- There are now 30,000 SWAT teams in the US. Here's what
we're getting for our money...
- (Excerpted from "Flash. Bang. You're Dead: SWAT
teams make dramatic TV but horrible justice" by James Bovard)
- What happens when a SWAT team performs its intended role
- confronting crazed gunmen? On April 20, 1999 students Eric Harris and
Dylan Klebold went on a shooting spree in Columbine High School in Littleton,
Colorado. By the time the two ended their massacre by committing suicide,
12 students and one teacher were dead or mortally wounded. Dave Sanders
bled to death because the police took nearly four hours to reach the room
he was in - even though students had placed a large sign announcing "One
Bleeding to Death" in the window.
- The first police officer on the scene exchanged fire
with Harris and Klebold. Shortly after noon, police radioed that they needed
to be resupplied with ammunition. It arrived in the form of almost 800
policemen, enough to form eight SWAT teams from five jurisdictions. Eventually,
the on-site commander sent 50 members into the school.
- Jefferson County Sheriff John Stone explained: "We
had initial people there right away, but we couldn't get in. We were way
outgunned." Jefferson County SWAT team commander Terry Manwaring concurred:
"I just knew the killers were better armed and equipped than we were."
SWAT teams made no effort to confront the killers in action; instead they
devoted their efforts to frisking students and marching them out of the
building with their hand on their heads.
- The police response was paralyzed by concerns for officer
safety. A spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said:
"We had no idea who was a victim and who was a suspect. And a dead
police officer would not be able to help anyone." Don Kraemer of the
Lakewood SWAT team explained: "If we went in and tried to take the
them and got shot then we would be part of the problem. We're supposed
to bring order to chaos, not add to chaos."
- As one former law enforcement officer observed: "Everything
that SWAT teams did that day was geared around fear. A great flaw in the
training for SWAT teams is that they are so worried about officer safety
that they've lost their ability to fight." *
- James Bovard is the author of Freedom in Chains published
by St. Martin's. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/isbn=0312229674/emediaA
- * Of course, SWAT teams *are* very good at breaking down
the doors of innocent people and murdering them.
- August 9, 1999 - El Monte, California 64 year old Mario
Paz shot in the back in front of his wife. Reason for 'search': a reputed
drug dealer had used his mailing address
- February 13, 1999 - Osawatomie, Kansas Willie Heard ran
to his 16 year old daughter's aid who he thought she was being attacked
by burglars at 1:25 AM in the morning. Shot dead by SWAT team.
- April 17, 1995 - Beaver Dam, Wisconsin Scott Bryant,
29, shot to death while being handcuffed when a SWAT team member accidentally
discharged his firearm. Bryant's crime: Police found trace amounts of marijuana
in his garbage.
- July 12, 1998 - Houston, Texas SWAT teams shoots Pedro
Oregon Navarro 12 times in the back. His crime: A confidential informant
said he witnessed a drug transaction at the address. No drugs were found
on the premises.
- March 13, 1996 - Oxnard, California 12 SWAT team officers
break into an *empty* condominium and shoot one of their own fatally.
- and on and on it goes.
- Cowards and fools playing at being super cops. 30,000
of these teams are now active in the US, many with Pentagon quality armaments.
- Let's see:
- * 25% of the world's prisoners sit in US jails; * 30,000
teams of dangerously inept "super cops" who have carte blanche
to attack people in their homes on the slimmest of pretences; and * Now
in schools all around the country, there's a new Justice Department program
to put an armed cop in every school whether they need it or not. More on
that last one later...
- Brass Check - http://www.brasscheck.com
- From Brasscheck <firstname.lastname@example.org
- To John Krulik <email@example.com
- John Krulik wrote:
- I just read your article that was linked to the Sightings
web page. It was very interesting and the first time I have seen this brought
up anywhere. Congratulations. The only comment I have is you missed the
one incident that first started me thinking about this. Happened a few
years ago in Miami Beach when the police thought they had Andrew Conanin
hold up in a houseboat. Remember, the caretaker for the boat walked in
on him, the caretaker ran from the boat, while running to safety the caretaker
thought he heard a shot. He called police, who responded in mass. Swat
teams from both Miami Beach and Dade County showed up, streets were cordon
off, and the circus was on. Around 11:00PM, the police actually boarded
the boat,with flash grenades blazing in the darkness. When they finally
got on board they found out the jerk had committed suicide 8 hours earlier
when he was first discovered by the caretaker. In fact, that was the shot
the caretaker heard. Sincerely John Krulik
- There you go. Another one. Since that article posted,
I get one or two new examples per day.
- Also, recall the entirely innocent man in the Bronx,
Amadeu Diallo, who was shot 19 times (41 shots fired at him!) for holding
a wallet. That work was done by a "specially trained" plain
clothes urban action team, or some other such bureaucratically named nonsense.
- Their mission is to roam around minority neighborhoods
looking for "signs of unrest." Signs of unrest? What the #%&@
are they, an occupation force?
- Thanks for writing. I'm sure we've barely scratched the
surface on this one.
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
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