Who is responsible for the dead dog in Missouri?

By now, the entire internet knows about the SWAT raid in Missouri that ended up with a dead dog. It woke up a lot of people, and angered a lot more who were already awake.

Almost nobody believed that it was right, regardless of political viewpoint. In this sense, the video (which was obtained by the Columbia Daily Tribune through a public records request) has served an incredibly important function.

It also got a lot of people wanting to blame someone. The question was “Who?”.

Von at Obsidian Wings writes

Folks talk about the banality of evil. It’s one of those cliches that you hear from time time. But I don’t think that folks stop very often to think about what that phrase means. Or what it looks like in action. Evil becomes banal when people — good people — stop recognizing it, stop appreciating it, and come to accept it as normal. When evil becomes so routine that good people accept it as the way of doing business.

I am not comparing the cops in the video to Nazis (whence the phrase comes). But it’s hard for me to see their actions, here, as anything other than evil. […]

This is what evil looks like. On this night, these cops decided to be thugs.

John Cole at Balloon Juice says:

I Hope These People Go to Hell […]

This is what happens when you give a bunch of cowboy assholes heavy weapons and fill them with a God complex.

Megan McArdle in The Atlantic takes a different focus

Short of multiple homicide, I’m having trouble coming up with anything that justifies that kind of police action. And you know, I doubt the police could either. But they weren’t busy trying to figure out if they were maximizing the welfare of their larger society. They were, in that most terrifying of phrases, just doing their jobs.

And in the end, that is our shame, not theirs.

Jonathan Perri of SSDP points out that the law is to blame:

“By making it illegal, you are making it criminal,” Perri said. “If a local liquor store breaks a law, you are not going to see a SWAT team raid the place and kill a dog. … You still have the alcohol abuse but don’t have people killing each other over it.”

And David Bordon points out the excesses of SWAT use today:

“The idea of SWAT was created for hostage situations and when military-style power is required and there is no other choice,” he said. “When going into a situation that the purpose is to preserve evidence, it’s not a good enough reason to put these thousands of people that are served search warrants each year through the aggressive and traumatic experience of a para-militarized police squadron entering your home.”

So who is responsible?

The answer is… everyone. And it’s complicated.

The politicians are to blame. Every day, they pass more bad laws, and refuse to correct the mistakes of the past, turning a blind eye to the destruction they cause. All the while, they fret about some non-existent 30-second attack ad, and take campaign contributions from drug war profiteers. Without the bad laws, the vast majority of these paramilitary raids wouldn’t have a reason to exist.

The federal bureaucrats are to blame. Every time they tell another lie about the drug war, they provide cover for the craven politicians, and blunt the outrage from the citizenry.

Local leadership is to blame. Seduced by the gift of toys from the military, local officials have gleefully accepted the tools of warfare in the hopes that people would think they had big dicks. Worse yet, they’ve actively made the decision to use SWAT-style raids in situations that are absolutely wrong. Their decisions have made it more dangerous for police, suspects, and the general citizenry.

They have failed to learn the difference between fighting a war and having a functioning police force. Once you decide to fight a war instead of policing, you have decided that the residents are acceptable collateral casualties of war.

The proof of this failure is evident in the statement by Deputy Police Chief Tom Dresner:

“If we were searching for stolen televisions in his house, there is no reason for SWAT,” he said. “He can’t flush televisions.”

He doesn’t even get the wrongness underlying his statement.

The entire philosophy behind SWAT-style drug raids is that the death of a mother, a child, or the family pet is an acceptable risk to prevent flushing. (Deep Thoughts)

What makes it worse is that you can’t actually flush large amounts of marijuana.

Local cops and SWAT officers are to blame. It can be convenient to say they’re just following orders, but the truth is that they do have some choice in not only choosing their job, but in how they actually perform that job. Even in the midst of a SWAT raid (even when it shouldn’t have happened to begin with), it’s possible to be safe and firm while still treating the suspects like human beings who are going through a traumatic experience and minimize both the trauma and the collateral damage.

The automatic shooting of a dog that is merely doing its job isn’t the sign of a cop that’s trying to balance safety with serving the public. A responsible cop could ask for better tools in dealing with such situations.

Task Force 6 Illinois

Unfortunately, too many of these cops have had the “war” mentality reinforced non-stop for them, like the cops that are part of the Illinois Task Force 6 in my area. When you see yourself this way every day at work, it’s hard to think of the citizenry as anything but the enemy.

Even without the reinforcement imagery, there’s a natural problem that crops up when you’re a cop doing mostly drug busts (and it does get compartmentalized that way). It’s the same problem that many treatment professionals have — generalization based on skewed personal experience.

