SWAT Officers Brought Children Along on a Drug Raid

Over and over again we're told that dynamic entry no-knock drug raid tactics are necessary because drug suspects are armed and dangerous. Anyone who suggests otherwise is accused of hostility to law-enforcement, and yet the very officers conducting these raids routinely demonstrate nonchalance about the supposed risks. Via The Agitator:
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Two SWAT officers are being counseled after bringing their young children along with them on a drug raid.

The Orange County SWAT team searched a house on Napoleon Street Friday, arresting three people and recovering guns and drugs.

The two officers who brought their children on the raid will not be disciplined. [local6.com]
Remember when police brought Shaquille O'Neal along on a drug raid? His body itself is worth millions and his massive size makes him an easy target, but they brought him along anyway.

The point here isn't that police shouldn't bring children or NBA stars along on drug raids, although one certainly wonders why they would do that. The point is that if police think these raids are safe enough for children, then the "officer safety" arguments they use to justify aggressive entry tactics appear disingenuous. If these raids are safe enough for civilians, can't we find a way to make them safe for the innocent people that keep getting killed?
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No Knock is Necessary

Guess what??? Drug warrants are served to arrest the bad guy and find the drugs. If you knock and wait what do you think happens to the drugs?? You guessed it, they disappear! I know that you want the drugs to be legal, but they’re not. So for now, we honest citizens are glad that the police are taking the drugs off the streets and we know that isn’t possible if they knock on the drug dealer’s door and ask them to pretty please come out.

Get Real!

So drugs are illegal. The war on drugs is stupid. It, among other things violates our freedoms. People like you who are willing to give up a little freedom for a little security will get and desserve neither. That's Ben Franklin talking.

Matt_Potter's picture

I have two problems with

I have two problems with what you said.

First, these no-knock entries are not taking drugs off of the street. In most cases, they're simply taking them out of people's houses. A lot of these things end up being done in places where there is only personal possession, I know because I've seen it.

Secondly, getting, as you say, "the bad guy" might be the goal of these no-knock searches but often, that is not what happens.

Did you even bother to take a look at the link Scott provided? http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2003/08/17/drugWarVictims.html
Innocent people are accidentally shot and killed at an alarming rate, and to what end? Illegal drugs are still available, more so in a lot of places, and I sure as hell do not feel safe.

I watched one of these SWAT raids happen on the main street by our campus. I think they found small amounts of cocaine on an employee. This going on at what I'm sure is a huge cost to the tax payers, while I watch our infamous hobo army accost people up and down the street all night right in front of police officers. Safe my ass.

borden's picture

you can't flush a grow-op down a toilet

If the drugs can just disappear in that short of a space of time, there can't have been very much of them and therefore the people involved can't have been very important people. At least it's not likely.

In one of the recent cases, down in Chesapeake, Virginia, police claimed the guy had a marijuana growing operation before they battered down his door. That turned out to be completely false. But suppose it had been true? You can't flush a grow-op down the toilet. (This raid ended in tragedy with a police officer killed -- something that wouldn't have happened if they had just knocked.)

As other commenters here have pointed out, seizing drugs like this doesn't reduce the availability of drugs, because that's not the way markets work. The street price of cocaine has dropped by a factor of five in real terms over the last few decades, proving beyond any reasonable doubt that seizing drugs doesn't work. It's not worth the risk to life and limb. Did I say risk? No, the certainty that from time to time someone who is innocent or who at a minimum doesn't deserve to get killed, will get killed, and the lasting trauma caused to people targeted by the raids including family members and other bystanders from having their homes turned into a war zone.

We honest citizens are tired of these reckless, dangerous, ill-conceived no-knock drug raids.

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC
http://stopthedrugwar.org

No Knock Is Not Always Legal To Mr Anonymous

My case is when someone is growing Marijuana and has 1 to 100 plants and are 2 to 4 feet tall can Mr Anonymous tell me how the plants would disappear before someone answered the door. Are they going to flush them down the toilet. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that 15 to 20 seconds is long enough after they knock on the door to break it down, but only in extreme circumstances where they had information that evidence might be destroyed or the person might have weapons. Mr Anonymous needs to read some case's like "Richard v Wisconsin, 520 U. S. 385. " The Supreme Court says No Knock is NOT a blanket for all Felony Drug cases. Also Mr Anonymous points out that No Knock Warrant are to arrest the bad guys and find the drugs, but what about all the times they bust down the wrong doors and don't find any drugs and later find out they have the wrong house what about that honest citizen are they glad the Police raided their home.

