It is shameful to see The United States of America, a nation born of liberty, a nation whose citizens have the constitutionally guaranteed right to protect themselves and their property with arms, turn into the police state that it has. Police raids have been increasing in frequency, 40,000 per year by one estimate in 2001, more than 50,000 in 2005, according to Peter Kraska, a criminologist at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, and likely more raids in the years since. Common targets of these raids are nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians. Many victims of these wrongful raids have their homes invaded in the middle of the night, and it is a common claim that the police do not identify themselves correctly, or at all, before entering.
The results of these raids are unnecessary violence, abusive and unlawful actions against nonviolent individuals, and drug offenders who are guilty of nonviolent crimes. The police in the US have become accustomed to shooting first instead of asking questions, and lying later instead of taking responsibility.
Adam Arroyo, an Iraq war veteran, had his home wrongfully invaded, during which the police executed his 2 year old pit-bull, Cindy, during an attempted drug raid. Another man in Utah was shot and killed within seconds of his parents home being stormed in the night. When the police raided the home, the man had unfortunately been holding a golf club in his hands, which apparently was threatening enough to the police officers to warrant execution. It seems reasonable that he would have been holding a golf club, or some sort of object, seeing as his home was being invaded in the middle of the night. I guess you could exercise your right to protect your life, and property if you feel you are being violently raided, but it might result in an unfortunate trigger-finger attack from the police.
Another unfortunate case of mistaken identity occurred when a 61 year old man was shot at least 3 times, after police wrongfully entered his home to execute a drug raid. His wife believed that their home was being invaded, when she claimed that the police didn’t properly identify themselves. Even more, a lawsuit filed in federal court in Minneapolis accuses the local police department of shooting the dog of the Franco family, during a raid. The suit claims that the children were also forced by police, to sit next to their lifeless pet for over an hour.
These are only a handful of a growing number of shameful displays of excessive use of force, and abuse of power. Not to mention the dangerously inefficient ability of the police to execute a drug raid on the proper household for which the warrant is issued.
Interviews with police officials, prosecutors, judges and lawyers paint a picture of a system in which police officers feel pressured to conduct even more raids. Are they primarily interested in revenue, funding, or are they interested in keeping our communities safe?
These days in America, if you hear an intruder in the middle of the night, it’ll be your bad luck to grab any sort of weapon, or weapon-shaped object if those intruders turn out to be the police. The U.S. Supreme Court has even decided to uphold the position that “no-knock” warrants can be used in cases where the officers’ fear that announcing their presence might endanger their lives, or give criminals time to destroy any evidence they are seeking. So, what happened to our right to not endure unreasonable searches and seizures, and to defend our property?