My dad is a retired minister. He never used alcohol or went to places where alcohol was used or served. His total experience with alcohol was from those who were at the end of their rope and were coming to him for counseling and help. Alcoholics, domestic violence, etc. He didn’t really realize that there were people who used alcohol responsibly and was understandably upset when I started playing the piano in bars.

For drug cops, it’s too easy to get in the mindset that all drug suspects are non-human scum, and that affects how they do their job.

We’re all to blame. By not rising up and forcing change, we’re at fault for the death of that family member.

Yep. And that’s one of the reasons that I continue to spend so much time on this blog after almost 7 years.

It’s complicated.

In addition to calmly analyzing blame (and realizing that there’s plenty to go around), it’s also important to take a look at where focusing blame assignment will do the most good. That’s simple reality.

While it’s easiest to react viscerally to the images in that video and blame the specific cops in that house, that is the least valuable approach toward achieving real change — change that will save someone else’s family member in the future.

Whenever one of these tragedies happens — Tarika Wilson, Kathryn Johnston, Jonathan Ayers — I find myself torn when it’s announced that an investigation has been opened into one or more of the cops involved. The problem is, as soon as a cop is being investigated for wrong-doing, it generally means that the policy itself, and those who implemented it, will get a free pass.

Even if a cop rightly gets in trouble for his or her actions, it does very little to prevent future abuse.

I’m guardedly optimistic about the fact that, in the case of Columbia, the Tribune is talking about policy instead of individual cops, partly due to the efforts of SSDP and David Borden, among others. If we can keep the policy in the spotlight, we might do some good.

So yes, the answer is that pretty much everyone is at fault, but if we want it to change, we need to focus our blame on the policies and the laws.

We need local politicians besieged by concerned citizens who are afraid their homes will be invaded and their pets or children killed. And we need federal politicians fearing the votes of a motivated and concerned block of constituents.

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61 Responses to Who is responsible for the dead dog in Missouri?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Who is responsible for the dead dog in Missouri? - Drug WarRant -- Topsy.com

  2. Norbert Eggplant says:

    Those helmets look like the ol’ German helmets from the 30s & 40s. Are they keeping us safe from the evil menace of drugs or just justifying a salary?

  3. tint guy says:

    Great article Pete. Sometime you really nail it and this is one of those shining examples. Bravo!

  4. Scott says:

    “we need to focus our blame on the policies and the laws.”

    This is why we need to focus on our “supreme law” (our Constitution) when we are engaged with the public.

    We have severely crippled ourselves by generally neglecting the ‘drug prohibition is easily unconstitutional’ argument, when it should be front and center.

    All we have to do is repeatedly go after “law enforcement” with their greatest weakness, being wrong about the law (their law is unlawful). The law is their fuel. Without it, they have nothing to enforce (no doors to break down, no people or dogs to shoot, etc.)

    “We need local politicians besieged by concerned citizens who are afraid their homes will be invaded and their pets or children killed.”

    That’s not going to happen, based on that necessity unfortunately having ample opportunity for decades now (if not SWAT “collateral damage” concerns, then fear of being struck by gangs, etc.)

    Our movement needs to focus on the law, a place where we can kick ass and take names (and post them on the Internet, the pesistent-communications tool that makes the ‘someone tried the unconstitutional argument and it did not work’ excuse, that some fairly-prominent member of our movement once told me, null and void).

    Or we could continue to spend the bulk of our resources directly lobbying:

    “The politicians are to blame. Every day, they pass more bad laws, and refuse to correct the mistakes of the past, turning a blind eye to the destruction they cause. All the while, they fret about some non-existent 30-second attack ad, and take campaign contributions from drug war profiteers. Without the bad laws, the vast majority of these paramilitary raids wouldn’t have a reason to exist.”

    Sounds like the kind of people we should be spending a lot of money and time directly communicating with?

    Our movement should be a perpetual public relations campaign focusing on our Constitution (a document that people can — and do — get passionate about), while discrediting the prohibitionists at every opportunity by simply and politely asking them to prove the disasters they have repeatedly warned us about prior to each ‘penalty reduction’ in the past (a warning they are completely relying on now as a reason to avoid “legalization”).

  5. If I had to make this great article simpler, I’d point to the fact that the whole process is as unscientific as it can be. The great utility of science is that everything is pretty much up for discussion, that there are common rules for evaluating the evidence and ultimately that wrong ideas “self-correct” in time. For that process to work the ideology must be open to critique – be falsifiable.

    However, when a subject like drug policy runs more like discussions in theocracies those in power (and their ideology) becomes elevated to a place where they cannot and will not be criticized.

