Details of SWAT raid against the mayors home

This happened some time ago. But the Washington Post has a very detailed story on what happened. If you like dogs bring lots of tissues to soak up some of the tears.

After all the emotion (I’m not saying this is a bad thing) is filtered out here are the nuggets I found interesting:

After the detective left, Cheye studied the document. There was nothing anywhere to indicate that Scarlata had asked the judge who signed it for permission to break his door down for a no-knock search. He hadn’t presented the judge with evidence that anyone in the household was armed and dangerous. He’d basically said that police had intercepted a box of drugs addressed to Trinity, delivered the box and watched as it was taken inside.

Americans have defended their right to privacy and the sanctity of their homes since Revolutionaries denounced British soldiers entering homes and businesses with impunity to search for contraband rum and tea and generate taxes for the British Crown. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable government searches and seizures. But civil libertarians argue that this constitutional protection has been seriously eroded in recent decades, largely as an unintended consequence of the nation’s war on drugs.

He’s read the court’s decision in one 2006 case, Hudson v. Michigan, more than once. In Hudson, the court found that even when police make a clearly illegal no-knock raid, the evidence they seize can still be used against a defendant at trial.

“In other words, police can do what they did to us with impunity” Cheye concluded. “There are no consequences, not for them.”

Thanks to reader Chet for the email pointing to this. He also asks:

Question to ponder: What is the proper defense against this sort of thing (other than getting rid of the war on drugs and the swat teams)?

I expect that if you grab a gun, you will likely be shot by overwhelming force. And you will be presumed guilty especially if they find cash, ammo, or other weapons on your property.

The gun trainers I know give the advice to say nothing, physically cooperate, and ease your anger thinking about what you are going to do with all the money you get from the lawsuit.

There are some people being pro-active by setting up sting operations where they have a house set up with lots of cameras and then turn on lots of lights to generate a abnormally high electric bill. When the cops show up with flash-bangs and guns blazing the cameras are rolling and they find nothing but public humiliation and a lawsuit waiting for them. The only thing I would add to that is that I would make sure the video was streaming to servers in other states and, where jurisdictions allowed it, I might be inclined to add a few of those “bad-guy” paper targets and some flash-bangs of my own to the mix.


7 thoughts on “Details of SWAT raid against the mayors home

  1. “with all the money you get from the lawsuit”

    That would thrill me a LOT more if I knew that that money wasn’t just coming from the taxpayers. Is there anyway to hold these idiots personally responsible in court? If not the men kicking in the doors, the men who sent them there? Or are they totally immune?

  2. I think it depends on the jurisdiction. The state of Idaho tried to prosecute Horiuchi for manslaughter. The Feds tried to claim he was immune from prosecution but ultimately a Federal Judge said he was not immune. But by that time a new prosecutor was in office and wasn’t interested in pursuing it. The Weaver family had already received a settlement so they weren’t able to pursue it either. Horiuchi still works for the FBI instead of making license plates and being rented out by the hour by his cellmate to the guy with the most cigarettes in an Idaho prison.

    Also, I’m sure in many instances there is some sort of limited immunity where they are immune as long as they aren’t knowingly breaking the law. For example, if while in uniform they deliberately broke your kneecaps trying to collect a debt for a loan shark would be different than your shoulder being dislocated while they are putting you in handcuffs when they are executing an arrest warrant that was for someone else with the same name as you.

  3. Pepper sprays in your house are going to get you as much as it gets the bad guys.

    This is the third world hell hole we’re working towards. Vice laws effectively granting aggressive criminal organizations a profitable monopoly lead to this. No-knock warrants lead to this, and much worse, and there’s no end in sight.

    If this had happened at my house when we were home, I’m pretty sure people would have died. Then they would in fact have found guns and ammunition too, and in their full-on CYA mode, I would have been determined the criminal, after I and possibly others were killed. No one would ever know the truth except for a few cops turned criminal.

    SO, for you cops out their I have a question. You bust in my door and I’m going to assume you’re criminals. That’s a given. Even if you announce yourselves, unlike the stumblefuck retards in the story, I’m supposed to believe you? Why on Earth would I believe you? Decent human cops don’t do that. Criminals do that. You just smashed in my door and killed my dog. Why would I NOT start shooting?

  4. It’s starting to sound like we are living in “Unintended Consequences” times.

  5. The mayor seems to be focused on playing a “long game” and changing department policies statewide — perhaps nationwide — rather than holding the individual SWAT team members personally accountable (he can’t, anyway, as they have legal immunity). In the live chat attached to the Washington Post article, the mayor notes that most SWAT officers probably are dog owners, and states that while detained he started telling stories about his dogs, and at least one SWAT guy had to leave the room because he felt sick. So he’s not tarring them all with a broad brush.

    I think he would, however, be taking a different tack had his mother been killed, or if the “boys” shot by the cops had been his human children rather than his dogs.

    I’ll note that one part of standard depositions in lawsuits is to ask the deponents’ place of residence, complete with address. Anyone who has the horrible misfortune to end up as a target of such a raid would do well to remember that shutting up, letting your lawyer do his thing, and waiting can reap benefits.

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