Police High on Firepower

Within a few months this summer, police repeatedly endangered innocent human lives with their bungling, oafish disregard for the power of firearms.

The week of July 20, Toronto cops smashed in Cecil Smith?s door in a raid that discovered .23 grams of marijuana. Not enough to roll a decent roach. In the raid one of his two dogs, Miller, was shot despite the fact that he wasn?t attacking an officer.

An officer fired another round in the presence of Smith?s young daughter who entered the room to find the family dog bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head. The second bullet, which missed the dog, passed through the floor and brushed the arm of Yvonne Huang, who operates an eatery below Smith?s apartment.

On July 14, In Calgary, Alberta, 10 police SWAT members attacked a home next door to a daycare, armed with high-powered rifles and guns. Next door, the children aged one to four played outside on the lawn. Although the children were unharmed by any stray bullets, they were emotionally traumatized by the event. Tim Florence?s two-and-a-half year old daughter was in the daycare?s yard at the time.

?The kids are just freaked,? says Florence. ?They?re all shaken and scared.?

The potential for disaster is massive. The need to discharge a firearm to kill a docile dog or a helpless, innocent target is non-existent. Even vicious dogs could be incapacitated with a simple tranquilizer gun. Yet governments arm SWAT teams with sophisticated killing machines, teach them to think like they are in battle, and send them into family?s homes to murder and forever scar the memories of children and bystanders who are suddenly on the front lines of the war on drugs.