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(WSBTV)   Remember that botched raid where the SWAT team threw a flashbang grenade into a toddler's crib? The county refuses to pay the toddler's medical bills   (wsbtv.com ) divider line
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12177 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Aug 2014 at 1:59 AM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-19 07:05:06 PM  

dittybopper: Daedalus27: dittybopper: Jiro Dreams Of McRibs supports this kind of policing:

[www.slate.com image 850x566]

I certainly do support this capability.  St. Louis County is a large county of over 1 million residents immediately outside an major city.  They should have the capability to respond to significant events that may pop up in a large urban environment.  I am not saying they should be patrolling with it or use on routine warrant service or other tasks departments tend to use them, but St. Louis County isn't some bumfark county with 2,000 people in the middle of nowhere that has one violent crime a year when Joe Bob goes on a bender.  They have a significant population that requires increased capabilities to respond to abnormal events that may require a large tactical deployment and armored capabilities to combat active shooter situations. You hope you don't need such a force but you damn sure want it when some events occur or you are scrambling to make do with substandard response that can cost lives.

I think I'll take that risk.

The odds of units like that being abused are much, much greater than the odds of them being used in a situation where more conventional police tactics are inadequate.

I'm willing to bet that the number of times innocent people, or non-violent law breakers, were unnecessarily injured or killed by such units far exceeds the number of times they actually did something useful and protective of society.

Originally, SWAT-type units were formed for the express purpose of dealing with the worst of the worst scenarios:  Hostages scenarios, major terrorist attacks, that sort of thing.  But as time wore on, and as those sorts of situations were found to be so uncommon that the units were essentially being unused, then the urge to "use them or lose them" forced them into being used for the very things you say they shouldn't be:  Stuff like routine arrest warrants, especially if the person is known to have a Raven .25 ACP pistol.

But if we *MUST* have them, and there is a case to be made for *SMALL* units in the major cities, then here is what we need to do:

1.   Most importantly, get rid of the military style uniforms and equipment.  You wear your normal patrol uniform.  If you need extra carrying capacity, web gear in a color that matches your uniform.  A non-military helmet is OK.

2. No full-auto firearms.  There is absolutely *ZERO* reason for the police to *EVER* employ them:  Their only use is for suppressive fire, which is fine in a military context, but absolutely unacceptable for the police to do.  Ever.  If there isn't a bad guy in their sights, they shouldn't be pulling the trigger, and there is one, a semi-auto will be more accurate anyway.  Every farkin' bullet the police shoot needs to be an aimed shot, and full-auto doesn't allow that.

And yes, that includes if the "bad guys" have full auto.

3.   Give the asswipes with scoped rifles a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope, and make them use them for normal observation instead of the scope on their rifles.  There is no reason for a police officer to be pointing a rifle at people who aren't an immediate threat.  THIS IS A BASIC GUN SAFETY RULE:  Never point a gun at something you aren't willing to destroy.  Observation just doesn't cut it, there are safer alternatives.

4.  I can see a case for a major metropolitan area for having a couple of bullet-proof vehicles.  And by a couple, I mean two.  But the policy of giving out MRAPs to every podunk county sheriffs department that asks is ridiculous.  My rural county of 65,000 people has *FOUR* MRAPs, two uparmored Humvees, and a former Brinks armored car.

That's excessive and unnecessary in a county that has a crime rate way lower than the national average.  And the justification the sheriff used?

"We live in the North Country, it's very common for people to have high-powered hunting rifles."

Kind of stupid reasoning for a county that has a murder rate about the same as England*.  It's completely unnecessary.

5.   Forbid the shaving of heads of police officers.  I know this sounds stupid, but it's an outward sign of dangerous "groupthink".  That's why the military does it:  Historically it was to stop head lice, but they found that it's an effective psychological tool to make new recruits think and act alike.  In the context of military recruit training, it's a positive thing.  But we're talking about the police here.  Groupthink leads to poor decision making.  Have a requirement that they need at least a 1/4 inch of hair where ever it naturally grows on their head, and encourage neatly groomed "civilian" hairstyles.  Make it part of the grooming standards.  Added bonus:  They won't look like farkin' racist skinheads.

