Judge Napolitano on fire over the SWAT raid

Watch this. Seriously.

Did you watch it? Good.

Now, find out who your local alderman is, or whatever the most local unit of government is in your area. Send them the link to this video, and say that you’re concerned that something like this could happen in your town. Ask him/her to find out what the local policy is regarding use of militarized raids against citizens, and urge that the policy be examined in light of this.

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38 Responses to Judge Napolitano on fire over the SWAT raid

  1. E.Greene says:

    Fox News is full of SHIT. They are using this episode to get people to hate/fear the government, so that their corporate buddies can continue to fuck everyone over with massive deregulation, which of course would be the reason for the BP oil spill.
    I’m with you on the specific topic being addressed, but I ask viewers to be aware that Fox is using this to advance their corporate/fascist agenda.

  2. ezrydn says:

    I’m glad the Judge and the guy from the radio show discussed the Federal incentive to take combat surplus to the local LEOs. That has to change!

    It sounds like the new Mayor has a plan. Hopefully, he can push it through.

    Wife and children traumatized. One dog wounded, one dog dead. For what? Weed RESIDUE in a pipe! Those officers must feel like they got BIGGUNS, and big guns. Now, I hope the Feds do some “short hair” trimming.

  3. kaptinemo says:

    You know what really gets me? This has been happening all over the country for two decades, but you have people in the media acting as if it just started happening last night.

    Well, if this acts as a catalyst to finally shine some much-needed critical light on the practice of using SWAT to serve warrants, and thus criticism of the DrugWar itself, all to the better. But let’s remind the media that this isn’t an aberration. It’s a very common phenomenon. All too common.

  4. Dante says:

    I agree with Kaptinemo – this is not new and any media outlet acting surprised is just more of :

    “I am shocked, SHOCKED, to find gambling going on here”.

    I strongly suspect the various media outlets will use this sorry episode to improve their ratings. Then, it will be dropped.

    Our country has become a Police State. Those without a badge or a govt. ID are nothing more than a source of funding. And sport.

  5. Pete says:

    Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Ride it.

  6. Maryjane Hempfield says:

    Right Pete! And apparently, from the comment close to the end of the video, this was also an example of cops reacting in defiance of a move to deamphasize marijuana in law enforcement!

  7. actually, it’s been going on since at least the 70s — just like the rest of the stinking pile

  8. Carol says:

    At least FOX covered the issue and discussed it. I have not seen similar coverage (or sympathies for that matter)on MSNBC, the station I usually watch.

    In this matter I do “fear my government” without any help from FOX news. It’s pretty scary stuff.

    I strongly supported President Obama in the last election. I am so disappointed in him and his support of the “War on Drugs” I do not see how I can ever vote for him again in good conscience.

  9. Cliff says:

    “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Ride it.”

    YEEEE HAAAWWW!!!!!!!

  10. Cliff says:

    “I strongly supported President Obama in the last election. I am so disappointed in him and his support of the “War on Drugs” I do not see how I can ever vote for him again in good conscience.”

    There’s a lot of buyers’ remorse about President Obama. I did not vote for him, but I was hoping that he would prove me wrong, he did not. Meet the new boss…same as the old boss.

  11. Dano says:

    Well, I contacted all my government reps: city, county, state, federal. Only took a few minutes to draft an email and then fill in all those forms for each. I don’t expect my simple email to make a difference, but if there are enough of us making noise the government tends to at least feign listening. It’s a step…

  12. Today Ethan Nadelmann had a piece published in HuffingtonPost regarding Obama’s new drug policy budget. It should come as no surprise that Ethan gave Obama just a slight rebuff. But what should outrage us all is that nowhere in Ethan’s piece does he mention the horrific and deadly raid in Columbia, Missouri – a direct result of Obama’s drug war funding.

    Ethan et al. should be holding Obama’s feet to the fire – not bowing down to wash them.

    • really? says:

      Really, Mr. Williams? Are you following anything going on with Obama’s AG Eric Holder?