    Where ever absolutist ideas are prevalent, disaster usually follows.

  6. Chris says:

    I directed a lot of people to this site from some forums I go to. As bad as it is that a dog was killed, worse has happened adults as well as children, which really should upset people more than a dog, but it doesn’t seem to.

  7. ezrydn says:

    Some of you were not around when the North Hollywood Bank job when down. It was the first time LEOs had to face more firepower than they carried.

    After it was resolved, there were the meetings and press conferences about the formation of a new group, SWAT, with the LAPD. One of the biggest concerns was that these high powered weapons would be used on civilians. I was fresh back from Nam and knew they had a point.

    “No, no, that will never happen. We will only bring this firepower to bear when we’re faces with same.” That was the LEO mantra back in the day.

    Yet, look at how it’s slithered it’s way into social acceptance. Weapons are now being used in ways we were promised they wouldn’t be. It’s the “boil the frog SLOWLY” concept. When you hear people say “No we won’t,” YES THEY WILL!

  8. Just me. says:

    Yup Ez, yes they can an yes they will/did.

    That picture is miss two things, Swastica and SS insignias. Just saying thats how they look not that they are nazis.

    People need to realize that if someone gets pissed at you, you could very easily find your door being busted down and your dogs shot. All it takes is for someone to tell the cops about your private consumption and your done for. For that matter you dont even have to be a cannabis consumer or drug user. “Mistakes ” can be made.

    Wake up people, this isnt the America you think it is.

  9. allan420 says:

    great post Pete…

  10. ezrydn says:

    I get a sense of how Pete feels through his writing. Like most of us, he’s angry that this sort of thing happens in our country. It’s that anger that moves many of us toward our involvement in the cause.

    Yet, there’s also that “inner crying” that wonders “Why?” Many of us feel that along with you, Pete. And, yes, there are moments when we just need to sit down and “let it out.” It’s ok. We all need it.

    It’s that noticeable caring that shows through on this site. We experience the whole range of emotions through Drug WarRant. I, for one, appreciate it.

  11. truthtechnician says:

    Great post Pete. People need to be directed to where their voice is most effective.

    Scott: This is why we need to focus on our “supreme law” (our Constitution) when we are engaged with the public.

    Unfortunately there’s a drug exception to the constitution. Though I agree with you that drug prohibition is unconstitutional, the drug reform movement has already tried the constitutional case from every angle and lost. Gonzales v. Raich, United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative, the numerous failed religious freedom cases, suing the DEA, filing petitions to reschedule in 1972, 1995, and 2002.

    We’ve tried legal and constitutional reform for the last 40 years and have thoroughly failed. Federal drug regulation has just increased after every case.

    Lobbying is a dead-end because illegal drug users are a minority. We just don’t have the manpower for lobbying on the scale that is required to affect real change. LEAP is great, but it needs to be a 1,000 times bigger to have influence outside of fringe legislatures.

    The only avenues still open to us are state and local referendums, and coming out about our drug use. Doesn’t look like anybody is willing to come out about it anytime soon. That leaves local referendums that will constantly challenge Federal power, and only give them more reasons to expand Federal power…

  12. primus says:

    You forgot the mainstream media. They are the biggest part of the problem, because they are not ‘journalists’ in the traditional sense of the word; there is no critical thinking going on, just a mindless regurgitation of the party line. I recall in the 60’s when I was in grade school social studies, being told of the difference between Pravda (the Soviet party organ disguised as a legitimate newspaper, mindlessly repeating the party line) and the obviously more honest and ‘better’ western mainstream media, where facts prevailed, where there is balance, thought etc. What a pack of lies that turned out to be. Pravda is the business model of the ‘new’ mainstream media.

  13. Daniel Cardenas says:

    EZ – First of all, thank you for your service – then and now. Those on the side of ending the war on drugs are fighting the good fight. Not to be pedantic, but I would like to point out that SWAT was not formed in response to the North Hollywood Bank Robbery in 1997, but was formed by the LAPD in 1968, that dark period in our history marked by the overlap of the civil rights struggle and the Vietnam war protests.

    You are correct though in that the N. Hollywood robbery was a major catalyst for law enforcement’s “arms race” -AR-15’s are now standard issue to patrol officers. The race continues with armored personnel carriers increasingly coming into play, especially in drug warrant raids – many of which are of the “no knock” variety, and far too many of which are executed on the basis of bad intelligence all too often resulting in loss of innocent life. The old adage “If you carry a hammer, all problems look like nails.” comes to mind.

