Video of SWAT Raid on Missouri Family

Radly Balko of Reason posted this video of a SWAT raid on a family in Missouri. The officers found a small amount of cannabis, and so they arrested the parents on a charge of child endangerment, naturally.

It's horrifying, but I'd urge you to watch it, and to send it to the drug warriors in your life. This is the blunt-end result of all the war imagery and militaristic rhetoric politicians have been spewing for the last 30 years -- cops dressed like soldiers, barreling through the front door middle of the night, slaughtering the family pets, filling the house with bullets in the presence of children, then having the audacity to charge the parents with endangering their own kid. There are 100-150 of these raids every day in America, the vast, vast majority like this one, to serve a warrant for a consensual crime.
Just pretend it's an outtake from Idiocracy.

Video of SWAT Raid on Missouri Family


  1. Wow, those cops must be very proud of themselves….a dead family dog, terrified children…..and to show for it a small amount of marijuana….well done boys.

  2. This just floors me… I don’t have an issue with police who do there job like they should. What I can’t stand is all the idiots they let on the force now. I have one question for all of you. Whens the last time a Police officer HELPED you. My guess is 1/8 people have been “helped” the rest of us just bend over.

  3. Call me skeptical but who, exactly, is filming this? One of the officers? Is that standard procedure on drug raids?

    1. I suppose in some municipalities it is – I guess ostensibly to protect the police against false claims of brutality from the victim. Surprised this didn’t end up ‘lost’

  4. Wow – just wow!

    It’s quite true that these things happen every day. It happened to my next-door neighbor. Cops came to his door to inquire about the people who had lived there previously. They had apparently defrauded Comcast for free cable, and Comcast took a warrant out.

    My neighbor answered the door, fully identified himself, and advised them the people they were looking for no longer lived there. But the cops caught a whiff of pot.

    Half hour later, the SWAT team shows up. They busted the door down without knocking AT ALL, had no warrant, used the cop’s smelling of the pot as probable cause for a full-out home invasion.

    They found his stash right there on the coffee table – less than a half-ounce for personal use – but that didn’t stop them from trashing the entire house. Then they hauled him off to jail in front of his girlfriend and their infant.

    That was over a year ago. It cost him 300 dollars to replace his door, nearly a thousand dollars in fines, and 15 days in jail.

    So few people understand that we are living in one of the most oppressive societies in the world, all the while crying “Freedom!”

    1. Yeah, I always hear how America is “free,” but I think that only applies to oil-spilling, illegal wire-tapping, third-world killing corporations.

  5. How exactly does bursting into a house and shooting up the family dog not fall under unreasonable search?

    This makes me absolutely sick. The fact that this can happen to anyone in the US, regardless of if they are guilty or not, is disgusting.

  6. Mark, neither you nor the blog where you acquired this video state specifically where it came from. To say it’s “a video of a SWAT raid on a family in Missouri” tells me nothing.

    What’s the source for the long quote (“It’s horrifying…”) you’ve supplied

    I imagine there is some original source point, but where is it in this post?

    If I don’t know exactly where it came from,
    the video and its content mean nothing to me

    1. We also don’t know why they had a search warrant in the first place. How do we know that the search warrant and subsequent raid weren’t justified, even though only a small amount of drugs was uncovered?

      1. Mark should have supplied this related source link in his original post.
        In the meantime all he’s created is mild hysteria.

        If I need paranoia I’ll go turn on an episode of “COPS”
        BoingBoing should really be above this kind of rabble rousing

        We live in a police state like bees live underwater

        1. At a certain point, the onus should be on the reader to understand how the internet works. Mark points you to the first part and then the reader can choose to follow the path as far back as they want.

          The source is obviously from the police.
          The context is linked to the related story.
          The quote “It’s horrifying..” is from the blog itself.

          I submit to you if you had a hard time following the story, it wasn’t Mark’s fault.

          1. “At a certain point, the onus should be on the reader…”

            Maybe I’m wrong in asking that BoingBoing be as concise as possible
            in their postings. A source point that’s three or four steps back in the link chain might be fine if it’s a post about a new kind of chair
            or a post about gardening tips…

            But a post about supposed police brutality and shady SWAT tactics
            should be entirely clear (in my opinion) and as many related links
            as possible should be supplied

            But maybe BoingBoing is not journalism
            like the NY Times or Guardian. And maybe it’s
            the readers responsibilty to track down sources.
            But it sure is exhausting.

          2. Three steps…four steps. In reality, it was one step. If you spent half as much time in that exhausting research, as you have in these comments, perhaps you wouldn’t have had so many questions.

