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June 2014
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Stories from SWAT

We’ve discussed this case already, but it makes it even more powerful when told by the mother.

A SWAT team blew a hole in my 2-year-old son

Flashbang grenades were created for soldiers to use during battle. When they explode, the noise is so loud and the flash is so bright that anyone close by is temporarily blinded and deafened. It’s been three weeks since the flashbang exploded next to my sleeping baby, and he’s still covered in burns.

There’s still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs. At least that’s what I’ve been told; I’m afraid to look.

These stories are important to tell. Too much of the public has been lulled into believing that SWAT is just a necessary part of policing and that it’s all about protecting officers from the “bad guys.” The more that they realize that this kind of event is inevitable with drug war militarization, the sooner we’ll be able to restore some sanity.

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44 comments to Stories from SWAT

  • Crut

    If you read this story and don’t choke up with grief at least once, I would question your humanity.

    Well-liked Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Dante

    Oh, the sad irony of a situation in which the Drug Warrior’s sanctimonious screech of “Save the Children” is only interrupted by the real screams of the children they shot or blew up. For their “safety”, you understand.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

    Well-liked Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  • Not Your Squeaky Toy

    wILL nOT mINCE wORDS. wELCOME tO tALMUDIA. pUTSCH aGREES wITH jESUS, tHEY aRE oF tHE dEVIL. hELLBOUND.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  • Tony Aroma

    OT: One of the biggest loads of crap I’ve seen in a while. At least the bits about alcohol are something new. Dubious and not really relevant, but at least something different.

    Candy’s Dandy, but Pot’s Scary

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    • Jean Valjean

      Oh look….its the cannabis causes schizophrenia meme again. How does this idiot deal with the response that, while cannabis consumption in the US and western Europe has increased by at least a factor of ten since the 1950s, schizophrenia in the population has stayed at the exactly the same level?

      Well-liked Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

      • primus

        Or the fact that places where cannabis use is very high, such as Jamaica, have no higher rates of mental illness than places where it is low?

        Well-liked Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

      • Paul McClancy

        Never had a prohib adequately explain that discrepancy away.

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  • roninfreedom

    This is Still in reply to those soo-called Smoke-Free Zones.

    It’s funny the Oil Spill in Gulf in Mexico BP and The Company that owned Corexit 9500 No Prosecution No Charges for Poluting the Environment and Destroying the Wild life in the Gulf Nothing??!!

    Obama’s Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi blocked investigation into BP.

    Obama’s (at the Time) Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel now Mayor of Chicago lived in Washington DC rent-free in Apartments owned by a BP Advisor.

    But

    Now it comes to the New Witch Hunt Cigarettes(BTW it’s not the Tobacco is of nature and God but Genetic Modfying of Cigarettes 600 intentional chemical additives that Big Cigarette Corporations such Phillip Morris RJ Reynolds put into Cigarettes that killed your loved ones)it’s for the good of the environment.It’s time to throw the book at the little people.Because it’s their fault that the environment is polluted.Not the Big Corporations.
    Because
    Their”Too big to be Proscuted,Charged,Thrown into Prison”.
    Noo
    We pick on the little people
    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/06/12/tobacco-forgotten-healing-plant/

    Has anyone ever thought of that thru decrimmalization of Weed,The DEA is in danger of being eliminated.
    Soo Cigarettes are the New Demon.

    But

    It’s back to Simple as this”Only Corporations have rights,while real live human beings don’t”.

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  • claygooding

    The harms done to our society in a war on drugs that can never won no matter what tactics are used must end,,there has to be a safer way to reduce the harms of drugs than militarizing police to the point where the citizens are afraid to call them.
    No knock raids must be ended except in life and death situations,,investigative tactics can figure out how to arrest suspects away from their domicile or anywhere innocent victims could be harmed.
    The safety of innocent victims is more important than convictions.

    Well-liked Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  • Crut

    More smart voices coming out of the woodwork:
    http://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion-story/4596278-opinion-marijuana-laws-can-do-more-harm-than-the-drug/

    The simple truth is not all drugs are the same.

    Unfortunately, it’s not so simple to simple minds though.

    Well-liked Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  • There’s absolutely no reason for flashbang grenades to be used in ANY American household.

    Not one.

