Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in the U.S.

We urge all our faithful readers (and listeners) to read the attached report by Cato Institute Policy Analyst Radley Balko (a past guest on radio) about the disturbing rise of police raids in the U.S. that use paramilitary tactics, gear and weapons. Warning: this is some truly depressing material:

Americans have long maintained that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

Balko should be joining us next week on ASCENT Perspectives to discuss this piece.