          3. “In reality, it was one step”

            Blaine, my point is that I don’t want
            to be chasing down links. I’d prefer
            that posts here at BoingBoing have
            as many direct links available
            as possible so that I don’t
            have to chase them down

            That’s a fairly simple request
            if you ask me – and not complicated

          4. Don’t assume that anything is real, antiemantiem. Make up your own mind and don’t let anyone call you a fool for questioning what you see. Especially those who are showing it to you. If it matters, the leg work will be worth it.

            And no, Boing Boing is not journalism.

          5. I don’t think anyone would argue against the simplicity. It’s a simple request.

            Just because something is simple, doesn’t mean you do it automatically. Just because it’s simple doesn’t make it warranted. You feel it is, the poster and many of the other commenters didn’t seem to find it necessary.

          6. “Just because something is simple, doesn’t mean you do it automatically”

            Personally I’m not that smart. But I’ve run
            my own website and blog for years.

            Pasting links into posts is like breathing.
            For me it’s automatic. Doesn’t take any effort

            If I were posting a video about police brutality.
            I would provide any and all links about the video.
            Case closed.

            Personally I would not want anything
            to be mis-interpreted at all

          7. I may not get
            your point,
            but I appreciate
            that you make all
            your arguments
            in blank verse.

          8. “you make all
            your arguments
            in blank verse”

            I like to call them “little paragraphs”

          9. “Personally I’m not that smart. But I’ve run
            my own website and blog for years.”


          10. First, the video means nothing to you.

            Then, it is sensationalistic.

            Then, you have to click four(!!) whole times to find the news story.

            Then, it’s just one click, but it sure is hard “chasing down” those wily links, which have a habit of running away from your cursor when you attempt to click them. (Try cornering them, it works for me).

            What is your next complaint going to be? You are very entertaining!

          11. Mark, your an editor, why are you even replying to that guy?

            If you’re going to comment on the quality of posts then there are far better, more observant and interesting posts that would benefit from being told that they are such.

            Other users can feed the trolls but only you have the authority to say “We at Boing Boing like your contribution and hope you can continue to make such insightful and interesting posts”. I know the latter would be allot more positive.

          12. >What is your next complaint going to be? You are very entertaining!

            It appears to be “It’s wrong, because I’d do it differently”.

          13. Welcome to the Internet. Seeing as how it’s your first time and all, let me tell you about this great thing called “the click.” These “clicks” take just a few milliseconds each. When you reach a page that loads in as much time as a click takes, you can easily peruse with your EYES to see if that’s where you want to be.

    2. How could this possibly mean nothing to you? Do you have no soul? This isn’t something anyone made up. I’d like to see the source point as well, but that doesn’t mean what you see didn’t happen. Go ahead. Deny this happened. Deny this happened and watch the cops bust down your door and shoot your pets. Judging solely on your comments, however, I can only imagine that you are no pet lover.

    3. Erm, what? Did you click the link provided, to see the quoted bit, and the link to the news article from the Columbia Tribune, from Columbia, Missouri? FYI, the dude being arrested is: “Jonathan E. Whitworth, 25, of 1501 Kinloch Court”, and this was on Feb. 11.

      See, here’s his house.

      Does it mean anything to you yet? Shit.

    4. Um, all you have to do is follow the link at the end of Mark’s post for the source of the quote.
      That link in turn links to a newspaper article, identifying the man as a resident of Columbia also stating that police “discovered a grinder, a pipe and a small amount of marijuana”

  7. Are we helpless to watch our country turn into a fascist hell-hole? I read things like this every day and it sickens me. Why does no-one in power have any decency and courage to stop this? They take a paycheck, write an ear-mark and do as they are told.

  8. Is this real? Who’s filming? Did he get his lawyer and sue for a bunch of money? How did these idiots become swat team members.

    1. On the local Columbia, MO news last night they reported the police suspected that this guy was dealing marijuana.
      They found no evidence of this. The family has an attorney and are considering their options at this point.
      Obviously the whole family has been traumatized. Especially cruel is the impact this will have on the children involved.
      The CPD reported the police have since received death threats from around the world.People from as far away as Australia have commented.
      It’s disgusting. The people of Columbia have pushed the city government for more training, better standards and more accountability for the CPD. Chief Burton is fairly new and I think is trying to make some positive changes, but I am disappointed in the culture of “cover up”, (cover our butts)especially in this case. Police are supposed to maintain the peace and order in the community. This is such an example of abuse of authority. Police violence is recognized by the World Health Organization(WHO) as a threat to public health.
      I think violence begets violence. Death threats are not the way to go. The people need to keep politically active and keep pushing back to maintain our civil rights. Terrorizing home invasions like this should not be allowed to continue.
      I hope everyone that sees this video clip will write/call local, state and federal legislators to enact protections for citizen’s safety and public peace.
      The people have to stand up for their rights.

