Sunday, January 06, 2008

Another needless death in the WOsD

By Libby

In the old days, before forfeiture laws allowed every podunk PD in middle America to equip a SWAT team, the cops would probably have sent a couple of uniforms, or many some undercover officers to arrest their suspect on the street. Without all the cool toys, breaking down a door was an exception reserved for the most dangerous of criminals, rather than the first method of choice to bring in a low level dealer. Now that the courts have allowed police to profit from their raids, and furthermore condoned no knock-low knock break-ins, the enforcement tactics cause more harm to innocents than the crimes themselves.
Police in Lima, Ohio shot and killed Tarika Wilson, a mother of six, and seriously wounded her one-year-old son during a drug raid yesterday. Police say they were investigating Wilson’s boyfriend for drug distribution. They haven’t yet released why the police fired (though they have said police initially fired at two pit bulls). The fact that they aren’t saying so doesn’t bode well. When the suspect fires first in one of these cases, that fact is generally immediately released to the newspapers.
I'd also note that if they found some huge amount of drugs, that information would certainly have been released as well, so we can assume the suspect was not a major level dealer. But it's the mentality behind these raids that is truly frightening.
More disturbing, the police are saying they knew there were children in the home, yet went ahead a highly volatile, forced-entry drug raid, anyway. In fact…

Police Maj. Richard Shade, a former SWAT commander for the department, said it’s not unusual for children to be inside homes raided by police officers.
The prohibitionists like to tell you they're fighting to protect the children from drugs but who will protect them from such legalized thuggery? I'm betting watching their mother get killed and their infant sibling critically injured by the cops did much more damage to those six kids psyches in those few terrifying moments, than any exposure to drug consumption could have done over a lifetime.

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