the police shoot someone or tase someone it is excused by saying that it is department policy. Is it our policy to be targets?? It is not a level playing field. WE should have the same rights to self defense as the government.

  20. A few good lawsuits will take the wind out of those wannbe commandos.
    I do not care if a lot of cops are ex-veterans either. They especially should know
    military tactics are not always required in a civilian setting.

    This county is going to hell in a hand basket real fast and every politician is to blame.

    • “This county is going to hell in a hand basket real fast and every politician is to blame.”

      Well, it only took two years of starvation to make Plymouth Colony clue up and choose Freedom over socialism, so maybe by 2016 people will finally be ready for a REAL change!

  21. And here I thought this would not happen in my town. It would have been a group that had elements of every suburb in the Des Moines Metro area on it as no single town has a dedicated swat team. But Lt. Makai Echer is the lead officer on our detective squad.

    At least it was not at the wrong address.

  22. Cops don’t know how to knock. They only know how to shoot and kill – that and arrest you for “obstruction of justice” if you argue, disagree with them, or make them feel bad in any way.

  23. SWAT teams are used for such minor things because every locality wants a SWAT team. To justify the budget for one means you have to use it. Of course, the problem is that there are far fewer real legitimate uses for SWAT teams then there are actual SWAT teams, so it creates two problems:

    1) Many SWAT teams are not nearly as trained and professional as they are supposed to be, as the idea of SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) was to be a highly-trained and disciplined team of law enforcement for handling special situations that regular police could not handle

    2) Too much incentive to use the SWAT team for any minor justification so as to justify the budget

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