  9. @ freakcitySF:
    they are overweight, middleaged guys afraid of dogs. so naturally, they become swat team members.

  10. The whole thing is fucked up. One part that keeps sticking with me for some reason is the cop demanding to know his name. You’re surrounded by your body-armor covered buddies with guns drawn on a guy, who you have pinned up against a wall in handcuffs and; “I have a right to know your name”.

    Yes, for it is the rights of those brave, brave police officers who must come first.

    And here I was thinking before murdering household pets and traumatizing children… you make sure you should know who you’re looking for.

  11. Shocking video. Sad incident. Depressing implications. Still, it raises very few real points. Sure, they were charged with possession and endangerment, but what was the original warrant for? Misdemeanor, felony, capital crime?

    People who evade warrants know the cops will eventually come. By now they know that if those cops find an angry large dog in the home, it will be hurt or killed. I truly get the whole “Who’s the real bad guy here?” vibe of this posting. But isn’t the warrant-evader the real bad guy in every respect?

    1. You’re assuming that there was an arrest warrant involved. The police loudly announced “search warrant” before breaking down the door and opening fire. They also appear to have placed the man in custody before doing any actual searching.

    2. He wasn’t “evading” a warrant. The SWAT officers in the video clearly state that they are executing a SEARCH warrant. He (the homeowner) wasn’t evading arrest, he was just sitting on the couch watching television with his family. As for the dog, I should get rid of my labrador because one day these jackbooted thugs might come knocking and spray him full of bullets? You think maybe the dog would have been less angry or scared (and by the way, we never actually see the dog so we don’t even know if it was large and/or angry) if these guys hadn’t burst in in the middle of the night, shouting and banging and making a scene?

    3. The warrant-evader? Read the article (linked above), this was the police serving the warrant for the first time. The police said: “If you let too much time go by, then the drugs are not there.” Gotta catch the family by surprise, otherwise they might toss their baggie of weed, and then you couldn’t charge them with anything. Think how embarrassing that’d be!

      The article kinda implies that they hoped he’d have more.

    4. They kept repeating “search warrant”. It’s not even clear that there was a warrant for arrest. He seemed like he had no idea what was going on. I doubt he’s a warrant evader.

  12. Many of our laws and policies are dictated by far right religious fanatics, and our population is “kept in line” by the threat of being terrorized by the military style operations of the police, where innocent collateral damage happens and is overlooked.

    Does this sound familiar to anyone?
    Isn’t this the “evil” we are supposed to be fighting overseas?

  13. It is this type of action that breeds a generation of anti-American terrorists, just like it does in Afghanistan.

  14. I’m from Spain, and this video is like science fiction…. Here there are only 2 or 3 SWAT units in the entire country… And they only act in cases of suspects of terrorism or very very dangerous criminals, like Mafia bosses or Druglords.

  15. This is truly sickening to watch.

    But I read the linked articles and I’m still curious about what the motivation for the raid was in the first place. Was all this merely because he was under suspicion for possessing a small amount of pot for personal use? Or did they have reason to believe he was running a meth lab out of his basement? Just askin.

    Regardless, I’m feeling thankful right now that I live in one of the few places in the US where law enforcement views pot for what it is… no big deal.

    1. obeyken, don’t be so confident that you’re immune to this sort of treatment, as Columbia Missouri voters decided to lighten up on marijuana enforcement back in 2005:
      “With about 60 percent support, voters last November approved a measure that prohibits Columbia police officers from arresting anyone for simple marijuana possession.”

      What we need is not decriminalization, but a complete end to this ridiculous prohibition at a federal level. Until that happens anyone in the US is a potential victim of this horrific abuse of our rights.

      1. “With about 60 percent support, voters last November approved a measure that prohibits Columbia police officers from arresting anyone for simple marijuana possession.”

        Right, which is why they added the ridiculous charges of possessing “paraphernelia” and “child endangerment” I guess?

    2. @obeyken – But I read the linked articles and I’m still curious about what the motivation for the raid was in the first place. Was all this merely because he was under suspicion for possessing a small amount of pot for personal use? Or did they have reason to believe he was running a meth lab out of his basement?

      It reads pretty clear to me: “A police SWAT team entered Whitworth’s residence around 8:30 p.m. suspecting a large amount of marijuana at the location, police spokeswoman Officer Jessie Haden said.” No suggestion of manufacturing or growing, no suggestion of meth – they suspected possession of a lot of marijuana; they discovered possession of a very small amount.

      The question is, even if the whole house had been so full of marijuana that the doors wouldn’t open and you had to crawl in and out the attic vents, would this sort of militaristic approach have been reasonable?

      @Dan Paddock – Hearing the dog get shot made me sick, but I don’t know that I can necessarily blame the cops since we don’t see how the dog was acting at the time.

