This Is Your War on Drugs

Friday, May 27th, 2011

We have another video of a raid by the Columbia Police Department. The action starts at 5:30. There’s more violence. More perfunctory dog killing. (I didn’t hear a single menacing growl, and the dogs were shot while retreating.) There’s more careless tossing of flash grenades. (They threw five  three, then, bizarrely, two more to prove that the previous three grenades had done no damage.) This raid, once again, was for marijuana.

I’ve become somewhat inoculated to the outrage in many these stories. I think you probably need to in order to write about this stuff every day. But I was shaking while watching this one. Then I let out a string of profanities. Then I gave my dog a hug.

All of which is why you need to watch it. And help distribute it as far and wide as the Columbia raid video from last year. This isn’t like watching video of a car accident or a natural disaster. This doesn’t have to happen. You’re watching something your government does to your fellow citizens about 150 times per day in this country. If this very literal “drug war” insanity is going to continue to be waged in our name, we ought to make goddamned sure everyone knows exactly what it entails. And this is what it entails. Cops dressed like soldiers breaking into private homes, tossing concussion grenades, training their guns on nonviolent citizens, and slaughtering dogs as a matter of procedure.

More details from the good people at Keep Columbia Free.

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84 Responses to “This Is Your War on Drugs”

  1. #1 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    The CoMo police will no longer allow emails.

  2. #2 |  Highway | 

    Vile thugs…

    I can’t imagine the mental gymnastics these pathetic worms need to use to convince themselves that they’re in the ‘right’, that these tactics are justifiable, that the pursuit of people who want to use a weed to change their own consciousness is necessary.

    Of course, I could be giving them far too much credit. They could just be horrible misanthropes with giant egos and inferiority complexes.

  3. #3 |  Owen | 

    FUCK THIS SHIT

  4. #4 |  Matt | 

    What country is this again?

  5. #5 |  André | 

    Thank you, Radley, for documenting how dangerous marijuana is.

  6. #6 |  J.S. | 

    Interesting how the video gets scrambled there at the end when the guy is reading from the card (I presume their “rights”).

  7. #7 |  Andrew S. | 

    Just when I thought it was safe to remove the cup…

    Ow.

    Where does it end? What’s the endgame? Is there really nothing that’s going to get the “average” person off their ass and say “This is wrong! I’m going to stand up to this!”

    I’m depressed.

  8. #8 |  Kristi Hyatt | 

    The video stops as the stormtroopers of the Columbia SA enter the house screaming about their warrant. It just will not go further, but it’s enough. Clearly, the people of Columbia are misrepresented by these thuggish soldier boy wannabes, maybe some are former soldiers even who enjoyed the craft a little too much to be practicing sane law enforcement. I do not use marijuana myself, but I have known people who ran afoul of the law for doing so. Their apprehension, according to them, was nothing like this. There was a knock at the door, after which the officers waited forit to be opened, it was opened, the documents presented visually and verbally, my friends were detained as the house was searched. No army, no grenades, no dog killing, no insanity. Unlike this thing in Columbia-looks more like Colombia, actually!

  9. #9 |  GÄC | 

    I think we’ve had it wrong all along. Radley isn’t a shill for the Kochs, or now for HuffPo. He’s got deals in place with Green Giant and Birdseye to keep their sales of frozen peas up. *applies yet another bag to the groin*

    It’s going to cost me a fortune if I ever come back to the States. Going to have to build a steel frame, concrete wall house with security doors and ballastic glass windows. Not that I’m worried about being robbed, but to protect me from those supposed to “protect and serve”…

  10. #10 |  Curt | 

    First off… this is over marijuana. MARIJUANA!?!? Are you f’ing kidding me? It’s one thing (a shitty thing IMHO) to arrest someone at all over weed. It’s one thing (much more acceptable) to use those tactics in a situation involving violent crime. But combining the two… doing that for weed? That is fucked.