    Well-liked Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  • Servetus

    SWAT is a law enforcement tool that’s too complicated and too potentially deadly to be placed in the hands of knuckle-dragging thugs who have little or no respect for the lives of pets or human beings. It’s like the U.S. army assigning 18-year-old soldiers to torture prisoners at Abu Ghraib. What could possibly go wrong?

    Drug enforcement, with or without SWAT, is always applied in a barbaric manner when instigated by despotic regimes. In this way it becomes one type of litmus test for gauging nationalistic incivility. Certain regions in the United States, ones that include the former slave states, as well as the Rocky Mountain areas that experienced an influx of white immigrants from Missouri in the early 1900s, all use drug enforcement as a means to fight an ongoing rural/urban culture war that’s been raging for decades.

    Converting a Confederate sow’s ear into a Yankee silk purse under these conditions is not likely. There are some things governments will never be able to do right. Legislating and enforcing morality as it pertains to drug consumption and related cultural behavior is among them.

    Well-liked Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  • primus

    Notice how when discussion of alcohol prohibition takes place, it is usually mentioned how a couple of states (forget which) only legalized alcohol for drinking in the latter part of the 20th century. In the future, there will be the same sort of discussion about the end of pot prohibition, and it will be “Most of the country went in 2018, but Utah only legalized in 2037″

    Well-liked Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  • War Gear Flows to Police Departments

    http://tinyurl.com/k2wov6v

    “… During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft. …”

    “Congress created the military-transfer program in the early 1990s, when violent crime plagued America’s cities and the police felt outgunned by drug gangs.”

    “Police SWAT teams are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, increasingly for routine jobs.”

    When LA police found out that they were out-gunned in the projects, they established SWAT teams to go into heavily armed black area’s to regain control. SWAT has now become the “go to” for no knock raids nation wide using heavily armed military squads. Armed by federal resources and grants to police departments nation wide, it seems to me we now have military style police forces that feel no connection or allegiance to the local communities that spawned them, and little remorse for the babies they kill or the utter destruction they create in their wake. No longer indebted to the local community for their own survival, once friendly local police have replaced a sense of membership in the community with shock & awe and the military precision needed for conquering formidable enemies.

    Trickle down funds, outside grants, and military give away’s have stolen the local police departments from the communities that spawned them for protection. Non violent drug activities now imbue local police with an overblown sense of authority, lack of respect for citizens, and a license to kill.

    Well-liked Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    • I can tell you from first hand experience, when you load up with “toys” like this, there is an itch to use the stuff. There is a fascination with wanting to be in the crowd that gets to use these neat things. Once the door comes down, anything that moves is in big trouble.

      These weapons are for war. In this case drug war. Dogs, kids, etc. are all just victims of war. For good or bad that is the mindset we have given to the police. It belongs in Afganistan or Iraq maybe, but not down the block from your house.

      Well-liked Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

      • War Vet

        Agreed TC: such tactics only belong in war. A police officer runs no risk in their job based on stats. Because far too few cops get killed in action by the ‘bad’ guy, statistics indicate that the average warrant or suspect will be harmless and easy. In Iraq, because a Pepsi can has the power to kill 5 people, just like a baby kitten’s body can kill 7 (bombs stuffed inside), soldiers have experienced the odds of something happening, which is why they do what they do. They know that a huge segment of the population is the enemy or helping the enemy, while in America, only a small segment is the enemy or helps the enemy and most of the time, said enemy isn’t violent, let alone a match for a few cops, unlike in war where we always meet our match. If more cops were killed, they’d have justification. But the biggest threat to police officers are from suicide and driving.

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  • War Vet

    In the novel “Night”, by Wiesel, it opens up with an old insane lunatic from another country and he’s shouting out as loud as he can: ‘the Germans are killing us. They are killing the Jews’. Of course, they knew it was false because–we’ll let’s face it: Germany committing genocide in the 20th Century was as believable as Paris Hilton saving her virginity until she gets married.

    Will they believe us that such police wrongdoing are happening or is this one of those random accidents that will happen based on odds and probability? Are the police really that mean even? The Liberal Media hype is blamed for making us feel that such things happen all the time . . . that’s what I’m told and must argue against.