Reposted By Bill No Knock Is Not Always Legal

My case is when someone is growing Marijuana and has 1 to 100 plants and are 2 to 4 feet tall can Mr Anonymous tell me how the plants would disappear before someone answered the door. Are they going to flush them down the toilet. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that 15 to 20 seconds is long enough after they knock on the door to break it down, but only in extreme circumstances where they had information that evidence might be destroyed or the person might have weapons. Mr Anonymous needs to read some case's like "Richard v Wisconsin, 520 U. S. 385. " The Supreme Court says No Knock is NOT a blanket for all Felony Drug cases. Also Mr Anonymous points out that No Knock Warrant are to arrest the bad guys and find the drugs, but what about all the times they bust down the wrong doors and don't find any drugs and later find out they have the wrong house what about that honest citizen are they glad the Police raided their home.

re to "nk knock is necessary

you are a dumbass. regardless of the legality of drugs the simple fact is that flushing drugs down the toilet DOES NOT IN ANY WAY POSE A THREAT TO THE SAFETY OF THE OFFICERS. To respond to a clearly nonviolent and non threatening possibility by using deadly force is morally reprehensible. The fact that people are subjected to such violence simply because they refuse to live by YOUR standards is also morally reprehensible. Personal liberty is not granted by the govt. Every day millions of people do drugs in the solitude of their own homes and pose no risk to any other person. Punishing them for this is a disgusting display of oppression-mindedness. Do you know the pledge of allegiance? Remember the words at the end? The phrase is "liberty and justice for ALL." not "liberty and justice for those I approve of" and not "liberty and justice for those who obey my rules."

I've said it many times. Someday the drug war will be universally recognized as the worst, most damaging and most violent failure of policy this country has ever known.

habeas corpus protects drug dealers

Guess what???? (moron) The forcible entry of aggressive combatants without legitimate identification, which precludes the opportunity or circumstance for officers to authenticate their identity and fulfill their constitutional obligation to ensure the service of due process by presenting the certified warrant indicating the probable cause information that gives them the authority to enter uninvited, not only deprives the innocent (until convicted at trial) residents of their constitutional guarantee of protection from unjustified intrusions- it also places the suspect, officers, neighbors, and passers-by unnecessarily in great danger of injury or death.

Perhaps you fail to consider the possibility that the 5.54mm NATO ammunition fired from the AR-15's and M-16's the agents arm themselves with will easily penetrate the wall that divides the suspects apartment from his neighbor. Perhaps you are his neighbor and your child is sitting on the couch against that adjoining wall watching dora the explorer when this military ammunition passes through the sheet rock and the upholstery of the sofa, entering the child's body in the upper torso, causing great pain before eventual death. "Pretty please" don't shoot.....

regardless of your unfounded categorization of drug users as inherently dishonest and somehow less deserving the protections granted by the bill of rights, they still apply to all citizens regardless of your personal opinions. "and justice for ALL!"

thats true

drugs are bad thats why i want to be come a F.B .I angen i want to stop drugs people sto doing drugs

re: thats true by anonymous fbi wannabe

you wrote: "drugs are bad thats why i want to be come a F.B .I angen i want to stop drugs people sto doing drugs"

1. drugs are neither good nor bad. they are inanimate objects that have only the significance they gain by the context of the situations in which they are included. violent aggression on the other hand IS bad, as it is the product of a deliberate attempt to command submission by a display of dominance. do you think guns are bad? again, just objects. it is the context of how these objects are used that legitimize the moral characterizations of "good" and "bad." the irresponsible actions of an individual can be evaluated independently of the objects they incorporate into their acts.

2. The enforcement of controlled substance violations, in the absence of any evidence to suggest the direct involvement with interstate activity, is deemed explicitly to be outside the jurisdiction of federal agents. Most controlled substance violations do not involve interstate actions and are therefore subject to the jurisdiction of local and state enforcement. The constitution is very clear in explicitly limiting the federal agents powers of arrest to those instances beyond the jurisdiction of any single state.

3. If you want to stop people from USING drugs, you should refer to the La Guardia report or the Schaffer Commission's reports. all empirical research has concluded that criminalization is not only ineffective in reducing the desire to use these substances, it has the dangerous promise of funding criminal enterprises with substantial revenue which inherently increases the level of violence that would not exist in absence of drug prohibition.
If you want to stop people from ABUSING drugs, you would be wise to re-evaluate your career plans and consider becoming a mental health professional to help treat the emotional disorders that underlie self- destructive behavior in general.
If you want to risk your life attempting to single-handedly accomplish what 40 years of the full attention of all the federal government's resources has incontrovertibly failed, perhaps you deserve to be the next lifeless body to prove the futility of your intentions.

4. i suggest a career as a mall security guard. the FBI does not employ dumbasses. perhaps you can catch some teenagers smoking in the stockroom of the orange julius.

Drugs are bad for you. So are alcohol and tobacco

Why not make alcohol and tobacco illegal as well. They are also bad for you,

Quote of the day

You can arrest an individuals but you can't arrest the market.

