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November 2008
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SSDP Conference, part 2

Breakout session: Shots fired: The Casualties of No-Knock Police Raids in America
(l-r)Alison Grimmer (SSDP board), Radley Balko (Reason Magazine), David Borden (Stop the Drug War), Cheye Calvo (Mayor, Berwyn Heights)

A picture named swatpanel.jpg

Radley was great. I’m not going to regurgitate what he said — you all know the material, but his presentation was full of great and disturbing quotes and anecdotes. Here’s a couple of the many that caught my attention:
Radley quotes Lawrence Korb about the military: “We train them to vaporize, not Mirandize.” The problem is that we’re training police to act like soldiers in a war.
Radley: When you use a SWAT team on a hostage situation or bank robbery, you already have a violent situation, and the SWAT team is there to ameliorate it. When you use SWAT teams on non-violent drug busts, you add violence where there was none.
Mayor Calvo then talked about his experience that awful day, and the perspectives he’s picked up since then. He’s wonderfully articulate and, while new to drug policy reform, he understands the true issues — that accountability has to be required not just of the police officers, but of the system.

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