    I’m surrounded by do nothing Americans who don’t vote (because their vote won’t count) and who don’t write to their politicians (because no one will read it), yet they are all gung-ho about the Constitution and keeping their guns and bad mouthing Obama and his policies. They’ll shoot a cop before they’ll even write, vote or be active in some organization or political movement (according to their attitude). I cannot help but feel this is the majority in my neck of the woods: aware, but inactive . . . told it will never amount to change or a difference . . . seen firsthand how not even the 60’s changed America for the better, with the exception of drugs and music. In oil country: tar sands is the way to the truth and to the light. If hemp was real, they’d use it already, but hemp is not feasible. That is the mountain in the middle of my state that keeps the road to results and victory blocked.

    I wonder what all of today’s U.S. elections will result in. I hate closed primaries, which means, if one is independent, then one doesn’t get to vote on a city or county question, let alone vote for any candidate. If you are a Dem or a GOP, you have the right to vote on the county question. Only Dems and Gop are legally allowed to vote.

    Well-liked Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • War Vet

      My bad: they let Independents vote for one local question. At least the vote was worth it: the college and young adult crowd should have at least showed up for that one. But the Baptists would be harsh on that one though.

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  • War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization Of American Policing
    http://tinyurl.com/myxzoju

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Or the fact that places where cannabis use is very high, such as Jamaica, have no higher rates of mental illness than places where it is low?”

    primus, that’s not supported by the facts. The World Health Organization benchmarks the total suffering each country suffers from schizophrenia using a bureaucratic clusterfuck of a formula they’ve dubbed the “age-standardized disability-adjusted life year (DALY).”

    Here’s a link to a map of the world which color codes each country by the national DALY. Only Australia suffers LESS from schizophrenia than the United States. Quite frankly it sure could be argued that the rate of Schizophrenia is inversely proportional to that country’s cannabis laws. Take a look at the death penalty region:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Schizophrenia_world_map_-_DALY_-_WHO2004.svg

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Once again the sycophants of prohibition are pummeled silly and without mercy by Francis’ Law.

    Researchers Find Genetic Link Between Schizophrenia and Marijuana-Use

    People who are genetically predisposed to developing schizophrenia are also more likely to use marijuana.

    The study, conducted by scientists at the King’s College London, explains the link between marijuana-use and schizophrenia.

    Schizophrenia is characterized by visual and auditory hallucinations. According to estimates, 1 in every 100 people suffers from this condition. Research has shown that people with schizophrenia are more likely to use marijuana and that the drug users have a higher risk of developing the disorder. A causal link between the two hasn’t been established as yet.
    /snip/

    Yeah right, not yet. Sheesh.

    Researchers found that people who were genetically predisposed to schizophrenia were more likely to use the drug and also use it in larger amounts than other people.

    “We know that cannabis increases the risk of schizophrenia. Our study certainly does not rule this out, but it suggests that there is likely to be an association in the other direction as well – that a predisposition to schizophrenia also increases your likelihood of cannabis use,” Power said in a news release.

    The National Institutes of Health, Australian National health and Medical Research Council and others funded the research. It was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

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    • Crut

      I know personally that when life in general gets especially crazy, I’m more likely to look for a way to take the edge off. (Hmm, choices. Scotch? Kush? Meditation?)

      That doesn’t sound crazy.

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    • Someone that HAS schizophrenia is probably going to seek out marijuana to medicate with. I buy that as a fact. Here is where my own observations come into play: Certain strains are of a more hallucinogenic variety, and I have seen a schizophrenic smoke just fine on certain strains, but give them a different strain and…immediate tip over into a schizophrenic episode.

      but,

      marijuana does not cause schizophrenia.

      There is always a first episode for a schizophrenic. Trying to pin that on pot is ridiculous, and anyone that is familiar with schizophrenia can tell you that there can be any number of triggers, none of which have anything to do with marijuana. Marijuana may be a trigger under the right circumstances. I have a schizophrenic daughter that has taught me all about it.

      These studies that are trying to show that pot causes schizophrenia. Nope. Marijuana could be a trigger for a first episode just as any number of other emotional and personal circumstances could also do the same, no more or less than pot.

      Try as hard as they may, this study shows nothing ground breaking in the area of understanding schizophrenia, nor is it likely to do anything but please the likes of the nearest government drug war checkbook.

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Ummm, TC, that study isn’t purporting that schizophrenia is caused by cannabis, but that schizophrenia causes people to use cannabis.