      I can only assume it was acting as any loyal dog should act when a bunch of aggressive men smash down the door, rush into the house and threaten the family – it was defending them, to the death if necessary.

  16. Probably the video from some sort of helmet camera.

    Hearing the dog get shot made me sick, but I don’t know that I can necessarily blame the cops since we don’t see how the dog was acting at the time.

    On the topic of the War on Drugs:

    Sadly, this is what you get when you abdicate personal responsibility in favor of a Nanny-State. You allow others to make decisions about how you live your life.
    Previous to the Progressive movement of the early 1900’s you were free to smoke and drink as you saw fit.

    Now we task hardworking police officers with fighting a battle they will never win.

    1. The police were in the house for 9 seconds before the dog was shot. Even if the dog attacked them, the could’ve used non-lethal means to stop it. They were fully protected against an attack.

  17. At the risk of being insensitive, change takes initiative and action on the part of someone. Talk or expressions of disgust, rarely change much.

  18. Hmmm…exactly ten (quick) seconds to wake up and make it to the door to open it. As long as nobody is exiting the premises, why can’t they wait until someone comes to the door within a reasonable amount of time? It’s the middle of the night!
    Their house and lawn seem much more manicured than mine, and there are kids and pets, so I don’t buy the argument that this drug user is an armed-to-the-teeth miscreant who’s waiting to blast the cops as they enter the door.

    A little knock-knock joke for ya:


  19. Sadly, this is incredibly common. If you want to be sad today, here’s a list of hundreds of botched SWAT raids where innocent people get their doors broken down, grenades thrown at 90yr old ladies, dogs shot, etc:
    I’ve warned you though, if you have a single compassionate bone in your body, this will ruin your day. I’m not even American, yet I weep for society.

  20. To peace-loving americans watching this: come to Western Europe. You are welcome here, this will never happen to you and you deserve better. Think about it.

  21. On it’s own, the raid is enough to say “this is overkill, we need to re-examine our police tactics and the entire war on drugs.” What really hammers it home, though, is shooting the dog: without that, it’s the sad reality of a nation that doesn’t have it’s priorities straight. With that, it’s proof that our police are out of control, and we need to do something about it.

  22. The problem with police states are that everyone tells you you don’t live in one until it’s their down getting beaten down!

    I know hypotheticals arent the best medium to work in, but what if they had the wrong address? (This has happened MANY times in the past with various law enforcement agencies). What if their source was some REAL drug dealer trying to get off the hook by turning in some guy who bought a dime bag off of him a week ago?

    At what point does other people participating in victimless crimes in the privacy of their own homes become so offensive to you that you’re willing to accept this sort of (sorry no better word for it ) state-sponsored terrorism?

  23. I wonder how much money and aggravation CPD could have saved by sending a detective out in a census worker/cable salesman/lawn maintenance salesman/any suitable uniform to see if they could get someone to open the door and assess the situation first?

    One word: Overkill.

  24. I was the victim of a similar raid (conducted based on false information from a police informant), though luckily my dog was not harmed. I still have a mild case of PTSD, even though the raid occurred in early 2003, whereby I suffer a panic attack (heart races, weak in the knees, etc.) if my door is knocked on loudly (among other triggers). I’m currently having a panic attack from watching the video.

    This sort of thing should never happen to anyone for any reason, and it is *exactly* the sort of thing that this country was founded to prevent. Any so-called patriots who support this behavior *for any reason* should take another look at what “freedom” really means.

  25. Phase one: Get a bunch of Airsoft losers to dress up and stage a raid, adding sound effects of gunshots and dogs whining. Be sure to have a shaky cam, out of focus 99% of the time. Post it on the internet calling it video proof of the police state’s brutality.

    Phase two: ???

    Phase three: Profit!

    1. Phase four: Actually follow the links and read the accounts from the original blog and from the Columbia Daily Tribune (including a statement from CPD) and realize that you may have jumped to an unwarranted conclusion.

  26. This is one of those things I’m conflicted on. It’s unquestionably sad that the pets were shot, and depending on ones views on the drug war, the raid probably should never have happened in the the first place.

    However, given that the raid was going to happen withe the current laws, and given that the police don’t want to be bit by a dog, it seems not entirely unreasonable that they should be able to use some sort of force on the dog.

    Ideally, they would have a less-than-lethal option easily available to do so. In reality, they have their primary, lethal armament readily available – for a good reason (assuming you believe they presume the house has drug dealers). Unfortunately, I expect most dogs, upon seeing their home invaded by multiple agitated strangers, will react defensively. Defensive dog home guarding behavior probably equals, in the eyes of the police, the dog acting in an “uncontrollably aggressive manner” – especially as the owners, who are pretty much the only pack members who would be in a position to control the dog, are restrained from doing so. You essentially end up with a situation were the default behavior is for all dogs to be shot, unless they are penned up.

