Time to Rethink Drug Raids, Police Trainers Say

With a 15% increase in shooting deaths of law enforcement officers last year, and with this year kicking off with an Ogden, Utah, drug raid that left one officer dead and five more wounded, some police trainers are saying it is time for police to rethink their tactics, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Time for an attitude adjustment? (Image: Barton County Sheriff's Office, Kansas)
Some 68 law enforcers were killed by gunfire last year, 10 of them while serving search warrants or on multi-agency raids. While only three of them died doing work directly related to drug law enforcement -- two US Marshals were shot and killed in separate raids trying to arrest drug fugitives and one Florida police officer was killed trying to search suspicious persons for drugs -- the bloody Ogden raid has focused attention on drug raids.

In that raid, aimed at Matthew Stewart, an Army veteran with no criminal record who was supposedly "self-medicating" with marijuana he grew himself, a local drug task force forced its way into his home only to be met with ferocious gunfire. When the bullets stopped flying, Ogden Officer Jared Francom was dead and five of his comrades and Stewart were wounded. Prosecutors said this week they would seek the death penalty for him.

But that won't bring back Officer Francom, and police need to reevaluate their tactics, said Pat McCarthy, who advises police agencies across the country.

"The days of knocking down doors in drug cases should be over. Given what's going on now, you have to consider other options," McCarthy told USA Today. "Police should focus on trying to lure suspects out into the open or just "wait them out," he said. "It's time to change our thinking, Cops are exposing themselves to increasing danger many times over, and it's just not necessary."

The Justice Department will host a meeting later this month with researchers and law enforcement officials to review tactics and training in the wake of the officers' deaths.

Of course, it's not just police who died in drug raids. The Chronicle's tally of domestic drug war deaths last year includes 13 civilians who were killed by police in drug raids on residences.

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Drug raids

If police weren't acting more and more like Gestapo and less like peace officers nobody would be shooting at them but professional criminals. Stop doing the feds dirty work. You take an oath to protect and serve the public and the constitution not the government.

The Media coverage of raids never questions their stupidity

Ever see any skepticism by the media when they report on these raids? There police trainers have more sense than the mainstream reporters covering them. It never occurs to the reporter to question the danger involved to law enforcement and the home owner, the futility of these raids or their lack of deterrence to the drug trade. It is vital that the public express its outrage to the judge who signed the warrant, to the task force that executed the raid to the report who offer no critical analysis of the situation. 

Through letters to the editor, phone calls to assignment editors and op-ed pieces the point has to be made how counter-productive these raids are and open the eyes of our elected leaders who use these raids as a validation for their cheap badge for getting tough on crime. . 

Drew B's picture

Hooray for them beginning to

Hooray for them beginning to wake up to reality.

But the evidence is clear, this is not a matter of "exposing themselves to increasing danger" it's a matter of how they completely create the danger out of thin air!  Those who scream bloody murder as they rush threateningly into a place should not be surprised when there are deaths!

Finally, to quote LEAP, "Sure drugs cause crime, just like forks cause obesity." And of course another related quote, "Cops Say, ‘End the Violence. Legalize Drugs.’"

I guess that's what it takes

 

 Pictures, Images and Photos

They certainly weren't bothered when it was us that were being blown away.Just like with alcohol prohibition it takes a police body count before anyone actually realises people are dying.A man is awakened by a loud group of heavily armed men breaking into his residence and they want the death penalty because he defended his home.I have experienced several hard entry drug raids and until you're fully awake(they come very early in the morning)it could be someone coming to rob or kill you.This is doubly true for drug traffickers.Of course drug traffickers get no respect and less allowance for fact.Those cops were ready to respond with deadly force.They entered with malice and ill will and were met with the same.The problem isn't tactics,although those are repulsive.The problem is with a drug prohibition that makes drug use worse with each passing year and everyone adapts.That is why you get a far more dangerous criminal when you escalate your tactics to a worst case scenario.What you get is a whole lot more worst case happenings.People have used drugs for thousands of years.They have been prohibited for one hundred.For the last 50 the problems are multiplying and respect for law and order(the police)has nose dived.This is only going to end one way.It's just a question of how many people,on both sides,have to die to get 'er done.