    An interesting side note – The first SWAT team was formed during the tenure of Police Chief Darryl Gates, who is also credited with forming the D.A.R.E. program. He died recently – 1 day after Jack Herer – two old soldiers on opposite sides.

  14. Duncan says:

    I wonder how many people have had any experience trying to flush a large quantity of cannabis. Back in the late ’80s I knew this crazy fellow who had pot plants in every nook and cranny of his 2 bedroom apartment. A byproduct of this was a large quantity of unusable leaf since he didn’t know about extracts. One day I went over to his place. We watched TV and the TV cops were pounding on a suspects door which prompted the suspect to flush his stash. My crazy friend lights up like a light bulb and says ‘I’ve always wanted to flush pot. He goes and gets 2 gallon ziplock bags of leaf and runs into the bathroom with it. He dumped it into the toilet and flushed. Man that stuff floated. It took him over an hour and dozens of flushes to get it to go down.

    It is pure and utter fabrication that the evidence is in danger of going down the commode, at least in the case of any serious quantity of cannabis. Of course flushing the evidence when the cops pound on the door is a felony destruction/tampering with evidence charge. But even in the event of flushing white powders there will be evidence left behind in the bowl. Claiming that the evidence will be flushed away is a complete fabrication. All it would require is testing the toilet water in the case of powders. Visual inspection would suffice in the case of cannabis.

    I suspect not many people have tried to flush a large quantity of cannabis and that’s why the police get away with perpetrating this fraud. I certainly would never have suspected it was so difficult had it not been for my lunatic friend.

  15. Dante says:


    Great article, but you forgot one key group. Judges.

    Judges are needed in order to secure the warrant which justifies breaking into people’s homes and spewing bullets.

    If those judges were suddenly put on the hot seat, or better yet fired for “rubber-stamping” the warrants, they might think twice before signing somebody’s death certificate.

    And isn’t that their job to begin with?

  16. Maria says:

    This post is an awesome example as to why I point those who are opening their eyes to the reality of the “war” to this blog. Thank you for your balanced and thoughtful tone.

  17. Scott says:

    “Unfortunately there’s a drug exception to the constitution. Though I agree with you that drug prohibition is unconstitutional, the drug reform movement has already tried the constitutional case from every angle and lost. Gonzales v. Raich, United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative, the numerous failed religious freedom cases, suing the DEA, filing petitions to reschedule in 1972, 1995, and 2002.

    We’ve tried legal and constitutional reform for the last 40 years and have thoroughly failed. Federal drug regulation has just increased after every case.” – truthtechnician

    First, thank you for continuing this facet of the discussion.

    What I suggested above is not about battling in court.

    Two important notes:

    1. No American (including prohibitionists here) can publicly disrespect our Constitution (e.g. no politician in a primetime debate is going to clearly say the likes of ‘screw the Constitution’, even if that’s what they’re thinking).

    2. If drug prohibition is found to be unconstitutional, drug prohibition is no longer law in the U.S., and therefore drug prohibition ends (regardless of any other point made).

    What I’m talking about is a perpetually-growing public relations campaign that in major part uses the serious power of this globally persistent communications network (i.e. the Internet) to publicly back prohibitionists into the “corner” of the constitutional “boxing ring”.

    Simply and publicly compare the original Commerce Clause (a.k.a. the sole constitutional basis for drug prohibition) …

    “To regulate commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

    … with the results (including Gonzales v. Raich) …

    We have a federal ban on the free growth, free distribution, and free possession of cannabis, all within a single state.

    While not suitable for a t-shirt, it fits perfectly in a comment, and there are a lot of places online to comment (including conservative publications where our Constitution — again at least publicly — has significant meaning, and many other areas within the mainstream media).

    Any sane person can clearly see the disconnect proving that somewhere along the controversial legal path of the Commerce Clause, our Supreme Court stopped doing their job to only interpret the law, and started making it from the bench (judicial activism).

    What our Supreme Court has ruled in the public record is that the act of possessing cannabis (even if no commerce has occurred) “has a substantial affect on interstate commerce” and therefore can remain banned.

    That’s utterly ridiculous, given the inevitable legal path going forward in our country:

    If freely possessing a plant has a substantial affect on interstate commerce, then certainly your thought activity (determining every facet of your buying and selling decisions) has that affect too.

    Based on the legal path of the Commerce Clause, our Supreme Court will allow Congress to regulate your thoughts, an unbelievably-outrageous, extreme undermining of liberty as an unalienable right (by law — see amendment nine of the Bill of Rights).

    This ridiculous interpretation of the Commerce Clause leaves the Supreme Court vulnerable, when the public majority knows about it. Something this ridiculous can not reasonably be expected to escape public scrutiny much longer.