    It sucks, but I’d love to hear reasonable alternatives.

    I believe I recall hearing about chases in Washington D.C., where the police in pursuit of suspects can enter private citizens property (of course). They are also allowed to protect themselves from your dogs when doing this. This ends up meaning that when they hop the fence going after someone, they enter your yard and kill your dogs.

    I wish I had a good answer for a way to protect the police and protect pets in these situations, but I don’t.

    Preventing the whole mess to being with for perusing the “war on drugs” is a whole other can of worms, of course.

    1. >It sucks, but I’d love to hear reasonable alternatives.

      Mace (it’s what postal workers use), Electric Prods (it’s what the author of “Therapy Dogs: Training Your Dog to Reach Others” recommends to protect yourself from an attacking dog), A net?

      Honestly… You’re wearing head to toe kevlar? And you’re scared of a Corgi? If you haven’t seen one, Google “corgi”. It’s like a zhu zhu pet.

      1. Yes, or a Taser. Those seem to be the “go to” method of peace keeping these days. But of course, the dog would have been killed by the Taser, just as many full-size people have.

        1. Having read as much about tazing as I have (by no means an expert)… I’m sort of the opinion now that the law of most places reads, and the risk associated with using a taser; that the question of “was this tazing warranted” can be answered by replacing ‘tazed’ with ‘shot in the foot’. All you need to do, to determine if the force was excessive is ask, would the officer have been wrong to shoot the suspect in the foot to subdue him?

          Again, that’s totally opinion.

          Another opinion I have is that while you may kill a dog by tazing it, I’d think the odds of that happening are only slightly less than shooting it 5 times.

          My final opinion of this particular post is, a dog that is crying out in pain because it was shot three times, is most likely not a threat. So even if the first couple bullets are warranted, the coup-de-grace is just killing it to kill it.

    2. You make a valid point somewhat, but look at the reverse situation. What if a police dog is attacking you, and your only choice is to kill the dog or suffer grievous bodily harm?

      In that case, you would be charged with, and undoubtedly convicted of, a completely separate crime – that of killing the dog. There is certainly hypocrisy there.

      Aside from that consideration, there are many ways for people to protect themselves from dog attacks. Simple padding on the body’s extremities would do the trick. So how much damage could a dog realistically do to a fully-armored, fully-prepared police stormtrooper if they took even the most basic precautions?

      There’s a rarely-discussed dictate that the police are entitled to perform their duties without the slightest interference; that they are perfectly entitled to use deadly force, even if only to make their job easier.

      As if the act of busting someone for narcotics is some kind of holy quest, or they are some rare form of inviolate human being, unbound by morality as long as they’re in the process of making an arrest.

    3. How about not breaking into homes with dogs like these inhuman assholes did?

      The dog(s) acted exactly like you’d expect them to in reaction to a bunch of strangers invading their home.

      This is just so fucking stupid that this goes on still.

    4. No pun intended – but I think you are barking up the wrong tree in trying to excuse the police actions in this case. Two fundamental tenets of western law are ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and ‘defence of habitation law’ (ie. a man’s home is his castle).

      Do you really want to make excuses for violent stormtroopers to run roughshod over our rights? Cops can’t kick down the door of your home and shoot your dog. If they had enough information to secure a warrant for a violent home invasion – then surely they would have enough information to determine a dog was in the house and take appropriate non lethal precautions.

      Incidentally – I didn’t hear that dog attacking – just barking (dogs don’t bark with their mouth full). Then crying, presumably after it was shot the first time.. then they shot it again? Pathetic.

      1. >>Two fundamental tenets of western law are ‘innocent until proven guilty’
        >>and ‘defence of habitation law’

        a couple of side thoughts. the reason for the swat team, as given by the police in on of the articles, was the assumption that a drug distributor will be armed. so how does this translate to states that have a high population of firearm owners, 50% or more, or states like arizona with very liberal laws on the purchasing, carrying, and ownership of firearms. can the police then be justified to use a swat team in all search warrants or the serving of warrants on the presumption there is a 50% chance the tenant is armed? and if the wrong house is hit, and the individual reacts in armed self defense to perceived home invaders, then how will that play out? from the link in post #36 by ambiguity–>>Officer Jones was in the process of serving a drug warrant, based on an informant tip. While trying to enter the rear of a duplex, he broke into the wrong apartment and was shot by the resident, Corey Maye, who had no prior record and was protecting his daughter. No drugs were found. Maye was charged with capital murder, and sentenced to death.>> and paraphrased from wiki, corey may said he did not hear an alert, and was woken from his sleep by the sound of a crashing door, that is when he reached for his shotgun.