  Pictures, Images and Photos 

The constitution

I didn't give up any of my constitutional rights, and didn't authorize the usurpation of them either. I don't want more "security" for less freedom, and I don't remember being asked. Nowhere in the constitution does it give the government the authority to outlaw a flower, or to build and maintain a police force. An army, yes, a militia, yes, a police force.......no mention. And there's no amendment to provide for such. The "drug war", is treason, plain and simple. One cannot wage a war on inanimate objects, that's insanity. One can only wage war on something that can fight back. One cannot make the rules of war one sided, like, we can shoot you, but you can't shoot us. That's not war, that's oppression. Nowhere in the constitution does it say I cannot smoke pot, it say's I can pursue happiness, and the government has to preserve that right, not infringe on it. What we have now isn't a government, it's an organized crime syndicate. It stopped being a government when the laws stopped applying equally. The constitution is a contract between the government and the people, it's not a suggestion, it's not a guild, or instruction manual, it's a binding contract. That contract has been breached, multiple times. The purpose of government is to protect our freedoms and liberty, not usurp them.  The law applies to them, as much as it apples to the people, but when they apply the law, they only apply it to the people. We must apply it back

Well said!

Thank you joebanana, you said it perfectly. I am quoting you on my Facebook page in the hope that your words will spread far and wide.

These so called drug raids,

These so called drug raids, are simply a paramilitary exercise in general populous terrorism. The decision to do these raids has many facets.

First, they don't want to prosecute cases they are likely to lose. By picking which cases to take, they can manipulate their successes  to make them selves appear to be necessary enough to justify a budget in the tens of billions of dollars. 

When, in all actuality they are stepping way to far into peoples lives. Legislating morals is in it self amoral.

We have a perfect example of why prohibition of any kind is socially and morally inappropriate in America. The first thing people do when told not to do something, is they do more of it. If they outlawed diets, America would be in shape within a year.

They figured this out with alcohol in a short amount of time considering it was an Amendment.

We are now coming up to 75 years this year. The profit motive to suppress cannabis and hemp is truly beyond huge amounts of money.

Examples; 1 acre, hemp stalks only, 3 times a year = 3000 gallons of gasoline. The savings at the pump today could be as high $1.50pg. That still leaves you with 4 tons of seeds plus the leaves.; Henry Ford was proud of his hemp farm, and built a car mostly of hemp. Using the hemp seed oil to make plastic instead of using petroleum oil. The outer door panels were stronger than their steel counter parts, and rust proof. The DuPonts were heavily invested in petroleum based plastics, the very plastic Everybody uses today.

Now they have the full weight of the Federal Government to suppress the people's wishes. And, the cost to Americans is to pay higher prices for any product made with petroleum instead of hemp. Then, if you leave the leafs in the top soil, they will replenish it to better then before.

This is why we need RON PAUL

As a follower of Christ (not a self-righteous church goer) I am filled with sorrow for everyone involved in that raid. Sorrow for Matthew Stewart because he was needlessly attacted in his own home and will probably be punisehed for his self-defense. Sorrow for the officers because they have allowed their minds to be poisoned into believeing its ok to attack strangers they don't even know! And they will not escape judgement for that unless they repent of their ways. Shame on us for being so complacent and apathetic that we allow the wolves to govern the sheep. Who are we that we should make God's creation illegal? So many peoples lives and families are being destroyed over a plant! I didn't mean to get into that spiritual rant...I really just wanted to encourage people to VOTE against the tyrants by electing RON PAUL in 2012. He seems to be the only man up their whose yes is yes and no is no. He values human life as much as he values human rights and he's the only one who undertsands that this TERROISM on drugs is wrong!!! He's also the only one who seems to get that war is only to be used in defense of our liberties and not agresively or preemptively. CHRIST never told us to attack our enemies. He did say to pray for them and LOVE them! I ralize that peace may not always be possible....but that is NO excuse to make war in the name of peace! LET'S END THESE WARS AND ENCOURAGE PEACE FOR ONCE!

