SWAT raid on Columbia, MO family just one more reason to end 'no-knock' raids (and 'war on drugs')
Oleg Volk photo (click to enlarge)
Back in February, a Columbia, Missouri family was subjected to a brutal home invasion, in which both their dogs were shot (one fatally), and one family member abducted. Their assailants? A police SWAT team.
A police SWAT team entered Whitworth’s residence around 8:30 p.m. suspecting a large amount of marijuana at the location, police spokeswoman Officer Jessie Haden said. SWAT members encountered a pit bull upon entry, held back and then fatally shot the dog, which officers said was acting in an uncontrollably aggressive manner.
Whitworth was arrested, and his wife and 7-year-old son were present during the SWAT raid, Haden said. A second dog, which Whitworth’s attorney Jeff Hilbrenner described as a corgi, also was shot but was not killed.
"Oh," you say--"police making a drug bust--that's different." Is it? The arrest was for a "small amount of marijuana"--enough for a misdemeanor. For that, two dogs were shot, a family terrorized, and a man hauled to jail? More on that story, with video, can be seen here.
That isn't, of course, the worst thing that can happen in these no-knock "War on Drugs" raids (which tend to take a heavy toll on dogs). Sometimes, the resident--not even guilty of the "crime" of having a forbidden plant product--is killed, when she, terrified of the home invaders, attempts to fight them off.
A 92-year-old woman was shot to death Tuesday after she fired at three narcotics officers trying to serve a warrant at her house, officials said.
Neighbors and relatives said it must have been a case of mistaken identity. Police said they had the right address.
As it turns out, there were never any drugs at the house, until the police planted some, to try to cover up their heinous crime.
There were no drugs.
There were no cameras that the officers had claimed was the reason for the no-knock warrant.
Just Johnston, handcuffed and bleeding on her living room floor.
That is when the officers took it to another level. Three baggies of marijuana were retrieved from the trunk of the car and planted in Johnston's basement.
Another possible outcome is for the resident, again not knowing who his attackers are, kills one or more.
According to interviews since the incident, Frederick says when he looked toward his front door, he saw an intruder trying to enter through one of the lower door panels. So Frederick fired his gun.
The intruders were from the Chesapeake Police Department. They had come to serve a drug warrant. Frederick's bullet struck Detective Jarrod Shivers in the side, killing him. Frederick was arrested and has spent the last six weeks in a Chesapeake jail.
He has been charged with first degree murder. Paul Ebert, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, has indicated he may elevate the charge to capital murder, which would enable the state to seek the death penalty.
Mr. Frederick, who was another who had a small amount of marijuana, was eventually spared the capital murder charge and death penalty, but he is in prison for first degree manslaughter. Again--this all came about over possession of plant matter.
Still another possible outcome is the one portrayed in the photo--and the one that ensnares people like Mr. Frederick--the people smashing their way into the house are only pretending to be "upholding the law."
The victims told police the two men were wearing tactical vests. One vest had the word "Sheriff" on the front and the other had the words "US Marshal," according to Sgt. Michael Iannone of the Elk Grove Police Department.
Four people were inside the home at the time. They told police the men forced them to the floor and handcuffed the mother and her two sons. A nanny in the home was forced to show the men where all the valuables were kept. Nobody was hurt.
At least the outcome was far better than in this "raid."
That's not to deny that sometimes real cops do raid the right house, and catch a real drug dealer, with no casualties. Wonderful--someone illegally selling plant parts is going to prison. I feel safer already.
The War on Guns is intimately joined to the "War on Drugs," and they're both really the War on Liberty.