    5. A taser perhaps? I guess I’m not sure how easy it would be to just whip one out, but it would be so much safer for everyone involved, especially the poor dog :( I mean, what if the guy or the woman had panicked… is the only alternative to shoot? It shouldn’t be.

    6. Ideally, they would have a less-than-lethal option easily available to do so. In reality, they have their primary, lethal armament readily available – for a good reason (assuming you believe they presume the house has drug dealers). Unfortunately, I expect most dogs, upon seeing their home invaded by multiple agitated strangers, will react defensively. Defensive dog home guarding behavior probably equals, in the eyes of the police, the dog acting in an “uncontrollably aggressive manner” – especially as the owners, who are pretty much the only pack members who would be in a position to control the dog, are restrained from doing so. You essentially end up with a situation were the default behavior is for all dogs to be shot, unless they are penned up.

      They officers are covered in armor head to toe — they can’t detail one guy wearing metal mesh boning gloves to grab the dog by the collar, drag him down and lay on him or taser him into submission? Or does the planning session just involve the team leader pointing to one guy and saying “you take out the dog”?

      As a society we’ve already said this behavior is reprehensible — if the dog’s owner did what the cop did he’d be in jail for a long time on an animal cruelty conviction. To anyone who’s been responsible for a dog, this is unthinkable.

      What would be the karmic retribution due someone who inflicted thirty seconds of screaming agony followed by three quick ones to the head as his innocent victim was trying to crawl away?

  27. Absolutely horrid and disgusting. First shot at the dog is within two seconds of them opening the door, second shot is four seconds after that, and the last three shots finishing the dog all happen within a minute of them opening the door. These cops are wearing full body armor, have tazers, mace, and plenty of other options to fend off a canine without lethal force.

    You are apprehending one guy with a SWAT team… seems a little stupid, no? Must be nice to be part of a police force and never have to worry about this happening to you.

  28. You can send a complaint about the officers actions to the Columbia police department at:

    If that form fails, you can send it directly via email (what the form does for you) to:

    Mine looked like this
    Location: 1501 Kinloch Court
    Columbia, MI, USA
    Date: 02/11/2010
    Time: 8:30pm
    Officers: Unknown, SWAT team
    Witnesses: Everyone on the internet.
    Details: It sure looks like your SWAT team discharged firearms in a disorganized matter inside city limits, inside of a home with children around.

    I can’t imagine how bullets are safer than a couple of grams of
    cannabis. If anyone should be charged for child endangerment it should be the people giving the SWAT team their orders.

    I imagine the officers were just doing their jobs. But the people that gave the orders? They are reprehensible.
    Form: cpd_complaint

  29. Skepticism is fine, obstinate stupidity is not. The comments here should by now have put forward sufficient evidence to indicate this was a real event, that actually happened. This looks like a helmet-cam. Police have dashcams for a reason- that reason is to protect them from liability and show that they followed protocol. If you do not believe this is common protocol for a drug warrant- I tell you what: Go to a LEO forum, and ask about it. The cops would have no problem keeping a record since they did everything in this case by the book. There is literally nothing (legally) wrong with what they did that I could see. I’m sure there isn’t a single jury in the land that would convict these officers of doing anything wrong. Excessive use of force is de rigeur for these types of warrants, from my understanding.

    Smart man:

    “I want a lawyer.”

    This is the only correct answer to a police officer when you are in handcuffs, or about to be in handcuffs. The I have a right to know your name isn’t complete bullshit, the SCOTUS ruled (badly, IMO) that cops can demand your identity (when they have probable cause) I don’t know what Missouri law is specifically, but I do know that silence may or may be admissible as an affirmation that you understand your Miranda rights. So, don’t rely on that. IANAL, but I doubt a lawyer would disagree with anything I’ve said since I’m basically parroting the ABA and a bunch of other lawyerly articles I read.

  30. If you shot my dog in my own house over some goddamn pot, it would be my mission in life to fuck your sorry ass up from that point. Cop or not. Your ass would be mine in the end.

    Know that.

  31. I’m sorry, anyone who can point a gun at ANY dog that is not directly attacking another human and pull the trigger is scum of the earth, and I would have no problem putting them down just as cruelly as they did that dog.

    People, and especially cops, need to realize the dogs are not just property. They are family.

    That dog was murdered in cold blood. If that had been the boy instead of the dog, there would be cops in jail.

    1. “If that had been the boy instead of the dog, there would be cops in jail.”

      Sadly, I don’t think so.

  32. That poor kid is probably scarred for life. I can’t believe this kind of authoritarian bullshit happens 100+ times every single day. America is such a fucking dystopia.

