Sunday, February 1, 2009

Two dead dogs: the complete story of a SWAT raid gone wrong

Probably most people have heard about the SWAT raid last July of a mayor's home in Berwyn Heights, Maryland that led to the death of two dogs-- but no arrests, and no evidence other than the box of marijuana the SWAT Team brought with them.

April Witt of the Washington Post has a minute by minute account of the botched raid and its devastating impact on the mayor, his wife and his wife's mother. Read it at your peril if you want to keep your blood pressure under control.

The victims in this raid were white and one was an elected official, so their case received considerably more attention-- not than it deserved-- but than those of people of color or those lower on the socio-economic ladder.

SWAT Teams used to be used only in very special circumstances where violence could be expected, but have become more and more commonplace.

Last week, a SWAT Team raided a fraternity at Washington State University because of reports of underage drinking. Yes, you read that right. J.D. Tuccille of the Boston Examiner covers this raid and some other SWAT raids that never should have happened.

Photo from the Washington Post.

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