        Until my early 40s I had 20/20 vision. It’s just the luck of the genetic draw, the same thing happened to both of my parents and (at the time) 2 of my 4 sisters. It happened too soon but I was expecting it. Something I wasn’t expecting were all the people who buttonholed me to advise me not to wear reading glasses because they would cause my eyesight to deteriorate. Well, my eyes were still working well enough to see that it was (at the time) the purest manifrstation of the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy. Gee whiz Wally, of course people who wear reading glasses have deteriorating vision, that’s the whole friggin’ point of wearing reading glasses. The glasses were the result, not the cause.

        What’s it got to do with cannabis and schizophrenia? Well a not insignificant super majority of people who choose to enjoy cannabis made that choice for the first time in a fairly narrow age range. It’s also true for “onset” of schizophrenia. “Onset” for a significant majority occurs in a fairly narrow age range. Just by happenstance those age ranges are immediately sequential. That results in a not insignificant number of people observing people who have recently decided to enjoy cannabis suffer the onset of schizophrenia. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

        Anyway, the sycophants have managed to vex me again. Even with the new evidence they’re just not going to let go of the cannabis causes schizophrenia meme.

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    • kaptinemo

      Like I said, they’re dragging out the real, certifiable loons with degrees in the hopes that the alphabet soup will stonker the public.

      Well, the public has heard all this before. And the part of the public the prohibs desperately need the most to believe their malarkey is the same part that the prohibs lied to for years while those nascent taxpayers and voters were in school. The part that knows it was lied to…and knows who did the lying.

      The prohibs just don’t get it. They really don’t. They keep using the same verbiage, the same tired old BS, which was tailored for another generation, and keep thinking it will work with the latest one. They really are ‘stuck in the 80’s.

      The old incantations, the old shibboleths, the old fetishes designed to scare ignorant people don’t work anymore in the age of the Internet.

      A point which the vast majority of those commenting on the article illustrate clearly.

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    • jean valjean

      nora admits she s never “taken marijuana”
      perhaps she d be a little less manic if she got loaded and laid.

      Well-liked Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • DdC

    FROM WEB: In marijuana states, police can be sued over the health of pot plants seized as evidence http://bit.ly/1l9YP8i

    CARICOM did not consult us on ganja law reform – US
    http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140625/lead/lead4.html
    A SENIOR American diplomat has charged that Jamaica and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states that are now moving to change their marijuana laws did not consult the United States (US) government.

    Plum Crazy Purple Medical Marijuana Strain Review – http://go.shr.lc/UIwcJY (via @MarijuanaReport)

    The Sun – Sir William Patey: “Heroin, cocaine and cannabis should all be legalised and regulated” ££ http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/5713612/Heroin-cocaine-and-cannabis-should-all-be-legalised.html££

    Jamaicans Dr Manley West & Dr Albert Lockhart helped develop Canasol, a marijuana-based glaucoma treatment. http://www.caribbeanintelligence.com/content/dealin
    Listening to @Indtalk re marijuana and glaucoma #DrHenryLowe – @procommja launched #Canasol in 80’s for Federated Pharmaceutical

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  • This is another (among way too many) horrible examples of law abuse.

    A public intervention is needed for serious societal benefit.

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  • DdC

    Support. Don’t Punish Global Day of Action on 26th June http://eepurl.com/XCzij

    SUPPORT. DON’T PUNISH. is a global advocacy campaign to raise awareness of the harms caused by the criminalization of people who use drugs.
    http://supportdontpunish.org/

    https://www.facebook.com/supportdontpunish

    The heightened risks faced by people who inject drugs can no longer be ignored.: http://supportdontpunish.org/#.U6qSvglNrnc.twitter

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  • DdC

    Study Finds Habitual Marijuana Smoking Not Associated With Increased Risk Of Lung Cancer
    http://thestonedsociety.com/2014/06/24/study-finds-habitual-marijuana-smoking-associated-increased-risk-lung-cancer/
    Subjects who regularly inhale marijuana smoke possess no greater risk of contracting lung cancer than do those who consume it occasionally or not at all, according to data published online ahead of print in the International Journal of Cancer.

