SWAT Team Endangers Child, Parents Charged With Child Endangerment

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

SWAT team breaks into home, fires seven rounds at family’s pit bull and corgi (?!) as a seven-year-old looks on.

They found a “small amount” of marijuana, enough for a misdemeanor charge. The parents were then charged with child endangerment.

So smoking pot = “child endangerment.” Storming a home with guns, then firing bullets into the family pets as a child looks on = necessary police procedures to ensure everyone’s safety.

Just so we’re clear.

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38 Responses to “SWAT Team Endangers Child, Parents Charged With Child Endangerment”

  1. #1 |  Dave | 

    Officers “fatally shot the dog, which officers said was acting in an uncontrollably aggressive manner. ”
    They are certainly experts on uncontrollable aggression.
    Perhaps they should shoot themselves…

  2. #2 |  Bob | 

    “If you let too much time go by, then the drugs are not there,”

    … right… I find it hard to believe that there was enough investigation to determine that there ever WERE considerable amounts of drugs there.

    What do you want to bet that a “Confidential Informant” fingered the guy in the hopes of a reduced sentence, and the raid was little more than a fishing expedition?

    This seems to be the M.O. of these guys… get some weak ass lead, claim to investigate (Woot! Free overtime! Get the beer, guys! It’s party time!) then get a judge to rubber stamp some warrants.

    Do i sound super cynical? Yup! You have a group of people, convinced that they are above the law, operating with virtually no oversight. You BET they’re gunna work the system in their favor.

    Do some shitty investigation, send in SWAT teams, intimidate the proles into confessing, cash in on sweet, sweet federal money.

    If it goes south and the proles (Or their dogs) die… Whoops! No criminal action… the proles will cover it through taxes (If it comes to that).

    If it goes south and one of the armed thugs die… Then no expense is spared to bring the’ monster’ who tried to defend their property to justice!

    Which reminds me… The Maryland SWAT reporting law passed last year should have resulted in information being posted this month.

  3. #3 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Hey, on the bright side, there are some pretty good comments there. The cops are losing credibility in the eyes of the public which will eventually result in them losing more often when there’s a jury trial.

    They still do actually go to trial sometimes, don’t they?

  4. #4 |  Mike T | 

    If the real goal were to simply get rid of the drugs, rather than all of the revenue raising, the police could just go to known drug users, knock on the and yell “police! We have a warrant for your arrest on drug possession.” Most of the time, they’d never even have to enter the premises as the user would just flush it down the toilet. Case solved, go get a donut and coffee…

  5. #5 |  Dr. T | 

    “They still do actually go to trial sometimes, don’t they?”

    Rarely. The penalties for possession of just trace amounts of illegal drugs are severe. Our unenforced fourth amendment means that police can confiscate your home, vehicles, and cash assets just based on a suspicion that you have sold or possibly will sell drugs. If you have minors at home, then you can be charged with child endangerment. The district attorney says: plead guilty to the possession charges or we’ll take your house, take your cars, drain your bank accounts, and put your kids in foster care. How can you fight that unless you are wealthy and politically connected?

  6. #6 |  ktc2 | 

    If the public ever sufficiently wises up even just enough to result in a less than 90% conviction rate I expect juries would be done away with one way or another. It’s not like they pay any attention to the constitution anymore so there’s nothing stopping them.

  7. #7 |  InMD | 

    To echo Dave Krueger I do think there is a silver lining here when you look at the comments. There are almost no posts backing the police on this. Maybe at least in that community people are starting to wake up about this stuff. The more awareness there is about raids the more people realize how crazy our law enforcement practices have become.

    Also for anyone interested, the first batch of reports from Maryland’s new SWAT team monitoring bill have started to come out. There are a whole lot of raids and quite a few for nonviolent offenses. Unfortunately the reporting on it I’ve found so far has sometimes lacked in specifics so it can be hard to tell what precisely a “violent” offense actually is. But yea, here are some stories.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bal-md.hermann24feb24,0,1715732.story

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/blog/2010/02/tactical_raids_common_in_area.html

  8. #8 |  Reggie Hubbard | 

    Stop being so rational Radley, you’re letting the terrorists win.

  9. #9 |  Mattocracy | 

    I would love to see a nationwide ban on SWAT raids for non violent offenses. That would get B.O. some credibility since he hasn’t followed through on any promises so far.

  10. #10 |  Chris Mallory | 

    #6
    They don’t have much to worry about from juries. A 2003 study found that “about 90% of people indicted for felony crimes will plead guilty”.

  11. #11 |  BamBam | 

    #2, you should be clear in stating that the judges sign DEATH warrants. I have picked up so much truthful language from this blog.

  12. #12 |  BamBam | 

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,587599,00.html

    They almost had a Calvo pulled on them, and the article says that too!