  33. I live in Columbia, MO. I’m really glad that this got posted here. As a resident, I am really disturbed. This video was posted to our local paper website, the Tribune, this week and it has caused quite a stir/outrage in our community. The police have blamed the situation on bad intelligence — they said that they thought that the suspect had a lot of pot(he had a misdemeanor amount)and that they didn’t know that a child lived there OR that the suspect had dogs. Now that’s bad intelligence!

    This has happened in Columbia before. A house was raided in my neighborhood fairly recently by the swat team. Similarly, they found a misdemeanor amount of pot and a pipe I believe — the police cited bad intelligence in that case as well. At least that guy has cats. >__<

  34. What’s really sad is: outrage over dog ZOMG! Kid almost got shot and will never EVER trust the police again: no so much rage. Eventually, they *will* kill a kid on tape. Then what?

    I hope they sue in both civil and criminal court. Discharge of a firearm is certainly reckless endangerment, and there was no reasonable time to answer the search warrant knock.

    But, to add my two cents about the dogs: “you shot a corgi? Multiple times? Didn’t kill it?” Sound like it belongs on Fark.

    1. “Kid will never trust police again”

      Well, then. At least SOMETHING good comes out of this sad situation.

  35. read a few related articles. (can’t [citation] right now, sorry).

    Allegedly one of the shot dogs was CAGED.

    Also, apparently it is police policy to shoot dogs especially when dealing with drug busts as dealers tend to have them around for protection. I can see the need to shoot a slavering alsatian that’s just been set on you but a caged dog? that’s just sadism.

    This is fucking barbaric. The cops who did this should be strung up. And for what? a bit of weed? that poor little girl will be scarred for life with regards to police, and quite possible anyone in authority as a result of this.

  36. I can only hope this video spreads far and wide and this family doesn’t suffer in vain and this video sparks the rallying cry to stop this EVIL war on drugs.

    Conservatives, imagine that was because of your six pack of beer, ok?

    The is incredibly enraging.


  37. Just pretend it’s an outtake from Idiocracy.

    That’s exactly what I thought when I was listening to these pigs.

  38. I’m a perfectly boring, law abiding citizen, with a great deal of respect for law enforcement.

    But I still walk away from this ready to yell “Fuck the police!” and flip over squad cars. Holy Christ, what the fuck.

    That KID. That poor kid. The poor mom trying to console him, easily as terrified as him.

    When a cop gets shot by that kid 20 years from now in some random altercation, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

  39. When I remember the police raid on my flat searching for a “cannabis farm” (that’s about as sinister as you can make growing pot sound…) when my neighbour (and friend) broke up with a rather nutty ex and she falsely reported us.

    I had no pot and this only made things worse. Every square inch of my flat was taken apart while I was told that by not cooperating I was “only making matters worse”. In a rucksack in my flatmates room (which they removed my flatmate and her boyfriend from without allowing them to dress or cover themselves with their hands until they did a preliminary search) they found her boyfriends money (about £100 in cash), I was separated and questioned for about 10-15 minutes about the money I was hiding and, again, proclaiming my innocence was “only making matters worse”. They never questioned the boyfriend when they finally asked him if it was his money.

    The police were absolute and total morons. One of the dumbest collections of people I have ever met. This is where most of my rage comes from. Also they refused to show us their warrant (because they had “probable suspicions” and so did not need to show us the warrant they claimed they had). They refused to identify themselves and after I tried to read a badge number they removed their badges, I believe that’s illegal.

    I lost my temper, I should of kept quiet encase they found something to arrest me on, but instead I harangued them over their incompetence.

    I remember one officer tried to intimidate us by tapping across the middle of my living room wall, I asked him what he thought he was doing and he responded “I’m searching for cavities in which you may have stashed something” to which I could only respond (by this point I’d lost my temper) “Oh great, your a moron, you realise all non-supporting walls in all houses everywhere are hollow? So given you’ve yet to find a cavity in a hollow wall you should probably shouldn’t try for inspector” he left the room.

    I argued with their phrasing. They said they had “reliable information” I told them that was incorrect. I told them if their information could be relied upon then I would be growing pot, but as I am not and appear to be guilty of nothing else they could find then this information clearly was not reliable. They just kept repeating in a rising tone “we have reliable information that you have a cannabis farm” getting more and more angry each time (this is after they’d been in my 3 bedroom flat for well over an hour (they were in my flat for around 3 and 1/2 hours in total), unable to find ANY pot).

    They even said that just living in the area I live in was suspicion enough for a search.

    Ok, I’m going to have to stop typing as remembering all this stuff is actually making me really angry.

  40. I live in Columbia, MO. I will tell you that possession of marijuana in the city is a misdemeanor crime. That is, its just a (small) fine if you have below 1/2 and ounce or so. The reason they charged with child endangerment is because otherwise its NOT A CRIME.

