One more reason that I love my country, and most authority figures that are supported by it* - botched police raids. Botched in the form of, you know, entering the wrong house (read: smashing unlocked doors down) and killing innocent people.* - note: heavy sarcasm intended
This topic has been dredged up from a Salon.com article on The killing of Jamie Dean
, which describes the stand-off between police and a disturbed veteran of the Afghanistan fighting. He is eventually shot by a police sniper - the result of extreme military-like escalation by the police in trying to, you know, take care of a post-traumatic stress disorder soldier who was having a bad day.
I'm not making any judgment calls on whether the soldier in question was right or wrong or fucked up or incoherent or crazy. That is a moot point. I think the old saying applies here: two wrongs don't make a right.
I am going to quote a comment from the metafilter post on the story
, which outlines a number of botched police raids in the US in the past:
October 5, 2005 - RI
On October 5, 2005, a North Providence, Rhode Island SWAT team raids the home of Paul Foley and his family, including his 14-year-old daughter. Foley tells the Providence Journal that police came "bursting through his front door, yelling and screaming at everyone in his house." They had the wrong home.
Despite the raid, Foley would later profess, "I totally support Mayor Paul Marino and the North Providence Police Department, 100 percent and without reservation."
These are the people who aren't concerned about PATRIOT.
May 22, 2006 — WI
On May 22, a narcotics SWAT team storms the home of Kristina Radke and Kenneth Berhenke on a no-knock raid. They shatter the couple's window, roll in a diversionary grenade, then break open the door. Radke and Berhenke, who were preparing for bed, are apprehended, handcuffed and held at gunpoint.
What happens if you shoot a police officer executing a no knock warrant on the wrong address? In say Florida or Texas? Does your next of kin get to sue the department? If you manage to survive do you go to prison?
September 6, 2005 — KS
In September 2005, police in Bel Aire, Kansas raid the home of the town's former mayor after mistaking sunflowers in the mayor's backyard for marijuana plants. Police took pictures of the plants, and showed them to a district attorney, who showed them to a judge. All agreed that the photographed plants were marijuana.
The sunflower, incidentally, also happens to be the state flower of Kansas.
I wonder if they can find the US on an unmarked map?
May 9, 2005 — NJ
Five state police officers in masks, bulletbroof vests, and donning assault weapons break into the home of Philip Petronella as he's watching television. Though the front door is unlocked, they break it down anyway. They handcuff Petronella, and sit him on the couch while they rifle through his belongings.
The search goes on for hours. Police finally reveal to Petronella, a 63-year-old retiree, that they believe his home is being used for prostitution. "I told them, 'You gotta be kidding. I ain't getting any. Nobody else is getting any out of here,'" Petronella told a local newspaper.
Police later realize that the suspects they were looking for had moved out months earlier.
Hoods and assault weapons? Just how tough are the hookers in NJ?
I'll also point you to a google maps mashup of the same - Botched Paramilitary Police Raids
Now go read, and get as disgusted as I am.