SWAT teams are completely out of control in the US with more than 50,000 raids per year, most for low-level drug crimes.
Watch the video “SWAT Raids — No One Is Safe” and sign the “Petition for Responsible SWAT Reform” at www.swatreform.org.
Originally created to deal with emergency or other very-high intensity situations (e.g. snipers, hostages, barricaded suspects), SWAT teams were deployed on fewer than 3,000 occasions in all of 1980. Today, SWAT teams conduct raids more than 50,000 times per year, mostly while doing low-level drug enforcement.
This is wrong. Every time police enter a home with sudden, overwhelming force in the way that SWAT teams are trained to do, a trauma is caused to the people inside from which they may never recover. Many of the buildings targeted house completely innocent people — roommates, spouses, children, victims of wrong address reports — and the vast majority are low-level offenders at worst.
Even more troubling, using a SWAT team when a situation is not already close to violence risks creating an altercation that could otherwise have been avoided. Reports have detailed numerous cases in which unarmed people were shot by police officers who had become trigger happy due to the rush of doing a dynamic entry. In some cases police officers have themselves been killed doing SWAT raids, by people inside who were taken by surprise and who in fear of losing their lives opened fire. Reports of SWAT officers killing pets are common.
Read the rest and sign the petition at Americans for SWAT Reform.