      I’m not a fan of Obama, but progression is happening.

  13. claygooding says:

    While the President cannot legalize marijuana by himself,he could panel an investigation for re-scheduling marijuana since 1/3 of our states now have medical applications recognized and administered by doctors but the present regime is the same as every other regime we have had since big business took over our country,a puppet on a string,they grind the organ and he dances.

  14. james says:

    Don’t be surprised with Nadelmann’s white washing the left (democrats) and the right (conservatives) believe in only one thing getting power and using it. Notice the difference in Obama’s policies and Bush’s when it comes to legalized mass murder (war)? There isn’t any difference. The politicians will continue to violate our right to self-ownership (and all the things that logically implies) as long as we allow them to and not a minute longer. The answer Pete is not to vote for anything stop supporting the state and those who run it and it will topple.

    “The fact is that the average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth.” ~ H.L. Mencken

  15. james says:

    “What is any political campaign save a concerted effort to turn out a set of politicians who are admittedly bad and put in a set who are thought to be better. The former assumption, I believe is always sound; the latter is just as certainly false. For if experience teaches us anything at all it teaches us this: that a good politician, under democracy, is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.” ~ H.L. Mencken

    “All government, of course, is against liberty.” ~ H.L. Mencken

    “There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.” ~ Bertrand Russell

  16. Dvq says:

    they will never legalize it, its one of those things that requieres a revolt to make it happen, they know perfectly legal Cannabis could change the world order, just imagine, seeds = end of hunger, hemp = end of pollution, oil companies and cotton production, use of harder drugs would diminish, cancer cure? check, drug trafficking would have a hard time without the marijuana income, it would be harder to control Mexico, and a shit load of stuff i cant recall right now, you can name it “nation suicide” if USA legalizes pot. its money baby, money all the way. like Zack De la Rocha said: the land of the free? whoever told you that is your enemy!.

  17. Stony Stevensen says:

    I used to think one silver lining of a sinking economy would be funds drying up for para-military drug raid warriors. Now it seems they will go to any length to justify their activities and costs.

  18. Shap says:

    I emailed each of my local state representatives with a single paragraph discussing this drug raid as well as information regarding the raid that was conducted against a Maryland mayor in which two dogs were killed as a result of an erroneous address used on a package of drugs that were sent to his home. If that does not get my representatives in Maryland to even look into the issue then I don’t know what will. And I don’t care if the outlet for this coverage was “I Love Hitler” magazine., If they decided to shed light on the tactics used by the SWAT team in this video, I would support their coverage regardless.

  19. Paul says:

    Judge Napolitano is not faking it. He may be Fox’s token libertarian, but he does a fine job.

    Like Pete said, let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. This story was in print back in February, but nobody cared because it was just like all the other drug raid stories you read about. Our lucky break was that the SWAT team videotaped it, and FOIA got it released. And it was totally outrageous.

    Just like Vietnam, it is the images of violence that people recoil from. You could read all the stories you wanted about the horrors of the Korean war, but it just didn’t hit as hard was watching Vietnam on TV, night after night after night.

    The video enraged everyone who saw it. The anger is directed at the cops, but we need to help direct it where it really belongs–the drug war itself. With 100 to 150 raids like this a day, it is only a matter of time before another nasty video like this surfaces. Each time it does, we all need to help point the blame squarely at the drug war and its supporters.

  20. CarolDuhart says:

    It’s happened before, but until YouTube came along it was the police’s word against the sufferer’s.

    I want to ask the ONDCP this question: is it worth it? All of the incarcerated users, SWAT raids, people unable to go to school or use public housing, all over a plant? How do you sleep at night knowing these tactics are part and parcel of your “drug-free” utopia?

  21. Duncan says:

    Carol: “I strongly supported President Obama in the last election. I am so disappointed in him and his support of the “War on Drugs” I do not see how I can ever vote for him again in good conscience.”