    Second… bullets go through things. The cop shot the dog on the floor of the second level. I’m sure it was justified, that dog looked like it would’ve viciously chewed the cops shoelaces. But, do you know what’s beneath the floor on the second level???? The first level… where you know there are people. In addition to the people (heroic cops), there are also some dirtbag scumball criminals who aren’t wearing kevlar helmets and armor. But f’ them… they’re criminals.

  11. #11 |  Andrew S. | 

    It’s going to cost me a fortune if I ever come back to the States. Going to have to build a steel frame, concrete wall house with security doors and ballastic glass windows. Not that I’m worried about being robbed, but to protect me from those supposed to “protect and serve”…

    That sounds like a criminal would do. We’re gonna need to bust into your house and collect evidence. You know, just to be sure.

  12. #12 |  Dave Krueger | 

    You know, even if they legalize pot on a national level, there will still be a lot of pressure at the sate level to keep the drug war going. There are a lot of cops out there who see the drug war as a full employment program for folks like them who don’t have the interpersonal skills necessary to hold a regular job that demands interaction with others on a nonphysical level. In other words, cops are a large voting block whereas ordinary citizens like you and I don’t even figure into legislative goals. Without a lobby, ordinary people don’t even pop up on a politician’s radar.

  13. #13 |  emerson | 

    A shout-out to attorney Dan Viets, who obtained the video. Wish we had more like him.

  14. #14 |  Gary | 

    What scares me the most is… most people will watch this video and think ‘this is the exception and not the rule’… and they’re right but not for the reason they think they are right.

    This is the exception because it’s recorded, not because it is rare. How many times per day does this occur and all recorded evidence is either non-existent to begin with or destroyed after the fact?

    This IS the rule, folks. The only oddity is that it was recorded and released to the public.

  15. #15 |  Dan | 

    How can anyone feel good about that? Who are these people and why are they here?

  16. #16 |  Doug | 

    I’ve been a loyal fan of this blog since it started. I’ve seen and appreciated most everything Radley has posted. I had to stop watching this. I’m exhausted.

  17. #17 |  John P. | 

    Folks this is happening because we allow it to happen, we CAN stop this madness if we want to…

  18. #18 |  Burlyman78 | 

    I would like to know: What percentage of SWAT raids result in dogs that *don’t* get shot. It seems like standard operating procedure to just shoot the dogs.

    By the way, nice self-righteousness by the cop who tells guy “that’s what happens when you deal drugs and the cops come to your house,” after his buddy tells him they shot his dogs.

  19. #19 |  Eapen Thampy | 

    These officers are mercenaries and this police department is uncontrollable.

  20. #20 |  Cornellian | 

    It’s this sort of thing that makes me sympathetic to David Simon’s declaration that if he’s ever on a jury he will simply, flat-out refuse to convict anyone of a drug charge if the charge doesn’t involve committing any violent acts.

  21. #21 |  oscar | 

    [quote]I would like to know: What percentage of SWAT raids result in dogs that *don’t* get shot. It seems like standard operating procedure to just shoot the dogs.

    By the way, nice self-righteousness by the cop who tells guy “that’s what happens when you deal drugs and the cops come to your house,” after his buddy tells him they shot his dogs.[/quote]

    it really does seem like the dogs are being shot as punishment in most of these cases. It has nothing to do with the safety of the officers.

  22. #22 |  AlgerHiss | 

    Judge Napolitano should, daily, run these videos or have a story on these outrages on his show.

  23. #23 |  Bob | 

    Burlyman78:

    By the way, nice self-righteousness by the cop who tells guy “that’s what happens when you deal drugs and the cops come to your house,” after his buddy tells him they shot his dogs.

    That’s their compartmentalization mechanic. They’ve convinced themselves that they are “The heroes of society” and that these people are subhuman, deserving of being treated like this. If they have dogs, those dogs have been “trained for violence, and need to be put down.” This is reinforced every day by the local “Cop Culture” at their work place.

    You can’t convince them to stop through logic. That’s like telling a Roman Catholic that those wafers really aren’t transmuted into anything. Once you fully assimilate the Kool-aid, you’re addicted to it’s effects.

    There are. in my opinion, only 2 ways to start fixing this: 1) Dry up the funding. This means shutting down the money and support from the Federal Government. 2) Have the courts actually start upholding the constitution and deny Dynamic Entry on non-violent warrants.