  13. #13 |  David in Balt | 

    Was over at my brothers house last night to babysit for him while he went out with an old friend, a person rather high up in a Harford county town police department. We were talking and somehow ended up on the subject of my dog, an APBT. He told me that his SWAT team, why this town has/needs a f*cking SWAT team is another subject entirely, had shot and killed 15 pit bulls last year alone. The long and short of the conversation was that he hated “pit bulls,” I put it in quotes because I am 99% sure he would not be able to pick out a pure-bred APBT if his life depended on it, and was fairly happy that his officers had shot and killed so many.

  14. #14 |  Andrew S. | 

    Dangit Radley, it’s bad enough that you ruin my weekdays on a regular basis, but ruining my Saturday night too?

    Quite frankly, I think this is one of the worse stories I’ve seen on this site. A SWAT raid where there’s a 7 year old at home? Shooting into an enclosed space with said 7 year old around? In the end, though, it once again proves the cowardrice of these officers. Shooting a corgi? My cats are tougher than most corgis I’ve ever seen.

  15. #15 |  j a higginbotham | 

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2010/02/da_held_back_videotape_intervi.html

  16. #16 |  Chris Wilkerson | 

    #10 let alone will just convict themselves by talking

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

  17. #17 |  Aresen | 

    I suppose that, if the child had been shot and killed, the parents would have been charged with “first degree murder”. (On the reasoning that the child would have been killed due to the parents committing a felony.)

    IIRC, in one part of Dante’s Inferno, one group of the damned is chased by packs of hounds for all eternity. That is the punishment these cops deserve (although Dante had another sin in mind.)

  18. #18 |  Aresen | 

    @ j a higginbotham | February 27th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Hasn’t Radley already depressed us enough?

    The comment in the link that the DA’s office said the tape ‘didn’t make any difference’, when in fact, the “key witness” directly contradicts her later testimony is mind-boggling.

  19. #19 |  gs | 

    An off-topic comment in the previous post seems relevant in this one. Nick42 wrote, There’s an editorial in the B’more Sun attacking Calvo and supporting swat raids generally.

    1. As commenter ‘Cynical in CA’ cautioned, be careful before reading the item. Do not have your mouth full. Do not be holding a hot liquid.

    2. It’s a letter to the editor, not an editorial.

    3. The author, Lawrence Schweinsburg, spent most of his career in the Prince Georges Police Department. He then became the Crofton Police Chief before moving up to Town Manager.

    4. Neither the Baltimore Sun nor Schweinsburg’s letter to the editor revealed his police background. His wording made me suspicious enough to google him.

  20. #20 |  Whim | 

    Why on earth unless to terrorize the residents would police shoot a Corgi?

    A Corgi is a small, ankle-biter dog, with legs about 3-4″ long, and a rather small head and small jaw.

    Is that what this rampant police shooting of dogs is really about?

    Terrorizing the citizens?

    Desensitizing the citizenry to oppression?

  21. #21 |  Frank Hummel | 

    Jeez, stuff like this makes you wanna get a pilot’s license…

  22. #22 |  Marty | 

    this is a university town 1 1/2 hours away. great bars and music. great schools. I just crossed mizzou off of my list of schools to consider enrolling my high school daughter. Imagine a swat team stomping into a student apt, with a bunch of kids jumping around dancing or playing video games… ugly.

  23. #23 |  Frank | 

    #20 Building a killdozer to take out police HQ during roll call would be much more effective.

  24. #24 |  Andrew Williams | 

    #22 Frank:

    Plussing you for the Ted Sturgeon reference.

  25. #25 |  Dante | 

    Sooner or later, somebody is going to shoot a cat (which they thought was a dog) and claim it threatened them.

    Cowards, all.

  26. #26 |  Frank | 

    BATFEces stomped on a cat about twenty years ago in a home raid.

  27. #27 |  TC | 

    Related to post #15…

    Seems this DA Eddie Jordan is but another paragon of virtue, or really just another Nifong in Training. How bout that Boyo!?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Jordan_%28attorney%29

    “But they didn’t see a videotape made by the DA’s office in 2007, while Eddie Jordan was still district attorney, in which Williams says she wasn’t on the crime scene until 6 a.m.”

    As the pressure built against him, Jordan resigned as District Attorney.

    **************

    The item InMD brings us is very interesting. Seems that in at least 50% of the SWAT used raids, they were for nonviolent crimes.

    Cops do not understand the term NONVIOLENT! Well to them that would be tazering or using rubber bullets or a night stick across your face I suppose.

    But what is now interesting is the many questions you desire to ask about the reason for the warrants. The methods used to obtain them and other desired information required to evaluate the need of such show of force to serve them. Oh and most useful would be the actual results of the raids!

