Skip to comments.WSJ: Rise of the Warrior Cop
Posted on 07/21/2013 2:13:25 PM PDT by ronnietherocket3
On Jan. 4 of last year, a local narcotics strike force conducted a raid on the Ogden, Utah, home of Matthew David Stewart at 8:40 p.m. The 12 officers were acting on a tip from Mr. Stewart's former girlfriend, who said that he was growing marijuana in his basement. Mr. Stewart awoke, naked, to the sound of a battering ram taking down his door. Thinking that he was being invaded by criminals, as he later claimed, he grabbed his 9-millimeter Beretta pistol.
(I don't know is we can copy and paste from WSJ, so I just copied the first paragraph since there does not appear to be much IP in it.)
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
people dead over a few pot plants
yay for us
This has been talked about on FR for years.
Glad to see the popular media is finally giving it some exposure.
-as I have posted maany times , most SWAT teams should be disbanded and type of people on them either fired or issued a .38 Special with two speedloaders, fitted with a pair of brogans with soles about an inch thick and given a beat to walk twice a shift---
Ever since the so-called War On Drugs (WOD) and, now, the War On Terror (WOT) — actually more like the War On The Bill of Rights) — began, our civilian cops have been undergoing MILITARY training. The authorities gentle it down with the prefix Para but those dynamic entry teams would be more at home in Baghdad than Boston. (Well, unless they hit John Kerrys front door at 3 am, Boston might not be a good example.) Watch Dallas SWAT for a dose of how it works.
I have long thought that that sort of activity within the ranks of otherwise civilian law enforcement was a push by those with an agenda to bypass posse comitatus for purposes BEYOND the WOD/WOT and other currently criminal behavior.
That the mass of that shrinking minority the American citizen (thank you Mr. Open Borders Bush and Total Amnesty Obama) has NOT objected to this erosion of personal liberty does NOT bode well for the future of freedom here.
I wonder what sort of body count of innocent grandmothers and others it will take before folks begin to grasp that they might be more at risk from the cops than the criminals and bring the situation back under control?
My Uncle Bob (R.I.P.) would be horrified.
My Uncle Bob was a 30-year veteran of a police force in suburban Cleveland. He was best man at my wedding in 1962. He served in an era when MOST cops embodied the now frequently hollow motto emblazoned on police units all over this country: TO PROTECT AND SERVE.
The last 10 years of his career were spent as the chief Juvenile Detective in his department. When he died, a number of the young men whose lives he had touched years before came forward to tell how his timely and sometimes tough-love intervention turned them around.
I know that many officers STILL try to live that creed today. I also know that there are officers out there who, despite the rulings by the Supremes that they have no obligation to specific, individual citizens (see Warren v. DC for some fascinating and frightening reading on that), would stand between one of us and a bullet and have.
Having said that, I must also lament that SOME cops are cowboys. Too many are simply power driven megalomaniacs who would have dropped on the OTHER side of the law had their lives drifted a degree or two off the course they did take.
I believe this to be especially true of far too many federal law enforcement types who have allowed their egos and hubris to become as bloated as the bureaucratic federal behemoth they serve. (See footnote below). Their mandate is no longer to protect and serve the citizens who pay their salaries: It is to crush any meaningful resistance to a growing body of procedures, regulations and policies too frequently enforced under severely tortured interpretations of the underlying legislative enactments (if any) and often put in place by executive fiat. The massively abused SEIZURE statutes laws the author of which now seeks to RESCIND! — spring to mind.
And one cannot but help to wonder how the clear to anyone with half a brain criminality of the Clintons and now Obama and their subsequent avoidance of any penalty has played into the problem? There now seems to be a bright line between the easy, highly flexible, slap-on-the-wrist law for the rich and powerful and the rigidly enforced law against even the tiniest victimless crimes committed by those of us further down the food chain. Does anyone in his right mind believe THAT will NOT engender added disrespect for ALL law?
Could those things be a large part of the problem in some of the highly disturbing and DEADLY (on BOTH sides) confrontations we have witnessed over the past decade or so? Gordon Kahl, Ruby Ridge, OK City, Waco, Beck This list WILL lengthen and wed all better pray that WE will be spared.
Roman historian Tacitus warned that one could tell the level of corruption in a society by the NUMBER of its laws. Anyone doubt the level of corruption here?
Am I the only one who thinks were long overdue a serious review of the NUMBERS of laws under which we are now forced to exist and which are increasingly used not to assure our safety or well-being, but to COMMAND AND CONTROL us and KEEP US IN LINE.
Only the most tyrannical and power-crazed members of law enforcement could possibly object to that.