    We may not be able to exploit that vulnerability in court, but we may defeat them solidly online where the public discussion persists (making it impossible for them to keep dodging the lacking constitutional support for their law).

    Instead of just trying to directly build passion for re-legalizing drugs, we can focus on building passion in areas like the Tea Party movement (a group of people who are fed up with pulling the voting lever for ‘blue’ or ‘red’ and getting the same unacceptable ‘government screwing we the people’ result).

    There is no way the Supreme Court can continue this interpretation of the Commerce Clause, and they will have to start addressing limitations in the future (freely possessing a plant is not likely to survive then, especially if our campaign is successful by using cannabis as the prime example of the Commerce Clause problem).

    The basic message that we share with the public is though our main opponent is law enforcement, the supreme law is easily on our side. That’s powerful stuff IMHO.

  18. denmark says:

    The primary blame belongs to Prohibition, period.

    “Even if a cop rightly gets in trouble for his or her actions, it does very little to prevent future abuse”.
    This case will be reviewed while the cops most likely sit home on administrative leave and will more than likely end the same way as many others. “Returned to duty, no wrong doing found”.

    It’s completely frustrating. While I understand strength in numbers I also understand, and have maintained for several years, that one, two, or three wise and brave souls will finally push the right buttons and the madness of Prohibition will end.

  19. claygooding says:

    We,the people,are just like water,we follow the path of least resistance. The marijuana movement has allowed itself to be led down the garden path too focus on the financial benefits and losing sight of stopping just such incidents as this.
    While I realize that when you speak of money,people listen,
    we have gone overboard proclaiming marijuana as an economical savior and reducing our justified claims that we have a right to the pursuit of happiness.
    As long as my pursuit harms no one but myself,no one has the right to deny it.

  20. Jay says:

    The one person I did not notice being blamed, and who should be blamed, regardless of the situation, was the person who was in possession of illegal materials. Were they not still doing something illegal?
    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not justifying the use of SWAT, that is overkill when you could have a day patrol come by and arrest the man. But, simply put, the man was doing something illegal, and that he had to have known was illegal, so he was putting himself, his family, HIS CHILDREN, in danger’s way with his activities.

  21. We live in a police state, there is little if any retribution for the “other People” landlords, innocent bystanders, families, fellow workers, on and on. When the cops smash down the wrong door, surround the wrong house, arrest the wrong man…..too bad for you, no apologies, not even sorry. I used to trust the police, now I fear them….once you’re in their custody you have no rights and they can do anything they want to you and you are considered guilty til you prove your innocence, until you get legal council. Things have gotten so out of hand I won’t go anywhere at night, not for fear of muggers, dope dealers, or gang members, I’m afraid of the police , especially their roadblocks. You have to address them “yes sir” “no sir” do they give you the same respect, rarely. Yes we need their protection but not their bullying. We have prisons full of light weight pot smokers and the guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, It’s really sad, I’m disabled and have some serious health problems, I ‘m glad I won’t be around to see us loose all our rights!

  22. Nora says:

    I am still going through PTSD from a police raid on my home. I cannot sleep, I am frightened every time someone knocks at my door, I am very afraid of the police now and hate them more than I ever have. They found a dime sized crack rock in my 20 year old son’s pocket and proceeded to destroy my home. They were like home invasion thugs. They even broke a fence in my backyard that was open, they just yanked it off the brackets. They were working off of a tip from a know drug-addict prostitute who was facing time and wanted to give up someone to save her neck. So she picked my son who was not the only person selling drugs to her. The SWAT destroyed my front door to the tune of $600 in damage all for a $20 crack rock. The amount of money that went into this over exacted raid was worth more than $20. My son only went to jail for 2 weeks and is now on probation. I am also in the process of trying to keep my house the City is trying to seize my property over the raid. This ish is so f*cked up.

  23. claygooding says:

    Another study is in showing THC bstops cancer from spreading:

  24. RD says:

    It’s a joke, what if they had the wrong address and they came to your home? Our government has too much power over us we are not free at all. The american people and most of the world are being lied to and fed poison every day by big biz and pharm companys. Wake up and take your country back or you will face the same thing this family did. Soon will not have a leg to stand on. Follow the example our mexican brothers and sisters (legal and not legal) have set. Stand up for your rights, picket boycott and don’t take no for an answer! It’s a shame that they will stand up against our country and actual americans are to lazy selfish or busy to do something about it.

  25. Cliff says:

    The jackbooted thuggery is training us (collectively) to accept the virtual prison grid being constructed all around us. The technology we use every day for comfort and convienence is the velvet glove which fits over the iron fist represented by the LEO’s ‘new professionalism’.

