Did you know that even if you’re an 80 year old god-fearing woman, if the police kick your door in at 2am and kill you, you have no recourse so long as some criminal drug using informant previously swore that there were drugs in your home?
And that’s not just a hypothetical situation. It actually happened. And so did a whole bunch of other shocking examples just like it.
The Supreme Court has failed to stem the tide of paramilitary police raids and their associated consequences, because they reasoned that these cases are extremely rare. One recent comment however:
“If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern.”
Ã¢â‚¬â€Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006.
Well, in response to this comment, the Cato Institute has put together an interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids,” by Radley Balko.
The mapping program will let you specify year, from 1985 to 2006, as well as outcome of the raid. It is interesting and scary, and in my opinion I don’t know how anyone could look at this data and not see a “widespread pattern”.
Just look at it this way, if the points on this map represented racial hangings I would be willing to bet my life that the entire country would be up in arms and no one would doubt that it was a “widespread pattern”.