TheAgitator.com: Sigh: Comments:I haven't studied 1000's of cases as Balko has, but I have come to the same conclusion. See what Cooper was writing back in the Clinton administration - newsletters as it was before the web (was common) and before blogging had been conceived.
"I have come to take the position on these tactics that I now take because I've read case after case after case of innocent people being killed, injured, and terrorized when one of these raids goes wrong. I don't like it when agents of the government kill, injure and terrorize innocent people. That's why I get so 'emotional' about SWAT raids gone wrong. They carry an extremely small margin for error, and therefore simply aren't appropriate for nonviolent offenses. My reactions to these cases aren't rash or ill-considered. They're the result of studying around 1,000 of these raids over the last 18 months, and noticing the same patterns occurring over and over when one goes wrong. "
I don't want one single officer to be hurt in serving a warrant or arresting a suspect. But they really should not be creating a situation where they are likely to be hurt or to hurt someone.
"Congress clearly has the power to pass laws, under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment, to prevent states depriving citizens of life, liberty or property without due process of law. When cops bust down your door and shoot you without -- very -- good reason for being there, that's a deprivation of liberty and property, and often life, without due process, the very kind of thing Congress was empowered to address. ... What's more, the no-knock problem stems from federal policies -- the "war on drugs" and the free distribution of military equipment to local SWAT teams -- and thus further justifies a federal corrective. Under federalism, one role of the federal government is to protect citizens' rights against unconstitutional encroachment by the states. That's what the 14th Amendment is about. And the doctrines of official immunity that make lawsuits difficult in such cases are found nowhere in the Constitution, but are the creation of activist judges, reading their policy preferences into the law. They are worthy of no particular deference."
"Once you’ve got a cool tool, you kind of want to use it. That’s true whether it’s a pneumatic drill, a laser level or an armored fighting vehicle. SWAT teams, designed to deal with rare events, wound up doing routine police work, like serving drug warrants."