    /Jackbooted thuggery is dangerous, it causes;
    blunt force trauma,
    dog deaths,
    property damage and
    loss of freedom and liberty.

    /do not taunt jackbooted thuggery

    /keep jackbooted thuggery in its protective constitutional case or it will cause unintended consequences, such as uncontrolled mayhem and deaths

    /keep jackbooted thuggery away from children and pets

  26. Botar says:

    After 17 years of law enforcement and participating in raids such as this, I decided to get out of law enforcement and try to make mends for my actions by becoming active with the legalization movement. Some of these officers that stormed this house will most likely lose their jobs over the heat this situation has produced. That is a shame as they were sent there to do a job by the person who should lose their job, but won’t. It is always the little guy that takes the fall.

    In preparation for a search warrant, they know who is in the house. They know a child lives there. They know about the dogs. This warrant should have been executed when the child was in school and there was little likelihood of anyone being home. You don’t have to be home for the cops to execute a search warrant. Afterall, wouldn’t it be safer that way? You can always catch the “bad guy” later.

    The fact that they charged this man with endangering a child is truly the slap in the face. I don’t care if the child sits on a bail of weed while playing his X-box, the only people who endangered the child were the cowboys that busted in while everyone was asleep and decided to start pulling off rounds at an unarmed dog. Now there’s a trophy to mount on your wall.

    It’s time for people to wake up and demand something be done. If people would just speak out instead of smoking in the shadows like they’re doing something wrong, this crap would end. I spent over half of my 17 year career being an asshole because I bought into the bullshit. I’m awake now, I’ve had enough, and I don’t care who knows it.

  27. Uncle Stoney says:

    First and for most I thank you for this great article. With that being said. I as an American Citizenship am tired of feeling like a criminal for doing one of the things I enjoy doing. I maybe still young and was never really around during the early days of the hippie rage or like when Nixon basically screwed up this whole drug war. But I know enough from our previous mistakes that has had happen in the push for some type of reform for canniabis. Times are changing Americans. It truely is. Yes you can state that a lot of the things that our government are truely unconsistional. Which they are. Esp when it comes to drug laws. I always thought we the people had the control of washington dc. Not the polictians. Don’t we vote them in?? Don’t our congress men and women have a job to stand up for their people of their home state. Not to be puppets to a commander in chief with all his other puppet masters. I thought this was a free country. Where the hell did it go wrong. But, lets think a bit more positive. There are changes being made. Good ones too. Slow, yes. Changes, Yes. We see more and more states distancing themselves on the fight on drugs away from the fedral government. So I know I have a point and a good one. Its just I get soo flustered everytime I get to talking about reform of the drug laws. Just tired and we need a change. Finally, once again thank you for this article it was a great piece.

  28. sobi says:

    How about what is not to blame. Excessive liberty. The bugaboo that people are so afraid of is not what is causing the death, mayhem, and civil war.

  29. richard says:

    what if the dog had been a child?????
    would the police be so willing to point the finger at the parent???? pets are as much a part of our family’s as children shouldn’t we be worrying about that???
    I smoke and I don’t own any weapons should I worry about getting a gun in my face while I sleep???? LEGALIZE IT!!!!!!

  30. Cliff says:

    This warrant should have been executed when the child was in school and there was little likelihood of anyone being home. You don’t have to be home for the cops to execute a search warrant.

    You know, that sounds all logical and all, but (IMHO) just securing the residence and the ‘evidence’ doesn’t produce the adrenalin rush or the shocked and stunned reaction people and pets do when they are awakened from a sound sleep.

    You see, a potential ‘teaching moment’ opportunity has been lost and the citizens are not ‘learning’ thier lesson in how we and our property are just things to be tossed about and roughed up in order to demonstrate who is in charge, and it ain’t the tax payers. These acts show us that we are not to be protected or respected, just subjugated and denied any compassion or civility.

    It truly is about terrorizing and training citizens to be ruled by thuggery.

  31. ivory blom says:

    the problem we face when we try to rise up and force change is that it is almost impossible to force anything on the people with the best wepons. we will die…history proves this… even recent history… just this case we are discussing now is what they would do to us when we stand up for our rights. so sad that i feel that way.

  32. Cliff says:

    “Those helmets look like the ol’ German helmets from the 30s & 40s.”

    The Germans really knew how to design a battle headgear that protects the back of the neck and side of the head that the old ‘steel pot’ style helmet did not. As a user of both styles during my service in the US Army, I preferred the newer style as it is more comfortable (being kevlar it is lighter) and it sits on your head better and doesn’t rattle.