    I really don’t see either of those happening.

  24. #24 |  Highway | 

    I don’t think it matters if the ‘average’ person finds out about these raids. As I’ve said before in these comments, the only thing that will change this is elected officials, legislators at the state and federal levels, getting outraged at these practices and standing up for the citizens and residents of the country. And that’s not going to happen, because to get elected, you need to show proper deference to the cop mafia.

    That’s exactly what it is. We say things like “organized crime wasn’t too big of a problem before Prohibition allowed them to get powerful”. I think the same thing has happened here. Prohibition of drugs, and boogeyman represented by them, has allowed this mafia to get extremely powerful. And this one, far from being illegal, has the overt sanction of the government. There’s nobody who’s on ‘our’ side, the side of the citizens, the side of the people being terrorized. And any time there’s even the smallest flicker of a conscience in these departments – an officer exposing other cops wrongdoing, a citizens review board, a protest by the public after a public embarrassment – it’s snuffed out quickly. Harass and fire the officer, promise ‘reforms’, fill review boards with badgelickers.

    At this point, I don’t think it would end with the complete legalization of drugs. Jose Guerena wasn’t raided for drugs. That was some made up crap about a ‘home invasion’ investigation. Steven Seagal and Joe Arpaio didn’t invade and bulldoze that guy’s house for drugs, that was a supposed cockfighting ring. The cops are getting their jollies from raids, that’s why they come up with more and more reasons to use them. And noone who matters is gonna stand up to the Copia.

  25. #25 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #19 Oscar:
    “it really does seem like the dogs are being shot as punishment in most of these cases. It has nothing to do with the safety of the officers.”

    I agree. It happens way to often to just be about officer safety. After all, these guys are wearing heavy boots and body armor for fuck’s sake. It is also not just about a few jumpy cops. At this point, I believe this is a tactic that is being taught (unofficially, I’m sure) in tactical unit training. The flash bangs, the shooting of the dogs. It is meant to terrorize and to break suspects down psychologically so that they will be quivering masses incapable of any resistance (or back talk). It probably works, unless you happen to raid the home of someone with military training, law enforcement training or something of the like.

  26. #26 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #14 Gary

    What scares me the most is… most people will watch this video and think ‘this is the exception and not the rule’…

    What scares me is that many people will watch this video and not see anything wrong. After all, when you break the law, you have to suffer the consequences. Like the idiot cops in this video, they will think it’s not the cops who killed the dogs, it’s the people who killed them by using illegal drugs.

  27. #27 |  Stephen | 

    This might help. :) I liked some of the comments.

    http://sigforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/320601935/m/5430009942/p/1

  28. #28 |  Daniel Almond | 

    No matter how many blog posts, no matter how many videos, no matter how many dots on the cato map,……

    this kind of thing will continue unless and until someone takes action against the perpetrators AT THEIR HOMES.

    This may not sound nice or pleasant, but I’ve got to call it like I see it. It’s just the way it is. Either nobody takes any retaliatory action and this stuff continues, or some folks do take some retaliatory action and some degree of deterrence is achieved.

    As of now, there is NO deterrence whatsoever.

  29. #29 |  albatross | 

    By accident or design, in just about every way imaginable, our society is adapting itself to life in a police state. We’re not in one yet, but we’re building up every mechanism and habit and tool we’ll need to have one. The citizens are basically okay with jackbooted thugs showing up at midnight, kicking the door in, and hauling their neighbors out at gunpoint, beating or killing them if they resist. We’re broadly okay with massive domestic spying–having emails and phone calls and all kinds of other data of ours handed to the authorities. We’re okay with a president and various police/spy/military agencies overtly and unapologetically violating the law, with no consequences, and certainly no retreat from the violations when caught. We’re working ourselves up to being okay with having some sources of information illegal to access (see the restrictions put on government employees and people who might one day want to be government employees w.r.t. Wikileaks). We’ve all basically accepted that there’s a file on everyone, and that if you get the wrong stuff in your file, you’ll have a hell of a time flying, getting a passport, crossing borders, etc. We’ve accepted that people get the wrong stuff put in their folders as much for pissing off the powerful as for doing anything actually criminal. Between our insane immigration policies, our sex-offender-mark-of-Cain laws, the war on drugs, and the war on terror, we’ve created a large pool of people who don’t really have the same rights as everyone else–people who can be locked up incommunicado and indefinitely, people who can be questioned without legal flourishes like being allowed a lawyer or informed of their rights, people who can be tortured (perhaps not under Obama, but president Bachman will reinstate the practice), people who can have their property stolen without any criminal charges, etc.