6.  No face masks that obscure what the officer looks like.  A gas mask, when using CS against a riot is one thing.  So is a clear riot face shield that still allows you to see what the officer looks like.  I've got no problem with them.  But there is no reason for an officer to wear a balaclava or other face covering.  All it does is obscure the identity of the officer.  If that officer is an undercover officer, they shouldn't be on the SWAT team in the first place. One minor exception to this rule:  for extended cold weather outdoor operations, a mask designed to keep you warm is OK.

7.  Forbid officers from using the term "civilians" when talking about people who aren't law enforcement officers.  Make them use the term "citizen" or "people" or "person".  The police are civilians also, and I can think of no better way to hammer home the idea that the aren't in the military then to make sure they don't use that term.

Really though, it boils down to a single, basic principle:  If you look like you're in the military, and you use military equipment and terminology, you're going to act like you're in the military.  Everyone else is outside your group.  You are on the defensive.  All that matters is you and your unit.

I don't think any of us want that.

On the other hand, if you look like the people you are sworn to protect and serve, you'll do a better job of protecting and serving them.


*County homicide rate is 26% that of the national average, which is 4.8 per 100,000, so county rate is 1.25 per 100,000.  England and Wales homicide rate is 1.04 per 100,000.


You know, I sometimes agree with you and other times I don't... But I don't think I've ever read a thread that I agreed with you in more than this one. I think you're spot on in pretty much every post in this thread.
 
2014-08-19 09:16:37 PM  
As someone who lives within a 20 mile radius of this incident, it's stupid ass cops with stupid ass equipment, who think that it's ok to toss a stupid ass flash bang in a house without doing normal investigation as to what's going on and almost killing an innocent baby, this is unforgivable.

/second amendment is good.
//cops with military equipment is bad.
///due diligence as far as investigation is even better.
 
2014-08-19 09:53:48 PM  
"You can pay me now, or pay me later."*

*(Fram oil filter commercial, if you don't get the reference).
 
2014-08-19 10:00:13 PM  
Who needs investigations when we have APCs and an abundance of ammuniton.

I think maybe we have a funding problem in America, and we're just giving too much money to the cops.
 
2014-08-19 11:09:11 PM  

mongbiohazard: You know, I sometimes agree with you and other times I don't... But I don't think I've ever read a thread that I agreed with you in more than this one. I think you're spot on in pretty much every post in this thread.


Dammit, now I'm going to have to work harder to offend you just to balance things out.

Bastard.

But on the serious side, I know a few police officers.  The distaffbopper and I actually watch the daughter of one of the local police detectives.  And he's a police officer like I describe:  No buzzcut, but a shorter, neat hairstyle that doesn't scream "I'll rip out your eyes and *SKULLFARK* you, Maggot!".  Sense of humor.  Decent guy.  Hell, he brought a huge box of his now adult son's old airsoft guns for the littlebopper.  Don't think he was ever in the military, and I bet he rolls his eyes at the tacticool operatingest operators.

That's the kind of guy I want in charge when bad shiat happens.  Not some steroidal skinhead Army Ranger wannabe.
 
2014-08-19 11:14:45 PM  
Sue.

Any lawyer in the country would take the case.

I'm guessing the kid is deaf at a minimum, horribly maimed in all likelihood?
 
2014-08-19 11:18:43 PM  

firefly212: Who needs investigations when we have APCs and an abundance of ammuniton.

I think maybe we have a funding problem in America, and we're just giving too much money to the cops.


We're not giving them too much money:   We're letting them steal it to fund themselves.

And both the Right and Left agree it's a bad thing, but no one seems able to stop it.
 
2014-08-19 11:25:30 PM  

studebaker hoch: Sue.

Any lawyer in the country would take the case.

I'm guessing the kid is deaf at a minimum, horribly maimed in all likelihood?


Doesn't matter.  The county will end up paying.  The people who actually did it won't.  So they won't learn any lesson, and neither will anyone else.

What needs to happen is that the qualified immunity that the officers enjoy from civil suit for their official duties needs to be limited or stripped completely, so that the next time something like that happens, they can be sued out of their house and retirement,  pour encourager les autres.

And then stuff like this will magically stop.
 
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