Thursday, May 06, 2010
I'm a big fan of law and order. But that's the point. I believe in law. The police in the video were operating within the letter of the law. That fact leads me to believe that the law needs to be changed. SWAT call outs are a typically unnecessary escalation of force.
The teams were developed to respond to hostage situations and other already dangerous situations. They were not originally designed to serve warrants. That they are being used to serve warrants is more a function of using already existing assets rather than letting them sit around idle.
In this instance, two or three uniformed officers in regular uniforms could have served the warrant and searched the premises. If they had shown up in mid evening, say around 7 or 8 PM, the family would still be awake and the dogs would have been calm. Instead they executed a warrant in the middle of the night and broke the door down. The dogs became excited, thinking that their pack was in danger. The police then shoot the dogs while at least one child was present.
Some may say that we should be wary of 'Monday morning quarterbacking'. We should be more wary of police departments that believe they are entitled to wage war against the citizenry. Every call out of a SWAT team should be justified beyond a reasonable doubt. Their overuse and misuse is a recipe for disaster. We've already had one fatality here in Atlanta because of these jack booted thuggery. It's only a matter of time before more die unless the men in black are reined in or put to pasture.
It's time for the police to be put in their place. They are here to serve, not to be served. They are not above the law nor are they entitled to special privileges under it.