Drug Raid in Columbia Shows How SWAT-Team Tactics Can Go Awry

The aftermath of a drug raid that took place in Columbia is cause for police everywhere to review SWAT-team tactics.

The Columbia Police Department’s own videotape of officers barreling into a house to carry out a search warrant is going viral on the Internet. In the process of looking for a large quantity of marijuana, which was never found, police fatally shot one dog, wounded another and terrified a 7-year-old boy.

Columbia police say an informant had claimed that a man who lived in the house, Jonathon Whitworth, had a dealer-size stash of marijuana.

Whitworth had served prison time after pleading guilty in 2003 to felony drug charges. When police broke into his home in February, however, they found only a misdemeanor amount of marijuana.

SWAT-team tactics have the element of surprise; police don’t wait long for someone to answer the door. The theory is that drugs are more likely to be out in the open and criminals will have less chance to respond. Those reasons may be valid if a residence is known to house a major drug operation and is disrupting a neighborhood.

Too often, though, police barge into homes in which drug use, if it is taking place, doesn’t rise to the level of a public menace. The raids put officers and citizens at risk. They traumatize children and convey the impression of police as an occupying force.

Read full story here.

One Response to “Drug Raid in Columbia Shows How SWAT-Team Tactics Can Go Awry”
  1. SpAcE CoWbOy says:

    They killed a little doggy.

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