    I think the same thing until I think the phrase ‘President Palin’…

    Of course one of the things I really enjoyed about 2008 was actually voting *for* someone rather than voting against the other clown. I guess that may be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

  22. damaged justice says:

    Yeah, I figured that would happen.

    “Oh, it was on Fox? Well, they’re just a bunch of lying racist teabaggers.”

  23. kaptinemo says:

    “I want to ask the ONDCP this question: is it worth it? All of the incarcerated users, SWAT raids, people unable to go to school or use public housing, all over a plant? How do you sleep at night knowing these tactics are part and parcel of your “drug-free” utopia?”

    To put it bluntly, so long as there’s a paycheck in it, they won’t care.

    I gave up long ago trying to appeal to ‘humanity’ when it comes to this issue. Most people have had their souls numbed by the continual barrage of governmental assaults on their rights, their liberties and their lives. You see the results of that when you hear about someone being tased and people treat it as if it were some kind of joke.

    But when it comes to money, the bells and whistles go off and the eyes light up. And the proof of that is in all the legislation that’s being proposed by (truly) progressive legislators. Make no mistake; it’s balance sheets, not concern over human rights, that’s driving that. And that’s what we have to keep hammering on incessantly.

    Because, in the end, most people have, like Esau in the Bible, already sold their birthright as a free individual for a bowl of slop. Piss-testing is proof of that. Talking to them about ‘rights’, to paraphrase Tom Paine, is about as useful as administering medicine to the dead. But talk money? You’ll have their fullest attention…

  24. Chris says:

    Anyone complaining about FOX new in this case doesn’t know who the host in the video is, or where his videos are published. Quit bitching. Hint: it’s online only. FOX business seems to cover marijuana in a good light too.

  25. damaged justice says:

    “Quit bitching.”

    Your sarcasm detector needs a tune-up. I was merely pointing out that until someone other than Fox reports on this, the only people who care about it, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, are the lying racist teabaggers that no decent person would believe a word from.

  26. Maria says:

    All entities have agendas. All agendas have useful idiots. As long as you keep those two related thoughts in mind you’ll be ok.

    And I also agree with kaptinemo. Call me cynical but it’s pointless to appeal to such “high brow” ideals such as humanity and freedom. These are meaningless to most of us. Money, the bottom line, complacency and fear rule us.

    Sent this link to all the FOX biz and FOX news watchers in my life who lean towards more conservative and business values – check (promising feedback so far..)
    Sent links to original video and links to left leaning commentary and media to CNN and and MSNBC – check
    Will be sending to local conservative, good ol’ boy mayor once I track down email – check
    Gift horse rode – check

  27. Dano says:

    I sent email out to all of the local city council, which in turn forwarded the request for more information to the local PD. As long as they know we are watching it makes it harder for them to let controls deteriorate to the level of this video.

    Here’s the PD spokesperson response:
    I am a captain with the our local city Police Department and I’m in charge of the Support Services Division which includes our SWAT team. Councilmember Friedman referred your inquiry to the police department for response.

    I have reviewed your email and the Fox News video. To say the least, the video is shocking, and I understand your fears about a similar situation potentially occurring in our local city. I would like to provide you with some information about out policies and protocols for the use of SWAT.

    First of all, our SWAT team was formed in late 1997. Since that time the team has served numerous high-risk search and arrest warrants and handled many barricaded dangerous suspect incidents. I am probably jinxing out record by saying this, but in all of this time our SWAT team has not been the basis for a lawsuit against the City of our local city.

    This is my home town and I have worked for the police department for 29 years. I would prefer to not have a SWAT team, but in this megalopolis of 10M+ people and our proximity to high crime areas of Los Angeles, a SWAT team is a necessity. Statistics show that when a SWAT team is properly used, the possibility for injury or death of an officer, citizen or suspect is decreased. This is because a properly trained and equipped SWAT team takes extraordinary steps to avoid direct confrontation with an armed and dangerous suspect.