    We’ve accepted all the pieces of a police state. We’re just waiting for them to self-assemble into a working police state, come the next crisis or terrorist attack or impending defeat of the party in power in an election or political scandal threatening to shake things up too much.

    Who will resist that? When the JBTs come for your neighbor because of his annoying political commentary or his unpopular religion or his immigration status, why will you be any more willing to help him than you were when it was for his alleged drug possession. Will the mainstream media suddenly grow some balls when people start being arrested for speaking out, when they’ve lacked them while people weren’t being arrested for speaking out?

  30. #30 |  Marty | 

    albatross- in what way are we not in a police state? they could easily confiscate our passports at the borders, like Czechoslovakia in 1968. Bureaucrats can fine you several years’ salary for not having ‘permits’. We have a rental property that’s being threatened with $1000/day fines because the tenant is parking a trailer with mowers on it in the yard. I can go on all day…
    We’re not in a brutal police state, but it’s a police state.

  31. #31 |  Marty | 

    after re-reading your post, Albatross, I should’ve just shut up. very well said.

  32. #32 |  Michael Chaney | 

    They talk about shooting dogs while they’re driving there.

    1:53 “Remember, whoever’s downstairs, if you have to shoot those dogs…”

  33. #33 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Oh, wait, I just realized that he’s talking about the fire extinguishers that he’s leaving there. Interesting choice of words.

  34. #34 |  Sandhillpam | 

    Schweine!

  35. #35 |  Tyro | 

    Maybe I missed it but can anyone point out where in the video the cops found a stash of weapons which could justify this level of police violence?

  36. #36 |  CharlesWT | 

    Editor’s Note: Body-worn video cameras present some outstanding tactical advantages for police officers. They consistently enable law enforcers to prove wrongdoing on the part of a violator, and frequently clear up wildly inaccurate assumptions by the media and the public about officer’s actions. However, the use of helmet cameras in SWAT operations can potentially have several negative consequences. First and foremost, once those videos get out into the public — and they are as discoverable at trial as every other element of the department’s communications and records — the bad guys can use them to observe police tactics. And in some rare cases, such video could lead to civil lawsuits down the road. Do SWAT teams need helmet cams? Do the many benefits outweigh the occasional risks?
    Video: Helmet cam captures deadly SWAT raid: Ariz. department releases video of drug raid that left former marine Jose Guerena dead

  37. #37 |  FridayNext | 

    From the linked article: “According to Attorney Dan Viets, “Mr. March had no prior felony convictions” at the time of the raid and he did “possess firearms which were absolutely legal and constitutionally protected.”

    I know this subject has been beat to death on this blog, but where is the NRA in all this? They speechify, testify, wine and dine legislatorss, and take public victory laps every time they defeat even the smallest effort to regulate any guns, but when real, legal, constitutionally protected gun-owners are being abused, shot, and killed exercising the very constitutional rights the NRA is supposed to be helping us protect you hear crickets chirping. Liberals are constantly telling us the NRA is in the pocket of gun manufacturers and in this case I can’t help but begin to agree. LEO’s spend more money on firearms than the private citizen, so it just might be logical for them to protect their pocket books. Once the NRA starts standing up against police against this sort of thing, I’ll start to believe they care about my rights.

  38. #38 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    people who can be tortured (perhaps not under Obama

    I’d call the treatment of Bradley Manning torture. Even if you disagree with that assessment, the only indication we have that other prisoners are not being tortured is the word of our liar-in-chief. I find that unpersuasive.

