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Radley Balko on No-Knock Raids

And why they are bad as a general rule.

Even if police always got the right house and every raid were performed flawlessly (and that’s obviously not the case), the image of police dressed as soldiers routinely breaking into private homes to serve warrants for non-violent crimes is one we ought to find disturbing. At one time we did. There’s an old Cold War saying, “Democracy means that when there’s a knock at the door at 3am, it’s probably the milkman.” Masked government agents dressed in black barging into private homes in the middle of the night was once an image we associated with totalitarian states. We seem to be troublingly comfortable with it, now.–emphasis added

Indeed we seem to like the fact that police officers are armed with machine guns, tasers, databases, and can enter our homes on even the flimsiest of evidence.

Radley Balko continues to cover “wrong door no-knock raids” and police militarization here.

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About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research.

Comments

  1. Gustopher says:

    If you had nothing to hide you wouldn’t be worried about armed paramilitary thugs breaking the door down and barging into your house in the wee hours of the morning, waving guns around, and shooting any loose pets that look “intimidating”.

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  2. G.A.Phillips says:

    The good guys make mistakes too.But I forgot, anyone who puts their life on the line everyday for others, a lot of whom don’t deserve it, have to be perfect……

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  3. Steve Verdon says:

    The good guys make mistakes too.But I forgot, anyone who puts their life on the line everyday for others, a lot of whom don’t deserve it, have to be perfect……

    Perfect? No, and you missed the point. Its there, its pretty obvious, try looking again.

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  4. anjin-san says:

    And unfortunately, due to the stupidity of the “war on drugs” not all of the good guys are good guys, some are every bit as scary as the bad guys.

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  5. Franklin says:

    Steve-

    This subject is something I can really get behind you on. What can we do to stop this trend?

    -Franklin

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  6. anyone who puts their life on the line everyday for others, a lot of whom don’t deserve it, have to be perfect……

    No, they can’t be perfect. Which is precisely why we should avoid deliberately precipitating situations where even the smallest error can result in innocent people getting killed.

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  7. Herb says:

    If you had nothing to hide you wouldn’t be worried about armed paramilitary thugs breaking the door down and barging into your house in the wee hours of the morning, waving guns around, and shooting any loose pets that look “intimidating”.

    Tell that to the family of Ismael Mena, who in 1999 was killed in a no-knock raid in Denver.

    His crime?

    The police went to the wrong address.

    I doubt you would be so glib if you were the one getting killed because the cops had the wrong paperwork.

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  8. sam says:

    Uh, Herb, I think your irony detector needs recalibrating.

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  9. Herb says:

    Yeah, Sam, I’d say you’re right on that one…I totally misread the tone of that comment.

    Apologies, Gustopher. The glibness, it seems, was intentional.

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  10. G.A.Phillips says:

    Perfect? No, and you missed the point. Its there, its pretty obvious, try looking again.

    no dint miss the point i was making one->

    If you had nothing to hide you wouldn’t be worried about armed paramilitary thugs breaking the door down and barging into your house in the wee hours of the morning, waving guns around, and shooting any loose pets that look “intimidating”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0