    *************

    Child endangerment….. just another in the long long long menu of shit we have allowed the Legal industry to foster upon us. Any contact with cops you are subject to their laundry list and menu of items they will pick over and bust a cap in yer ass over!

    Remember cops are only required to have the equivalent of a GED education. No matter the rank.

    Think about that the next time you get pulled over for something.

  28. #28 |  Kvick Tänkare « Travels with Shiloh | 

    [...] i·ro·ny /ˈahy-ruh-nee.  Busting into a family’s home, shooting their two dogs and then charging the home owners with child endangerment for having a small amount of marijuana in a home with a 7 year old child (and yes, the child got to see the cops kill his dogs).  (h/t Agitator) [...]

  29. #29 |  Nathan A | 

    FYI: I submitted this to FARK with a near-identical headline Radley (sorry, you pretty much nailed it here). If it goes green credit will be given where credit is due.

  30. #30 |  Windy | 

    Everyone needs to know the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5QTR6SXVxw&feature=player_embedded
    This video is part of a series, I urge everyone to see all of them (the ones covering the Bill of Rights, especially). Take your time, you do not have to see them all in one day.

    The reason to watch is that if we don’t know our rights we cannot protect ourselves from violations of them. The link takes you to a clear description of the 4th Amendment. As talked about in this video, lawsuits against violators of one’s Rights (any of them) is absolutely the way to get things to change.

  31. #31 |  Cynical in CA | 

    I started to care, but then I saw this happened in Missouri.

    I don’t care about these things anymore if they happen more than 100 miles from where I live.

    Simple fact is, in a State of 300 million people that covers millions of square miles, these sorts of things are going to happen at least once a day.

    It’s the shocking tip of the statistical iceberg. What is unseen is the great submerged mass of the statistical iceberg — the countless trillions of peaceful interactions that occur all around us. But we only really notice the shocking stuff. Shock sells.

    These State-sanctioned crimes will never go away as long as the State is with us. I’m not playing the game today, I’m just going to murmur a prayer to the God of the State to spare my family. I’ll let you know how that works.

  32. #32 |  Steve Verdon | 

    The district attorney says: plead guilty to the possession charges or we’ll take your house, take your cars, drain your bank accounts, and put your kids in foster care. How can you fight that unless you are wealthy and politically connected?

    The only way to fight is via non-legal means, which is of course very costly. So in the end there is no fighting it. It will get worse and worse, and the government will continue to grow fat off of the citizenry. If you think like Robert Higgs you hope that this will lead to the death of that specific government as it can no longer sustain itself once it gets too bloated.

    I’m a bit more skeptical in that the ruling class might opt for lower standards of living, but so long as they are still in charge. This more pessimistic view can be summarized by the following, “There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget this, Winston— always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless.
    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever.”

  33. #33 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #25 | Dante — “Cowards, all.”

    This is an important, and often overlooked, point.

    It has been pointed out several times on this blog that LEO is not even among the most dangerous jobs statistically.

    Yet, the police unions and their sycophants universally cry for “safety this” and “safety that.” Reading this blog one could easily conclude that there is not one possible human behavior that could not be rationalized as necessary for “officer safety.”

    This proves their cowardice. Police are unable to accept that danger is a part of the job, and since they are in denial, they will stoop to any level of immorality necessary to preserve their lives.

    Of course, their very existence as tax-feeders establishes them as immoral from the start. This is the gateway to the special hell-zone of randomness that now engulfs the US.

    You said it more succinctly than I, Dante. Thanks for saying what needed to be said.

  34. #34 |  Pat Rogers | 

    It would not be surprising if the dog was acting aggressively to protect the child. Pets are like that.

  35. #35 |  warren | 

    G E S T A P O.

  36. #36 |  JL Smith | 

    I was a resident in Columbia, MO for five years. The cities police department is well known for being a group of irresponsible, corrupt, and violent thugs. I have several friends previously involved in a lawsuit stemming from a bunch of cops macing and roughing up a group of girls at a party because they weren’t quick enough to open the door. An officer in the department was recently charged for knifing to death a college student (and acquaintance)—certainly damning for the departments hiring procedures to let a psychopath into their ranks. They have an openly antagonistic relationship with the students on campus—at least while I was there—and its good to see people getting frustrated with their irresponsible and brutally incompetent behavior.

  37. #37 |  dog | 

    Here is todays update on this story,

    It includes the full video of the raid, please spread the word on this!

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/may/03/drug-raid-inquiry-is-ongoing/

  38. #38 |  dog | 

    DEA Nails NYPD Officer For Armed Robberies Netting $1 Million

    Read more: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7018619460?DEA%20Nails%20NYPD%20Officer%20For%20Armed%20Robberies%20Netting%20$1%20Million#ixzz0nNNybMJh

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