  39. #39 |  The War on some Drugs - Helmet Cam Edition - INGunOwners | 

    […] Action starts around 5 minutes. This is occurring, under your name, for marijuana. 7 flash bangs, 2 dead dogs, castle line crossed….1 baggie of weed confiscated. Balko says it better than I can. This Is Your War on Drugs | The Agitator […]

  40. #40 |  Mario | 

    So, let’s see. You could pull over the owner of the house when he was on his way to work one morning — say, when he was about a block away from home — and then serve the search warrant. But, where would be the fun in that?

  41. #41 |  JS | 

    Radley, considering the response your story on Jose Guerena’s murder got over at HuffPo would you consider doing a condensed version of Overkill? You have a huge chance to educate a lot of people with something like that.

  42. #42 |  John | 

    Horrible!

    Take note of a couple of things in this video.

    The FIRST thing these pieces of _ _ _ _ do is detonate stun grenades.

    THEN (only then), they very quickly “Knock and Announce”, breach the doors and start shooting. In seconds.

    Take note of their military garb.

    ON THE BACK there is the word “POLICE” in bold letters.

    ON THE FRONT?

    Nothing on the helmets,

    Nothing on their uniforms except very small letters saying “police” over their shirt pockets.

    Obviously those little letters are obscured when they hold their weapons at the “ready to shoot anything that moves my fingers are twitching on the trigger” position.

    This is very useful for their victims if they are capable of reading something written on the unseen backs of their attackers.

    The proper term is Stun Grenades. PLEASE PEOPLE don’t use “their” term of “flash bangs” – these things are military grade STUN GRENADES which generate a blinding 8 million candelas of light, 189 decibels of dangerous and deafening impulse sound, a ton of smoke, a shock wave, and extreme heat often causing fire. They do exactly what they are meant to do: Blind, Deafen, Disorientate, Terrify, and Distort reality, for those on the receiving end. But of course, since they are on “flash bangs” the attacked are not really effected at all – if you were to believe their lies.

    How do I know? I’ve been on the receiving end. I was shot by wildfire in my bed as my home was invaded by “unknown attackers” (SWAT). The bullet that hit me went through two walls two solid wood closed bedroom doors and then into me. They started firing after one idiot threw an unplanned third stun grenade on top of another “officer” – who in his words “felt a concussion and THOUGHT I had been shot” so he just blindly started firing…………..

    Federal Lawsuit Pending – all the way to the Supreme Court.

    BTW, I was attacked about 3 months after I sued the same individuals for false arrest. Interestingly they admitted they broke the law and violated my civil rights. Now here’s the “sweet spot” : they were granted immunity.

    The case went all the way to SCOTUS which actually accepted the case. But then they decided “Um no. This would mean we’d be taking away unaccountability and immunity to our fellow government workers — so let’s decide not to try the case after-all”.

    (Yes Radley – I AM that almost 60 year old “guy from Texas”. And I am about to go on trial for the felony “take the rest of my life crime” of getting in the way of their bullets – because for some reason no-one quite understands – that constituted a felony assault upon a police officer.

    [ “Yes Virginia, there really is a “Code Of Silence”. ]

    And I will send you the case references at this point. )

    But of course you have to give these “men” high praise for their brave attack on American citizens who pose no threat to them at all.

    And don’t forget the dogs ……. they certainly deserve to die for being , well you know, dogs.

    Who’s next?

  43. #43 |  “This whole incident was evil.” [Darleen Click] UPDATED | 

    […] ************************* Radley Balko pursues the story. Glad this is on his radar. However, he asserts in another post covering yet another FUBAR raid “This is your war on drugs. […]

  44. #44 |  A Week Without Cops | 10-66 Unusual Incident | 

    […] Take a quick look at the Mexican drug cartels and you can answer that question. The crux of his piece and several others is how the ‘war on drugs’ is pointless and serves to only give the […]

  45. #45 |  Domestic War on Drugs: more violence, more perfunctory dog killing, more careless tossing of flash grenades | worldwide hippies | 

