Yesterday on the radio I heard an interview with Cheye Calvo, mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, who recounted his family’s nightmare as they were attacked by a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team, which assaulted them, abused them, and killed their dogs. It was chilling. Radley Balko of Reason covers the story; “4.5 SWAT Raids Per Day”
After some shocking numbers about the huge numbers of SWAT attacks, Balko notes,
Worse even than those dreary numbers is the fact that more than half of the county’s SWAT deployments were for misdemeanors and nonserious felonies. That means more than 100 times last year Prince George’s County brought state-sanctioned violence to confront people suspected of nonviolent crimes. And that’s just one county in Maryland. These outrageous numbers should provide a long-overdue wake-up call to public officials about how far the pendulum has swung toward institutionalized police brutality against its citizenry, usually in the name of the drug war.