Tuesday, July 18, 2006
The police state is here
Over at the libertarian Hammer of Truth site (which featured T. Lee Horne III's latest gubernatorial campaign ad for Louisiana), they have a post regarding a new book by Radley Balko called "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America" and put out by the CATO Institute as noted in this CATO press release. This sounds like a book I should have the local library put on their shelf.
And it's true about the "overkill" regarding paramilitary-style police raids. They're far too common. The "men in black ski masks," as Alex Jones likes to say, are all too real and while these SWAT types do get some bad guys, they also hurt innocent folks in botched raids, or are themselves killed as we saw in early 2003 in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Here's a portion of a summary of Balko's new book: These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.
And sadly, I saw a story on a local TV station saying that police here in Lawton are starting to do paramilitary training, wearing camo and looking scary. And this was demonstrated in a local school!?!?!