This is why we need RON PAUL

As a follower of Christ (not a self-righteous church goer) I am filled with sorrow for everyone involved in that raid. Sorrow for Matthew Stewart because he was needlessly attacted in his own home and will probably be punisehed for his self-defense. Sorrow for the officers because they have allowed their minds to be poisoned into believeing its ok to attack strangers they don't even know! And they will not escape judgement for that unless they repent of their ways. Shame on us for being so complacent and apathetic that we allow the wolves to govern the sheep. Who are we that we should make God's creation illegal? So many peoples lives and families are being destroyed over a plant! I didn't mean to get into that spiritual rant...I really just wanted to encourage people to VOTE against the tyrants by electing RON PAUL in 2012. He seems to be the only man up their whose yes is yes and no is no. He values human life as much as he values human rights and he's the only one who undertsands that this TERROISM on drugs is wrong!!! He's also the only one who seems to get that war is only to be used in defense of our liberties and not agresively or preemptively. CHRIST never told us to attack our enemies. He did say to pray for them and LOVE them! I realize that peace may not always be possible....but that is NO excuse to make war in the name of peace! LET'S END THESE WARS AND ENCOURAGE PEACE FOR ONCE! RON PAUL 2012

The fact that it's law

The fact that it's law enforcement deaths that they're concerned with reflects their position clearly. They don't give two fucks about a "civilian" death, or, shooting a beloved family pet. These high speed raids simply confuse people, people in their very own homes, themselves armed. It's a gross neglect of the freedoms given to us by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They're just a bunch of mindless drones enforcing laws that don't even fully understand. Studies have proven that the use of steroids in police departments is rocketing: police feel like they need an edge. Just a bunch of commoners and peons, locking up other commoners and peons. It's a ridiculously draconian cycle, and very reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trails. 

 

                                                                           Fuck da police.

drug raids and the death penalty

You are all so right, the drug raids are getting many people killed and we no longer feel that we have a right to protect ourselves.  I am sure we would shoot first and ask questions later if some one was kicking our door down.   The police are brainwashed into thinking they are heros.

Second, the death penalty will surely not bring anyone back yet some stupid politician in NM wants it reinstated.  We fought Gov. Martinez on the issue and won, we must win again.

How would you know someone breaking into your house is a cop.

I happen to live near Ogden where this tragic raid was conducted resulting in the death of a police officer and wounding 5 others. Mr. Stewart has claimed that he never knew it was the police and shot at them thinking they were burglars breaking into his house. He did have a legal fund set up to assist him in his death penalty case but the state shut down his website. At night, it would be nearly impossible to distinguish police officers from burglars and a lot of home invasion burglars have been known to yell "Police" to get homeowners to open the door for them. The net result of this drug raid that killed an Ogden Police Officer netted a total of 16 marijuana plants. Was it really worth placing the safety of the police, the homeowner, and neighbors at risk by conducting this raid. About a year earlier the Weber Narcotics Strike Force killed Todd Blair in another search warrant who also probably didn't know they were cops. He was asleep and was awaken by crashing glass and walked down the hall with a golf club and was probably shot before he even knew the intruders were cops who had a search warrant. Both knock and no knock search warrants need to be stopped! How can a homeowner determine if the intruders are indeed real police officers even if they wear uniforms that say "police" on them? It's easy to buy police outfits that look similar to real law enforcement uniforms and you wouldn't know the difference unless you were a cop and if they bust down your door you don't get the chance to ask if they can show identification that they are a cop without getting shot.

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