    Marijuana: Jared Polis on why the feds should end the monopoly on pot testing http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2014/06/marijuana_pot_testing_feds_jared_polis.php via @denverwestword

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  • Servetus

    The Nation has a piece on the ACLU report focused on militarized policing. In in they conclude:

    The data lends credence to long-held assumptions that SWAT teams primarily serve to fight the War on Drugs. Of the deployments examined by the ACLU, 62 percent were for drug searches, while nearly 80 percent involved search warrants. In contrast, only 7 percent of deployments responded to hostage, barricade or active shooters, the types of emergency situations for which SWAT teams were originally created. At least 36 percent of drug search deployments, and as many as 65 percent, turned up no evidence of contraband.

    The 62-percent for drug searches means SWAT owes most of its existence to the drug war. Without it, the home raiders would be forced to do something useful. The Patriot Act is a drug war tool in the same way, with sneak-and-peek warrants being used primarily in drug cases. Both SWAT and the Patriot Act are reasons to end the drug war.

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    • allan

      thanks Servetus. Amazing you post this and then Jean posts the story below. That’s spooky shit there.

      [note to couchmates – my brilliant and beautiful daughter is helping me get my crowdfunding campaign ready for getting me a new ‘puter. I’ve got bricks to lob and this old Mac is on it’s last legs.]

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    • allan

      !WARNING!

      be seated, remove all pets, spouses, children and sharp objects from room before reading.

      grrrr…

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    • allan

      sent this on to Salem-News.com (a hat tip to Tim and Bonnie for jumping on it)

      http://salem-news.com/articles/june252014/wrana-wwiivet.php

      From their coverage:

      -snip-

      Upon entering the room, defendant Taylor fired “five rounds of bean bag cartridges from a 12 gauge shotgun within a distance of approximately only six to eight feet from Mr. Wrana, far less than the distance allowed for discharging that shotgun, and, consequently, savagely wounding and killing Mr. Wrana,” the lawsuit states.

      “Mr. Wrana bled to death as a result of the shotgun wounds inflicted upon him by defendants. The Cook County Medical Examiner ruled that Mr. Wrana’s death was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma to his abdomen as a result of shots fired from a bean bag shotgun.”

      The bean bag cartridges travel at approximately 190 miles an hour, and the manufacturer warns that “shots to the head, neck thorax, heart or spine can result in fatal injury,” according to the complaint.

      After shooting Wrana, the officers handcuffed him, took photos of his injuries, and put him in a four-point restraint before transporting him to the hospital, the complaint states.

      “At all relevant times, Mr. Wrana was alone in his private residence and had committed no crime by refusing to be transported to the hospital. Defendants were without lawful authority to enter his residence, and there was no immediate lawful reason to implement any police action against Mr. Wrana, including the use of police tactical intervention,” according to the complaint.

      Park Forest officials told the Chicago Tribune claim that Wrana brandished a knife or cane, which justified the officers’ response.

      -snip-

      seriously… wtf!? Did these people think they were taking down Superman or something?

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  • primus

    If I am ever on a jury for such a case, I will vote to add a zero to the award, take away the officers’ right to prosecutorial immunity and civil lawsuits, and let the fun begin. I would also find the ‘rest home’ culpable for they called the bulls. IF they had a brain, they would have just given him a shot of sedative and taken him when it zonked him. Calling the cops was absolutely unnecessary.

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    • Windy

      We ALL have a right to refuse medical attention, even if doing so is NOT in our best interest.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    The House of Representatives appears to have blocked decriminalization of petty possession in the District of Columbia.

    House Republicans block funding for D.C. marijuana decriminalization

    /snip/
    A spokesman for Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said the city would proceed with implementing the law even as its authority to mete out the smaller penalties beyond October remains up in the air.

    Gray’s office also warned that as the House Republican amendment was drafted, the city needs to determine if the action could force the city to shut down its entire medical marijuana program, which started last year. Marijuana advocates, meanwhile, were pushing a theory that the House Republicans’ actions could leave the city with no enforceable marijuana law, effectively legalizing possession. The D.C. Attorney General’s Office said it was reviewing that possibility and other potential fallout from the House’s vote.
    /snip/

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I must have had my brain in neutral last night. That was just a committee vote. It’s still going to require votes by the full House, the Senate, and Mr. Obama’s signature before it could happen. It’s more likely just political puffery so that the imi-cons can “send a message” to their idiot constituency.

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