    In our local city, all SWAT deployments, except in an immediate emergency, must be approved by the chief of police. Our SWAT team is not used for “routine” search warrant service – even in drug dealing circumstances. The video of the Missouri SWAT team appears to be a “routine” warrant service that would not be approved in our local city. While the following is not an exhaustive list, SWAT is essentially deployed only in the following circumstances:

    Where an armed suspect is barricaded, refuses to surrender and is believed to be capable of killing or inflicting serious injury on a citizen or a police officer Where a location of a search/arrest warrant is fortified, barricaded or reinforced in such a manner exceeding the capabilities of regular police officers to carry out the warrant service and other means of gaining entry to the location are not viable
    Where a suspect is believed to be armed, dangerous or threatening and there is a likelihood of an armed confrontation if conventional police tactics are employed

    I’m not sure how search warrants are issued in Missouri, but in California an untested, unreliable informant cannot be used as the sole basis for a search/arrest warrant. The police must independently establish probable cause substantiating that evidence of a crime is at a particular location. The probably cause is then presented to a judge (in writing except in extreme emergencies where an oral/recorded affidavit is presented) who then makes a determination as to whether or not probable cause exists for the issuance of a warrant. Once a warrant has been issued by a judge, it must be served by a peace officer in a timely fashion.

    Generally, if SWAT is requested for the service of a search warrant, the situation must be evaluated and meet the above criteria. The SWAT team and detectives then conduct database searches and actual reconnaissance of the location to determine if there are factors which might indicate that a warrant should NOT be served – such as the presence of children, elderly persons, etc. SWAT always looks for alternatives to serving a “dynamic” warrant such as the one depicted in the Fox News video. Two common alternatives are (1) placing a location under surveillance and following away suspects when they leave so that they may be arrested on the street, away from a location. Detectives may then return to the location and serve the search warrant, presumably, on a vacant location. And (2) where use of a SWAT team is warranted, SWAT may surround the location and “call out” any suspects. When the suspects come outside, they are detained and the SWAT team then slowly and methodically searches the location, which is presumably empty.

    I think I’ve provided more information than you requested, but I wanted to give you comfort that the our local city Police Department does not have a SWAT team that is used indiscriminately. In the proper situation a SWAT team can save lives – and that is the primary mission of SWAT.

    • Pete says:

      Outstanding job, Dano!!!

      It sounds like you’ve got a good Police Chief, there. And you’ve done an invaluable service by making sure that public servants realize that they need to be accountable to their civilian population.

  28. paul says:

    Dano: Which city?

    It sounds like they have been thinking about that video. Cops watch the news, too.

  29. Pingback: Making a difference - Drug WarRant

  30. Hope says:

    Admirable work, Dano. Thank you.

  31. Dano says:

    I edited the response from my local PD to remove the city on purpose, but suffice it to say we are in the Metro Los Angeles area. Good to see that even though SWAT out started here it doesn’t mean that we are the most out of control with their use. I don’t know what surrounding SWAT units or even the City of LA’s own teams are like though.

    It does make me wonder if part of the problem with these failed SWAT raids is that these teams are sometimes under-trained, policies are lax or unclear, and possibly that military style urban assault training is enough. (definition of failed: unnecessary use of force, overtly violent, or actual injuries took place) While military style tactics are designed for war they are not designed for policing. Military diffuses the issue with extreme force, fear and bullets, but policing is about keeping the civil peace and diffusing the human psyche.

  32. Craig B says:

    I, too, crafted an email to local, state and federal officials. Within an hour I received a response from a local official who indicated that they had already received a similar message from another local resident.

    I don’t want to be too hopeful, but it seems like momentum is building, doesn’t it?

  33. kitkat says:

    Sickening. I cringed when i heard the dogs dying. And regarding the fact that FOX did the editorialized report against the SWAT warriors using “civil liberties” as their battle cry is just a way of wanking off the tea baggers. Nonetheless, it was good they aired it so that THINKING americans can make their own conclusions about the futility of the drug war, not to mention it’s murderous, money-sucking swath of destruction created over 100 years. when will this insane Inquisition IMPLODE on itself?? kitkat

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