On SWAT Raids

I see two arguments in support of this kind of thing, both from the cops and their choirs:

1. Ensure safety of officers.

2. Prevent the destruction of evidence.

To the first, why should cops be entitled to safety that goes beyond their own exercise of reason, civility, and restraint? Put another way, I suspect that one reason for all of the "wrong door" raids is because they are afforded the luxury of overwhelming force — force sufficient to brutalize their way out of the just consequences of their own careless (often capricious or even sadistic) acts. Bluntly: cops ought to be shot when they mistakenly crash through the doors of innocent people who’ve done no harm (the sorting out should come later). They just ought to be, just as anyone ought to be. To exempt cops, because they are cops, completely obviates home defense, because it sets an impossible standard. The burden is henceforth upon you to first determine that any intruder is not a cop.

The second requires acceptance of a collectivist, socialist premise whereby heretofore only imagined, speculated, or alleged "evidence" takes on a value greater than that of the lives and safety of suspects or accused. It’s even more valuable than the lives of the cops, and they’ve clearly recognized this by beefing up. This is a consequence of a willingness to sacrifice the lives of some (break a few eggs) in the pursuit of a collective ideal that justice pertains to a society and not to individual victims.

I’ve got no problem with some willing to risk their lives in the pursuit of catching bad guys, but they ought to bear their own risks, accept the consequences of screwing up — such as if they get shot going into the right or wrong house, and they ought to pay full restitution if they go into the wrong house. They’ve got no right to involve innocent bystanders and the ideal of justice is completely perverted when we accept that completely innocent people ought to accept such risk as a reasonable part of living in society.

It’s funny. We have a pretty decent criminal procedure in court for serious offenses like murder and rape and so forth. The burden of proof is very high, and people generally understand why: it’s preferable that a number of guilty go free than to convict a single innocent.

But when it comes to mere suspicion, many seem perfectly willing to terrorize, maim, or kill perfectly innocent people in their own homes going about their peaceful routines.

It’s called an "acceptable cost of doing business;" acceptable, that is, to everyone but the ones paying the cost.

(My comment to this post at Q&O.)

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

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