Lots of you have sent me this story.
I think it’s too early to draw any conclusions. It appears the police were looking for a homicide suspect. If they had intelligence that he posed a direct and immediate threat to others, the tactics may have been justified. On the other hand, there may have been other, less confrontational ways to apprehend him. It appears the little girl was shot by accident, and the suspect was not the cause of the gunfire. That’s a reminder of just how volatile and dangerous these raids are. Which is another argument in favor of reserving them for only those times when you have a suspect who presents a violent, imminent threat.
It’s also possible that these were perfectly appropriate tactics for the situation at hand but the SWAT team did a poor job of implementing them. That wouldn’t be something on which I’d be qualified to have an opinion.
We’ll see in coming days whether SWAT and flashbangs were an appropriate way to apprehend this particular suspect.
Sympathies to the family of Aiyana Jones. Heartbreaking.
MORE: Via “Ken” in the comments, according to this article the police were raiding both portions of a duplex. The little girl’s family says the suspect was found in the other apartment. The police are only saying that the warrant covered the entire building. According to the article, neighbors say they told police there were children in the home, and there were toys in the yard.
If that all sounds at least a little familiar, it should. Bit of a chill just went down my spine.