Cool, huh? An 11-man SWAT team, heavily armed, yelling, swearing, breaking in an open door, and throwing flash bang grenades, raids a house and (pant, pant) captures a 68-year-old grandmother and her adopted daughter. Whoops, wrong house.
Viewing this video really steamed me up. It was another unneeded reminder of the issues that obsess me everyday anyway. Militarization of police. Unnecessary force. Guns, guns, guns. Violation of civil rights. Violation of human rights. Inhumane behavior.
But the steam that built up in me was nothing compared with the sense of outrage, disbelief, and anger I felt when I watched this second brief video, a newscast report by a member of the local TV network invited to come along with the SWAT team and see them in action.
What happened to the free press? David Shepherd, the so-called reporter for this story, seems more like the “bought press,” or the “seduced press.” Here is a blatant example of what can happen when people whose job it is to report the news become “embedded” in the action.
I was less steamed and could only laugh when I read a report on the raid in Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine, entitled “Ind. SWAT Team Tricked Into Raiding Grandma’s Home”. The moral of the story seems to be that the raid, the intimidation, the destruction of property was not the fault of the police who did those things. They were tricked into it.
A lot of people in this country go nuts in response to particular forms of coupling (white with black, men with men, etc.) It is the increasing tendency of coupling between members of the press and gun-bearing members of the power structure that makes me nervous.
The good news is that the grandmother filed a law suit and the judge ruled that the SWAT team does not get immunity from prosecution.
Kathie Malley-Morrison, Professor of Psychology