Another mistaken SWAT raid. When will it end?

There is too much of this kind of stuff going on:

A Minneapolis police SWAT team kicked in the wrong door yesterday during an early morning raid, prompting the man of the house to grab his gun and open fire on the officers who entered the house.

"He took out his shotgun and he said if they are bad guys I'll shoot, I'll scare them away," Dao Khang, the brother of the homeowner, Vang Khang, tells the Star Tribune. "He fired first, he told me it was two shots."

Dao Khang says his brother was trying to protect his wife and six children. No one from the family was hit during the exchange of gunfire. Vang hit two officers, but the Pioneer Press says they were protected by ballistic vests and helmets.

"I must've heard over 20 or 30 shots, I swear, it was scary," Ruth Hayes, the family's next-door neighbor, tells WCCO-TV. "It was like 30 SWAT guys out here ... it was crazy it was just like havoc."

KARE-TV reports that Vang was detained at the scene and released a few hours later. Police say there may have been a "language barrier" between the residents and the officers.

(Via Clayton Cramer.) And they're now contemplating charging this innocent man with a crime. What crime? Defending himself and his family against armed invaders who look for the world like criminals?

How many incidents like this will it take before people realize that militarization of the police is going down the wrong road? Police once knew the neighborhoods they patrolled, and neighbors knew them. Increasingly, they're an armed hostile force (that is, when they're not spending their time as revenue agents). These raids are conducted without warning in a manner more appropriate to combat, and even innocent family dogs are being shot. The way the cops think they have the right to treat anything that moves as an enemy reminds me more of war than police work.

Hmmmm.... Maybe it's no accident that when they act this way, they claim to be "fighting" the "Drug War."

What bothers me the most is that I fully expect to see such tactics being used as another justification for gun control.

posted by Eric on 12.17.07 at 02:33 PM










Comments

The idea that people object to such things when they're happening to people who aren't them or just like them is, sadly, mistaken. The world is not full of libertarians, or anything like them.

The police have always, since their historically very recent invention, been an "armed hostile force" terrorizing an as-large-as-feasible minority of the population, and the majority likes it that way. That's their job, and they're getting better at it, not worse.

There are more people who openly get off on this stuff than there are who are honestly, personally horrified by it. People suck.

guy on internet   ·  December 17, 2007 3:06 PM

I wish people would just stop reciting the canard that the innocent have nothing to fear.

If stuff like this keeps happening, people are going to be more afraid of the police than of the criminals.

Eric Scheie   ·  December 17, 2007 4:05 PM

Right. The innocent have EVERYTHING to fear.

Anonymous   ·  December 17, 2007 8:03 PM

Um, okay, read the article... how does a SWAT team fire '20 , 30 shots' and have the homeowner hit two SWAT members and still be alive, uninjured and around to consider pressing charges against? Is their shooting on par with their ability to discern their intel?

Bobbi   ·  December 17, 2007 10:15 PM

This is the expected result of an ostensibly free country making Wars on Vice.

It won't get any better until "Reform" means "Repeal."

Brett   ·  December 18, 2007 8:19 AM

Eric,

Bravo.

I have been telling gunners that the drug war was their biggest enemy ever since the days of FidoNet. (Hope Coco appreciates it).

A lot agree. Few seem to take it up as an issue.

M. Simon   ·  December 19, 2007 1:10 AM

When will it end? Never. In 250 years, police will be searching for Alpine gzzrpt-snaws and finicky raltitution.

Bleepless   ·  December 19, 2007 11:53 PM

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