The modern counterparts of my uncle would not object.
It is THEY, after all, who are most likely to catch that bullet probably fired by someone who has symbolically screamed to himself IM MAD AS HELL AND IM NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANY MORE — referred to earlier when they sally forth to serve that flimsy warrant or make that bogus arrest.
Dick Bachert (1999) Updated 12/2010
At a cocktail party back in the late 80’s, I struck up a chat with a fellow — his name was Joe M. — whom I’d met on one or two previous events. After my first encounter, Joe’s neighbor and my boss at the time told me that Joe was an alcoholic who had just retired from 25 years with the IRS. Needless to say, I was guarded in expressing my political views to Joe as the IRS had helped my dad into an early grave in 1977 — at age 59 over an estate matter. Joe was pretty deep into his cups at the function in question and began telling IRS “war stories.” Most had to do with clear cases of criminal conduct by not very nice people. Joe — who was a few years short of 60 — sounded to me like someone who enjoyed helping getting really bad people off the street and I asked why he’d retired early. He told me that what he called “the service” had changed for the worse. Then I asked him about the new people coming in. He shook his head, actually teared up and said that many of them were “really bad.” I pressed. “Really bad” meant incompetent? “No — DANGEROUS,” he responded “they like to hurt people.”
It was then that I think I understood why Joe drank.
Eventually someone other than me is going to ask why the cop-wanna-be-warriors why they can’t just wait to take a suspect down on the street in front of his house as he’s getting into his car or something, take him back to his house, and do a search. Why all the Gestapo tactics? And I do mean Gestapo!
Can't tell you how that rubs me the wrong way.
That's a pussies way out. It sure as heck isn't a man's man way out.
My take on this is that if everyone who participated in these raids had to have their home addresses published in the local media within 24 hours, we'd see a lot of the nonsense portion of these raids cease immediately.
“Eventually someone other than me is going to ask why the cop-wanna-be-warriors why they cant just wait to take a suspect down on the street in front of his house as hes getting into his car or something, take him back to his house, and do a search. Why all the Gestapo tactics? And I do mean Gestapo!”
It’s all for the headlines I think, just like waco.
The cop generation of the last, especially 10 years is a disgrace.
You are mistaken in your take on why the police have gotten more tactical training.
In the late 80’s and nineties cops were getting killed using patrol officer tactics to address incidents where people were armed heavily or the their history showed them to have a propensity to fight with or shoot at the police.
In response to that...to officers getting swiss cheesed by rifles or shot standing at the door....other tactics were explored. Risk matrixes were invented and SWAT was created and refined to minimize risks to officers.
If we keep laws on the books making certain chemicals illegal...and/or the profit in those chmicals make it so people will use weapons to steal or protect them....then there will continue to be a need for the newer tactical means of dealing with thise risks.
Other incidents and scenarios also would call for these same tactics.
This isn’t a defense to small agencies buying cool gear and booting indoors for fun while pretending owning a ram and entry vests make you a taactical operator a highly skilled officer.
Oh well - live like a thug you might die like one. All this over pot plants?
The following paragraph struck me.
A number of federal agencies also now have their own SWAT teams, including the Fish & Wildlife Service, NASA and the Department of the Interior. In 2011, the Department of Education's SWAT team bungled a raid on a woman who was initially reported to be under investigation for not paying her student loans, though the agency later said she was suspected of defrauding the federal student loan program.
WTF is happening to this country?
Unintended Consequences by John Ross
I found it on Amazon....$206.99 new!!
That footnote is a good, interesting story. I have a theory that the more totalitarian a state becomes the more alcoholism (and other drug problems) becomes prevalent. IMO, it is because of stories like Joe’s, as well as escapism/exerting-the-only-control-you-have-left.
In 2011, a school district cop was shot just outside the high school near my house in a Los Angeles suburb. (Turned out later the cop, who didn’t die, had discharged his own weapon in a bizarre love triangle cover-up, but never mind. OFFICER DOWN!)
The LA Times verified that over 1,000 police officers cordoned off a seven square mile residential area. 1,000 cops. To catch one guy. There were hundreds of police cars mustered up and down the main avenue. There were cops at every intersection — nobody allowed in. If you drove out, they searched your vehicle. If you tried to leave on foot, you were stopped and questioned.
Cops were at both intersections by my house. No one was allowed back into the neighborhood for fifteen hours, well into the night. Everybody coming home from work went to a friend’s or hotel.
If you left, you weren’t allowed back in. Neighbors coming out of their houses and trying to approach the sentinels on the corners to ask questions — “Hey, what time can I tell my husband he can drive home from work?” — were screamed at and threatened with arrest if they didn’t go back inside their houses immediately.