    […] shaking while watching this one. Then I let out a string of profanities. Then I gave my dog a hug. More… […]

  46. #46 |  No, It Really Is Because of the Drugs | The Agitator | 

    […] Protein Wisdom blogger Dalreen Click links to the video of the Pima County raid, and writes: Radley Balko pursues the story. Glad this is on his radar. However, he asserts in another post covering yet another FUBAR raid “This is your war on drugs.” […]

  47. #47 |  croaker | 

    @24 In the words of J.D. Tuccille:

    “If cops continue to play at being an army of occupation, they should
    expect the subjects to play their role in return. Vive la resistance.”

    With all these abandoned houses around, it would be child’s play to set one up to burst into a ball of flame 45 seconds after the front door was kicked in. I’m surprised it hasn’t yet happened.

  48. #48 |  JS | 

    #47 croaker, that won’t ever happen. The American people are sufficiently cowed down by their government.

  49. #49 |  Eapen Thampy | 

    A friend was at an NRA event this weekend. It was full of SWAT officers.

  50. #50 |  JOR | 

    Simon’s declaration seems to me like simple, basic decency. Does it really take a video of this macho bullshit to inspire sympathy for that idea?

  51. #51 |  qwints | 

    The saddest thing about the video is it probably represents best practices. The officers are mostly professional once the situation stabilizes and don’t verbally or physically abuse the residents. This is what the criminal justice system in Columbia thinks should happen when the police think a residence is used for drug dealing.

    @35, a shotgun(?) is visible at 6:51-6:53 on the floor of the bedroom right before the officers become deathly afraid of a wounded dog.

  52. #52 |  Upside | 

    At least this was on film. Maybe if all such raids were on film, and as thoroughly documented in their disproportionality as this one, we’d have gotten rid of them by now.

  53. #53 |  Dan Danknick | 

    If I lived in Colombia, owned a coffee shop and found one of those peace officers at my counter, honestly I’d waive the cost of his drink. And with a smile, throw it in his face.

    Punish the innocent? Perhaps, but in basic training when one guy screws up the entire company does push ups. In this way the drill seargeant ensures that discipline is self-enforcing among the ranks.

    Dan

  54. #54 |  Whim | 

    The killing of the dogs was pre-planned, and discussed by the police before they deployed for their assault.

    Question: After being subjected to concussion grenades, how is a resident supposed to even HEAR the varied and confusing commands of the SWAT members?

    Folks, it is only going to get worse. In another 10 years, they will be using late night, No-Knock SWAT raids to serve misdemeanor warrants for failure to pay a traffic ticket.

    Just watch…..

  55. #55 |  c andrew | 

    FridayNext,
    I used to contribute to the NRA, particularly after their “jack booted thugs” campaign. I have since become convinced that at best, their defense of the 2nd amendment is purely defensive and at worst, they are using the BATFE as a boogeyman to score fundraising dollars.

    If they were serious about the 2nd amendment they would start political action against NFA, GCA68 McCLure 86 and would agitate for the abolition of the BATFE. The fact that they won’t do that tells me that they are not serious. They remain on the defensive and no one wins a conflict by staying on the defensive.

  56. #56 |  Frank Hummel | 

    After reading several of these blog entries and other as well, looks like these SWAt teams are a bunch of lucky SOBs. They never breach into a house where someone shoots back.

  57. #57 |  joshgeek | 

    #53
    That’s exactly right. These bungled, pointless, SWAT raids tarnish the name of Law Enforcement everywhere. People may not respond en mass to all officers in the manner you describe, but the experience the public gets from this sort of media does alter the perception of LEO’s on the whole, if incrementally. Some folks are outraged by such abuses, but sadly the police have psychology on their side, as some properly cowed folks will see these examples as reason to be further intimidated into non-action and compliance. Maybe it’s a wash, but I’d like to think the side of the outraged is winning out.

  58. #58 |  Justthisguy | 

    I think I need to buy a steel cup for my jock, with the continual nutpunching.

  59. #59 |  Mark | 

    According to Attorney Dan Viets, “Mr. March had no prior felony convictions” at the time of the raid and he did “possess firearms which were absolutely legal and constitutionally protected.”