    That being said, the treatment of the citizens involved is absolutely atrocious and wouldn’t even stand up to a Geneva Convention Hearing. So much for the militarism of our police force.

  33. Tim Pearson says:

    All i know is that, if your a cop. Especially a swat member, u should be able to diffuse the situation without shooting the dog… Hopefully someone comes thru and shoots their kid so they will know the pain it causes..Because a lot of our pets are family…Fuck the Police, Fuck Organized Government…and fuck those swat members…i hope everyone around them can be fuckin obliterated from this earth and they stay alive ti live with the fuckin Pain…Fuck You Missouri Swat and burn in hell…

  34. Cliff says:

    “How about what is not to blame. Excessive liberty.”

    We have a winnar!!!!11one eleventy

    They hate us for our liberty.

  35. Shaleen says:

    great post, Pete.

  36. Mike says:

    Botar many many people are proud of you. Seeing past the Bs and opening your eyes. My only wish is that every one of your former co workers, will have the chance to do the same.
    Pete thanks for the good read. I only hope what happened, will shed light on the police-state america is in. Makes me sad. To think of for-fathers gave up so much for us, and we turned into the very thing they were fighting…

  37. Mike C. says:

    May 10th, 2010 at 3:08 pm
    It’s time for people to wake up and demand something be done. If people would just speak out instead of smoking in the shadows like they’re doing something wrong, this crap would end. I spent over half of my 17 year career being an asshole because I bought into the bullshit. I’m awake now, I’ve had enough, and I don’t care who knows it.”

    When a co-worker invites you out for a few beers – tell them that you’d rather smoke a bowl. Be honest. Don’t fear the consequences of honesty. You can be arrested (for the most part) for having cannabis; not for saying that you enjoy smoking it. If all of the “shadow” smokers out there came forward publicly and, admitted that they enjoy smoking…The change we seek would start.

  38. allan420 says:

    aaah… the loss of the Constitutional argument… not. It is the theft of the Constitutional argument. C’mon folks… that document is OURS. There is no “drug exception” to the Constitution, there is a Supreme Court created “drug exception” maybe…

    The Constitution is OUR document. It belongs to and was written for, US… not the gummint. It is ours, an instrument of the people to control the government, not the government’s to control us. There is a reason the document is written as it is. It is not full of legalese, it can be read and understood by the average citizen, as was meant to be…

    Allz I know is, we may be in deep doo, but I still hear bricks falling and can easily see this issue as a turning point in our understanding of our most fundamental civil rights. Rights spelled out very plainly in the Constitution – especially its Bill of Rights… the question becomes however “are we willing to do that which is necessary to protect those rights and that document?”

  39. tom jividen says:

    i hope these cops kids see their dog run over in the street, of course then the Ghestapo would blame the driver of the car. Nazi tactics. come in my house in the middle of the night and I wont ask who you are. I have no children so A 30.06 is a great welcome party. My dogs are the only real friends i have. A dog is the only friend you’ll ever have that will walk through the gates of hell with you and be glad to be there

  40. Bruce says:

    The monsters depend on anonymity.
    Follow the ba$tards home. I personally know where the chief and 6 of his fellow members reside in a yuppie cul de sac in relative tranquility. Its only cause I’m a nice guy the vichy neighborhood has not been sacked and burned, and they know it. Reciprocity.
    Little brother watches, waits. Big Brother is a psycho peeping Tom pervert who merits constant surveillance and supervision.

    Why did you shoot my dog he probably just wanted to play with you….
    For fucks sake

  41. ezrydn says:


    Welcome aboard the roller coaster ride. I, too, have a “history” but mine ended when I jailed the Mayor for DUI. LOL That’s when I smelled the BS!

    When I use the VA in TX, they always ask if I’m taking anything. I tell them “Yes, but I can’t tell you.” “Why?” they ask. “Because the VA is not a compassionate agency and TX is not a compassionate state.” Let them figure it out.

    I’ve had some of my most fruitful discussions with ICE and street officers. I understand that when they ask me what the badge lapel pin is and I say “LEAP,” there’s going to be the $1M question: What’s LEAP? Then, whether they want it or not, they get one hellova earful. While they can’t readily agree with you, it’s the looks, the eye movements, that tell you they get it.

    So, you’re still “serving and protecting.” Just with a “twist.” Use what they taught you to the benefit of reform.

