Another Botched SWAT Raid
Radley Balko has been sent information about 20 to 25 new botched SWAT raids that he missed when preparing Overkill, his report for the Cato Institute. The first one he posted is pretty much in line with what has been posted before. The cops show up at an address, there are two houses on the lot, so they apparently flip a coin or something and raid the wrong house.
What really caught my eye is this,
“We believe justice was served in this case,” Soccio said.
As far as the officers’ conduct, they were cleared early on.
“We don’t believe the officers did anything wrong,” Soccio said. “There were two houses on one lot, and it was tough to know that going in there.”
Let me see, they enter either without announcing themselves or doing such a half-assed job that the homeowner isn’t aware of who is breaking down his front door. They exchange fire with the totally innocent homeowner, arrest him, charge him with attempted murder, drag out the case for 7 years, clear the officers almost immediately, and yet nothing was done wrong. How about gross incompetence. Fire those idiot cops who can’t double check the address, or do something like drive by prior to the raid to check out the situation. Or institute the following policy:
If you find more than one residence on a lot and can’t tell which one is the target of the raid, call off the raid.
Soccio is a complete idiot who shouldn’t have any degree of power at all as well. Unfortunately he is the Chief Deputy District Attorney and very much part of the problem. When the cops screw up and nearly kill a man, he covers for them.
Now that the criminal case has been settled, Heikkila and others who were in his house at the time of the raid are pursuing a federal civil-rights lawsuit against Riverside County, Moreno Valley and several law-enforcement officers.
Damn straight and I sincerely hopes that the lives of these law enforcement officers become similar to the Hell that Heikkila went through.
And here is the real downside to all of this: I’ve started looking at the police officers with more and more distrust and I think that people who read Balko’s paper will do the same thing and that is bad. I know that not all police officers aren’t all gun crazed cowboys and that most are good people, but how is the average citizen to tell which type of police officer he is dealing with. When law abiding citizens start to fear the police in general, then the situation is approaching a police state and that is not a good thing. Changing things so that SWAT teams are used for what they were originally created for (hostage situations, crazed snipers, heavily armed bank robbers, terrorists, etc.) and police officers are held accountable to the same laws as ordinary citizens would go a long ways to correcting this out of whack system.