    In Missouri it legal to own, possess, and conceal firearms. The shotgun seen on the bedroom floor was 100% legal.

  60. #60 |  Big Red | 

    I got swatted. They blew up one of my cats with a flashbang. 1 dead cat. Almost got shot with an MP-5. Brother was beaten and kicked after he was leg shackled belly chained and handcuffed until they broke his ribs. He had to heal up in jail because he was denied treatment All my dogs and cats were killed after we were hauled by a government employee.
    After 4 months in jail charges were dismissed by a federal judge for the longest speedy trial violation in U.S. history. We were then held without charges for months until they cobbled up some new ones. Eventually we hired really good attorneys and beat their butts. There was a lot more bad stuff that happened,but at least we survived! All over medicinal pot!

  61. #61 |  kyl | 

    Sometimes I think the War on Some Drugs is being fought so little boys who love to play cops and robbers can grow into adult men with that same little boy mentality and still play cops and robbers, excepting that real guns and real bullets are used. I am also convinced that the ONLY reason anyone would want to become a drug cop or a SWAT cop is that they want to experience what it’s like to “pull the trigger,” and SWAT or Drug Task Force units offer the best opportunities for this. I honestly believe their secret desire is to feel that ultimate power sensation of killing another human being, confident that the ensuing investigation will result not only in the obligatory “free pass” but the likelihood of a promotion. This would explain their collective affinity for murdering any unfortunate dogs who happen to be in attendance. Probably not the same (hypocritical) “high” for the thugocrats, but I suppose for them killing a dog is better than killing nothing.

    Go to eHow.com and find the link to “How to Tell If Someone Is a Sociopath.” There are only six clues listed, and EVERYONE of them suggests that Presidents, lifer-politicians, and cops are indeed sociopaths. And sniveling cowards if you ask me.

    I personally love animals because there is nothing phony about them. And I personally despise Presidents, lifer-politicians, and cops because they are nothing but sociopathic phonies.

  62. #62 |  demize! | 

    Claymores in your living room goddammitt!!

  63. #63 |  engst | 

    How can the anyone be expected to trust the police? Or the government? Every time I see something like this I am more ashamed to call myself an American. This is capitalism at it’s best.

  64. #64 |  We, as a society — The League of Ordinary Gentlemen | 

    […] Here is a post from Radley Balko in which we find out that this is still happening. […]

  65. #65 |  sigh | 

    “I would like to know: What percentage of SWAT raids result in dogs that *don’t* get shot. It seems like standard operating procedure to just shoot the dogs.”

    One of the big reasons for having sound suppressors around for SWAT teams is to reduce the risk of meth lab fire/explosion.

    The other is for shooting out lights and killing dogs before kicking the door in.

    I think that will pretty much answer your question.

    As to the video here, looks to me like they deployed a flashbang before banging on the door and announcing. Flashbangs are no joke and are capable of causing serious permanent injury.

    One of these days they’re going to toss one through the wrong window start having a really bad day. And no, I don’t mean “wrong window” as in “wrong house”, because they’ve done that a number of times already.

  66. #66 |  Lucy | 

    Sometimes when I see video like this I can’t help but think, SWAT took three hours to enter the school at Columbine.

    Five seconds from knock to door-kick. Immediate flash bangs. I’m very surprised no humans died here. As has been said before, this is MAKING a situation volatile. The only explanation for this kind of thing is that cops like these raids. They like them.

    (The noise of those dogs will haunt my nightmares. That was appalling.)

  67. #67 |  Zeb | 

    I hate to say it. I try to be a reasonable person. And I hope I won’t be seen to be advocating anything here. Shooting the police is almost always a very bad idea. But honestly, I think that anyone would be completely morally justified in shooting and killing any police officers involved in an action like this (or really any action taken to arrest and imprison anyone for any drug possession or distribution charge, such laws are unjust and immoral and have no legitimacy). Again, I certainly wouldn’t advocate it; if you did so you would certainly end up dead or in prison for a long time. And some of the cops probably honestly think that they are doing good. But the issue for me is the basic and fundamental right to defend yourself and your freedom.