Nine schools were placed on “lockdown,” whatever the hell that means. In this case, it meant that frantic parents were not allowed to pick up their kids, nor were they even allowed access to the streets near the school.
No would say it, but martial law was declared in Los Angeles by... whom? Cops. On whose authority? We never found out. If your movements are restricted, if areas of the city are closed off, if there are guys who look like soldiers, not cops, standing on every corner with guns and threatening to arrest you for not “obeying orders”... that is martial law.
We saw the same behavior in Boston... in part because no one did anything when it happened in Los Angeles.
When did the cops appropriate that kind of power for themselves?
I read the article and I still don’t understand how we got here.
Department of Future Crime.
It’s back in print. Johnross.com or something like that.
That’s probably the original hard cover edition, now out of print. Go to accuratepress.com to buy the new soft cover edition for $30 plus s&h.
John-ross.net ... Has a cool custom handgun too!
I don't see the trend that you are talking about: Year-by-Year Breakdown of Law Enforcement Deaths throughout U.S. History. There was a spike in the 30s, presumably due to Prohibition. And another spike in the 70s and early 80s, presumably due to the breakdown in law and order in big cities that were governed by liberals. But there definitely was no spike in the late 80s or 90s and the number of yearly LEO deaths seems to have been fairly stable since the 1980s even though the population has increased from 227 million in 1980 to 314 million in 2012.
It's on the net in PDF form here:
THEN GO SELL LIFE INSURANCE, PUZZZIE!
The PA State Bulls I knew when I was a kid, (and because dad and uncle's repair shop was an authorized cruiser repair shop, we knew MANY of the guys at the local barracks) were REAL MEN. They didn't brag, they didn't bully, they didn't use obscenities or shout in your face.
They didn't NEED to.
They were quiet, cool and very professional. And you KNEW in your heart, messing with them might be a fatal mistake. And they did all that with a smile.
Most professional people I have ever known.
Now, they are just Rambo Wannabees.
Good article! I disagree that it can’t be stopped or turned around. Like the author said, stopping the federal grants is a good start. Cities, counties and states can pass laws and criteria to stop most of the nonsense. People need to talk to their local politicians, communicate through local papers, local radio and television. The militarization of our police forces can be stopped.
Oh, please. Don't be so naive. She wanted what happened to happen.
On a broader note, there is little point is speaking of "conscience" today. We have produced (deliberately IMO) a generation of sociopaths. A generation without a conscience.
I understand it is available as a PDF download.
And don’t forget the latest in tacticool fashions. Those’ll make a warrior. ;-)
I fired off a letter to WSJ right after I read the article yesterday:
Dear Sirs: Why don’t we just subject our SWAT Teams to the same ROE (Rules of Engagement) that shackle our military? Surely American citizens deserve the same consideration we give the Taliban.
There is another (possible but unlikely) reason, which is that by wearing a ski mask they are protected from small debris like splinters. Though it would be completely unnecessary if they waited until the person was out of their house to arrest them.
My thoughts as well... though I doubt it. 4% of the population, yes, 1 in 25 are clinical sociopaths.
Still, this is a good case of "Don't let your dick run your life"
I wouldn’t think those masks would stop much, but at least it is a plausible reason.
it wasn’t more cops being killed....it was the manner in which they were dying.
The training is always a reflection of past experience.
Tactical training came in due to the high risk search warrants which were being served.
As an example of this...in the later 90’s cops who had been taught weapon retention...techniques to keep your gun in your holster in a fight.
The results were that officers were spending all their energy holding their holster and began being beaten unconscious then having their gun taken and then being executed.
The answer to that was training to be more aggressive and direct physically (demeanor and handling) upon initial contact with a non compliant suspect. This creates a situation where the suspect will either submit and follow orders or if they don’t, the officer is prepared for the ensuing physical fight.
Now you are seeing more complaints about rudeness and excessive force when the officers are speaking and physically acting how they are taught.
Officers being killed with their own guns is way down.
The push back is that they are trying to alter the training in reaction to the perceived problems rudeness and excessive force...and take out the aggressiveness which makes officers safer...so in about 12-15 years you will see a spike in officer deaths from being beaten to death or having their own gun taken away.
5-7 years ago there was a spike in deaths of officers from traffic collisions...driving deaths...no you see a response by police agencies in their driving training, eliminating pursuits, and giving discipline for collisions that they feel are preventable.
The truth is there is no perfect policeman or perfect way to do policing.....we just have, each of us, an ideal idea of perfection in our head that can’t be matched in the real world because humans are not perfect.