  42. malcolmkyle says:

    Due to this mindless policy I’ve lived in exile for the last 32 years — One summer evening back in 78, knowing full well the likely consequences, I was forced to make a split second decision between being able to look myself in the mirror again or allowing a corrupt narc to continue terrorizing myself and my friends unchallenged. Since that time I’ve done all I can to educate myself on everything related to freedom, the US constitution, victimless “crime” and past attempts at such-like prohibitions.
    I, like many others here I’m sure, have also lost several good friends in this war on ourselves, people who literally wouldn’t hurt a fly. How on God’s earth has this been allowed to continue for so fucking long?

  43. Maria says:

    Interesting quote from the Chief of police in Columbia, Ken Burton (http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kbia/news.newsmain/article/1/0/1648228/KBIA.Local/New.Police.Policy.for.Drug.Raids..SWAT.Team) A bit of ‘pass the buck’ flavor but he also doesn’t seem to be someone who’s gung ho, guns blazing in support of the drug war.

    “Marijuana legalization advocates have spoken out in opposition to the raid, but Burton encourages them to contact legislators instead.

    “We were looking for a felony amount because the possession of marijuana is still a felony offense if it’s over a certain amount. And we can’t change that. I would encourage the people that are angry because of that to contact their legislators in Jeff City, contact people in Washington and get that law changed. As police officers we don’t really have a choice in that matter.””

  44. ryan says:

    Fascist Police State! They have Animal Control for this…and if a civilian were to shoot a police dog it would be like killing an officer… But they can come in and shoot a civilians dog and there are no consequences… It should be just the same as shooting a family member because my dog is a member of my family… And its not the dogs fault he may be in bad hands… in this situation a non violent criminal… deadly force in the home with kids being present… I hope the cops reading all of this understand how damaging thier actions are to a family… Google Barry Cooper if you need some help… And for all you good cops out there that arent standing up and letting this happen.. shame on you.. for letting this type of hatred occur… Do you want your brother or sister, mom or father.. dealing with your militarized police? And just think all the Iraq vets are coming home to be cops that have been trained nothing but deadly force and how to run a police state… and half of them dont honor their oaths to the constitution.. All of these police who beat people and violate thier oaths should never be given a second chance to abuse the power of a tin badge again… completely kicked out of the force and never can return…

  45. denmark says:

    At Cannabis Culture there’s a story of a Myanmar refugee who moved to Canada. His apartment was raided and the SWAT cops beat him. Guess what? You already know, it was the WRONG apartment.


  46. Daniel Cardenas says:

    Jay (May 10th, 2010 at 2:22 pm) —

    The one person… who should be blamed, regardless of the situation, was the person who …was doing something illegal, … he was putting himself, his family, HIS CHILDREN, in danger’s way with his activities.

    Jay – the point is that the use of force was way beyond overkill. The man and his wife had reasonable expectation of freedom from persecution as they were engaging in a misdemeanor – kinda like speeding on the highway, only they weren’t even on a highway – what they were doing was in the privacy of their own home. And in fact, they weren’t “using” – all they “did” was to be in possession of a substance that is known to be less harmful than legal substances, like alcohol and tobacco.

  47. claygooding says:

    Possible 2012 Prez Candidate Gary Johnson: Legalize Marijuana


  48. diggs says:

    This is my first time at your site. Pete, you are a hero. I hope you never stop fighting.

    I agree “blame” belongs to the judge.

    I think the enemy here is apathy. How do you engage more citizens? It’s not by saying we’re to blame. How much education k-12 on your constitutional rights did you receive? Every child in this country should be an expert on the constitution. It’s scary how many adults don’t even know. Three generations from now, how removed from the constitution will “the people” be?

  49. Duncan says:

    No Jay, you are wrong, and shame on you for suggesting that the victim is the perpetrator.

  50. jean says:

    My son was recently busted 4 growing in his basement. They tore thru the house only 2 find plants, nothing else. It’s the same old story 2 some of u, but new 2 us. Now, his house will be ‘siezed’, his car taken,and he is facing prison. He has a son for whom he is paying child support, had a house payment, car payment etc…he always paid his way. I luckily was left a little $ after my mom died, had in a CD 4 his son’s college-now all this $ will be spent on a criminal lawyer, etc..It just galls me that real criminals(pedophiles, rapist, etc…) r being released from prison early(they should stay 4ever!)so that they can make room 4 the cannibas cultivator!!! How insane is that??!! It all truly sucks, but the winds of change r shifting in our favor 2 legalize. Before, I would be wary of even posting anything relating 2 this, now I am an advocate, and don’t give a shit who knows! It’s high time(no pun intended)that alcohol gets the bad rap it deserves-it can be deadly, poisonous, and basically turns your brain into mush if overindulged. Most teenage deaths r caused by alcohol related car crashes! Wake up people! And please say a prayer 4 your brothers and sisters who r facing prosecution-and have faced it and jail.

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