  68. #68 |  Reader who seldom comments | 

    Uh oh, I’m beginning to make my choice of nym look silly. But here goes anyhow.

    Are these the same stalwart guardians of Missouri’s public safety and health who rendered expert and swift medical care to this young man in 2008?

    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/93135/teen_with_broken_back_tasered_19_times_for_not_standing_up_when_ordered/

  69. #69 |  Catching Up | Truth and Justice For All | 

    […] while I was gone, Radley Balko went ballistic over this video of another SWAT drug bust in Columbia, […]

  70. #70 |  SWAT OFFICERS ACTIONS VINDICATED BY D.A. « MENTAL PINPRICKS | 

    […] The Agitator – Marijuana SWAT raid with two dogs killed in Columbia, MO […]

  71. #71 |  The War on the Constitution | 

    […] government thugs wearing black masks routinely kick homeowner's doors down, endanger children, kill family pets indiscriminately, murder innocent bystanders, kill innocent kids, steal private property, commit armed robbery, and […]

  72. #72 |  Known Prostitute | Don't Tread On Me | 

    […] […]

  73. #73 |  PHOTOS: Cops Shoot Playful Chihuahuas, Elderly Labs | USA Press | 

    […] drug raids, killing any dog in the house has become almost perfunctory. In this video of a 2008 drug raid in Columbia, Mo., you can see police kill two dogs, including one as it […]

  74. #74 |  PHOTOS: Cops Shoot Playful Chihuahuas, Elderly Labs - DigaNews | DigaNews | 

    […] drug raids, killing any dog in the house has become almost perfunctory. In this video of a 2008 drug raid in Columbia, Mo., you can see police kill two dogs, including one as it […]

  75. #75 |  PHOTOS: Cops Shoot Playful Chihuahuas, Elderly Labs | Le monde de l'information | 

    […] drug raids, killing any dog in the house has become almost perfunctory. In this video of a 2008 drug raid in Columbia, Mo., you can see police kill two dogs, including one as it […]

  76. #76 |  Mark | 

    Trigger-happy thugs. What a heavy-handed response, totally over the top.

  77. #77 |  Cop Shoots Dog: Untrained Officers Commit ‘Puppycide’ (PHOTOS) - Dog Training Guidance | Dog Training Guidance | 

    […] drug raids, killing any dog in the house has become almost perfunctory. In this video of a 2008 drug raid in Columbia, Mo., you can see police kill two dogs, including one as it […]

  78. #78 |  Alec | 

    What the hell is wrong with some people? If you are going into a house for drugs, don’t shoot the dogs!!! What the hell did they have to do with any of the marijuana in that house?? This stuff is just repulsive!!!!

  79. #79 |  Rocky | 

    These poor excuses for police officers should be publicly castrated.

  80. #80 |  sam | 

    You deal drugs this is what happens… they officers are dressed for protections. keep supporting the criminals way to go.

  81. #81 |  Ann Williams | 

    This is just DESPICABLE!! The whole operation was carried out like a military attack. There is no justification whatsoever in the way these so called POLICE conducted themselves – they behaved like trigger happy thugs. They killed the poor dog in cold blood and without mercy. It was terrified. The first shot did not kill it, it was crying and in agony. After wriggling in pain they went back and shot it at point blank again. Now I know why Police in England are not allowed guns. The US is not a good example of law and order!!!!!!!

  82. #82 |  DLW | 

    This is why pot should be legal and citizens need to be armed! I would fire on anyone who came to my door at night in this manner! If they are so afraid of a little dog they should not be on the force!

  83. #83 |  Aussie | 

    Absolutely disgraceful to watch !!! shame shame shame you dog murdering bastards !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  84. #84 |  Why Are The Police Shooting Our Dogs? | Politiva | 

    […] darker question emerges in the Huffpo story. Are dogs being shot as a matter of procedure? In this disturbing video of a drug raidyou can hear the officers discuss who may have to shoot the dogs before they arrive. […]

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