No Knock Is Not Always Legal To Mr Anonymous

My case is when someone is growing Marijuana and has 1 to 100 plants and are 2 to 4 feet tall can Mr Anonymous tell me how the plants would disappear before someone answered the door. Are they going to flush them down the toilet. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that 15 to 20 seconds is long enough after they knock on the door to break it down, but only in extreme circumstances where they had information that evidence might be destroyed or the person might have weapons. Mr Anonymous needs to read some case's like "Richard v Wisconsin, 520 U. S. 385. " The Supreme Court says No Knock is NOT a blanket for all Felony Drug cases. Also Mr Anonymous points out that No Knock Warrant are to arrest the bad guys and find the drugs, but what about all the times they bust down the wrong doors and don't find any drugs and later find out they have the wrong house what about that honest citizen are they glad the Police raided their home.

15-20?

When the police conducted a raid on my house they waited precisely 4 seconds before battering down my door and coming in with a combination of small, long, and automatic weapons. Were there any weapons at my house? Nope. Unless you count a chef's knife. Did they have reason to believe there were weapons? Nope. Unless you trust the word of an anonymous unsubstantiated phone tip.

This war on an idea and personal freedoms just needs to stop.

so drugs are illegal;

the cops who raided my house broke more laws in that ONE DAY than I had in 50 years. So drugs are illegal -- so are breaking and entering, perjury, child endangerment, armed robbery, trespassing, wiretapping, oh, did I mention perjury? To get 81 milligrams of meth (imagine a baby aspirin crushed up) "off the street" --

Even if the cops DID knock, that 15 to 20 seconds the Supreme Court allows us to answer the door is just enough time to get a battering ram upside the head.

if they dont knock i'm assuming its a home invasion robbery

the bottom line is this... if i am sitting peacefully on my sofa listening to music or watching a movie, knowing i have never posed a threat to anyone with no reason to think i've ever done anything that could reasonably be classified as "criminal..." in a culture where home invasion robberies have provided sufficient reason to assume that if my door comes crashing in with face-masked black armor clad invaders wielding assault weapons, the intruders could easily be a gang of armed criminals.... in a state that allows the occupant of a dwelling to use lethal force to prevent the forcible entry by unknown intruders-
it seems as if the law enforcement no-knock approach introduces much more risk to law enforcement, residents, and bystanders, that would not exist if they would just knock and announce the service of a search warrant. apparently, the law enforcement community believes the dangers they create with the no-knock approach are actually justified by the possibility of compromising evidence. not the knowledge that such evidence exists- if that were the case, there is no doubt that the amount of evidence they seek is much more than could be compromised in the 60 seconds it takes for a legal application of the execution of due process.
if they think i can compromise their case by flushing whatever i can down the toilet in a mere 60 seconds, perhaps they should reconsider the risks of injury or death to themselves or innocent bystanders in the pursuit of such a small amount of evidence.

the no-knock approach inherently makes the service of a warrant more dangerous for everyone involved. if i have no reason to suspect the police kicking in my door, and my door suddenly gets kicked in- every action i take in my own personal defense, including lethal force, is justified until i hear "search warrant - police." more precisely, every action i take before a reasonable person would believe the intruders were who they claim to be- up to and including the presentation of legitimate identification and the signed warrant itself, could be considered reasonable acts to defend my life. anyone can purchase clothing and tactical gear marked "police" on ebay for 14.99. even my local home intruding criminal gangs.

if law enforcement accepts the risks and dangers they create with this no-knock approach, they should be willing to accept the fact that the residents inside may be prepared to defend against home intrusion and victimization by using whatever force is necessary to eliminate the threat of danger. if they choose this approach, they should be prepared to accept the casualties that may result of their depraved indifference.

i know if someone kicks in my door, a hat that says "police" and a potentially fraudulent identification credential may not be sufficient in that split second, to overcome my trained response of securing a weapon en route to strategic tactical cover to use lethal force to prevent what i will likely perceive as an unlawful forcible entry of my residence, an affirmative defense under the laws of my state. because just as many criminals kick in doors as do police, any act of self defense i believe to be reasonable to protect my life is justified even by the "castle doctrine" that burdens me with the duty to retreat, with the explicit exception of situations where i am inside my own residence.

the danger to officers and civilians in the execution of no-knock strategy to gain entrance is created in whole by the tactic itself. it neglects to provide the officers with sufficient time or circumstance to show the authenticity of their identity and the warrant. it deprives the suspect of the intended execution of due process of law and imposes a combative situation when a safer and more legitimate alternative exists.

in light of these logical conclusions and the willful refusal to utilize a more effective and less confrontational entry tactic, the commanding officials authorizing these invasion techniques unequivocally are accountable for each drop of blood shed by their misguided inclination to impose their position of dominance.

ask any of the cops that kick in your door, what they themselves would do if they were suddenly surprised by someone kicking in their door. given their lack of hesitation to use force as the intruder, it is almost guaranteed they would use equal force to prevent invasion of their own home.

many of these citizens in their own homes are quite passive and unlikely to aggressively use violent means unprovoked. if you back any animal in a corner, can you blame it for lashing out for fear of its own safety?

The 4th

I know this is an old question,but whatever happened to the 4th ammendment? Gone forever I guess.Definition of a drugwarrior...someone who will kill you for not obeying. This all reminds me 1930's Germany.

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