    So basically, the cops busted in to someones house under suspicion of a misdemeanor (essentially as bad as a parking ticket) and traumatized this family for no reason.

    1. Wow, thanks for that.

      I read the article. What it says, under a headline and lead paragraph clearly implying that this was an avoidable mistake if only the new guidelines had been in place, is that SWAT team availability for these operations has been increased. No apologies whatsoever, only frantic efforts to justify what happened as perfectly correct procedure.

      It’s funny if it wasn’t so infuriating.

      Good lesson here – never forget where the conventional news outlets’ loyalty lies. Pun intended.

      1. there is something kafkaesque/orwellian about “perfectly correct procedure” and “unfortunate timing”

  41. To all peace-loving Americans: please consider moving here to Europe*. You are welcome and you deserve better. You will be bored but at least we won’t kill your pets with semi-automatics in the middle of the night.*

    *This offer not valid in the UK

    1. I’d love to, actually. Or Australia. Or New Zealand. Can we stay with you for awhile until we get settled? : )

  42. Have to agree with #48 on this one. . .

    I work with the police on occasion, and have new-found respect for the immense difficulties of the job: however. . .

    The Law is a very poor substitute for Justice; and this event is simply jack-booted fuckery gone amuck.

    I feel very blessed to live in a place where smoking herb does not make one a criminal.

  43. I suppose we can consider this the answer video for those people who were commenting last week about how far-fetched they thought the M.I.A. music video. Maybe someone will replace the audio in this one with the song “Born Free” to drive home the point a bit more.

    I have to confess I haven’t watched this one. I can use the excuse that I’m at work, but really, I just can’t bear to. If I did I’m sure I’d have to leave the country. I remember screaming about the stupidity of the ‘war on drugs’ back when Nancy Reagan was in office, and it’s not only still going on but continuing to get worse? We are clearly a nation of morons.

  44. You U.S.A. folks really love the word war, don you? War on drugs, war on terrorism, war on this, war on that… And therefore you prepare your police to be soldiers. Of ourse your’e not the only ones. In Chile, for example, I would say police has an even stornger military tradition, but they aren’t as trigger happy as yours seem to be. Indeed, when the make raids (and they do lots), they usually find dozens of barking, agressive dogs (pets and freeroamers)… but I haven’t once heard about them being shot. Normaly, swat cops go into operations in armor, so their “biteable” parts aren’t as exposed as you would think. Oh, and they carry battons… and you can always beat the dog unconcious whit your gun… or kick it… But of course, why not shoot if you have the chance? After all “that” is part of your job, isn’t it? I really can’t justify all he shooting they did in there.

    Well… that’s what happens when you train people to be soldiers in a nation that constantly feeds itself whit violence. Police is there to enforce the law through legal means, but primary through common sense. There should be a campaign: “don’t let our police get ‘brutified'”

  45. To those who would say that you can’t blame the cops for shooting dogs that may have been a threat to them:
    1. Here’s a picture of a Corgi:

    Terrifying, I know.

    2. Yes I very well can blame the cops, because this raid shouldn’t have been happening in the first place. They were ill-informed, and the resulting raid was both ill-advised and poorly executed.

    To those who would say that all this article does is scare up hysteria, have a look here:

    An interactive map of police raids gone wrong. Each red pin is where an innocent person was killed. You can bring up the details state by state and year by year to get citations for each.

  46. Welcome to AmeriCORP,

    Our motto is Government by and for the Corp. If we don’t like you then you’re f**cked because we’ll send some gun toting, badge wearing thugs to your house. If we don’t find anything we’ll invent it. Stay in line or get out.

  47. Shot the dogs, can’t find the alleged drugs, traumatized the family- I smell promotions all around!

  48. This would have never happened if citizens had the right to keep and arm bears.

    1. I have to give you that one. They’d think twice about barging into a house that might contain a bear with a shoulder-mounted gatling gun.

    2. I have to give you that one. They’d think twice about barging into a house that might contain a bear with a shoulder-mounted gatling gun.

  49. “I wish I had a good answer for a way to protect the police and protect pets in these situations, but I don’t.”

    Legalize pot, tax it, regulate it like we regulate alcohol and tobacco. Take the money we raise from taxes and use it to provide some education for law enforcement regarding “decorum” and “proportional discretion.”

    Send these good ol’ boys to a war zone where this sort of behavior is appropriate.

  50. If you guys want to see what the locals in Columbia think about this incident, you should check out the comments under the link posted by Brillow in #78.

    They are OUTRAGED! So much so that I was compelled to register and join in the ranting.

    I think ultimately some heads will have to roll there or the current administration will be voted out in toto.

  51. I would like to see this happen to every lawmaker in the country.

    Advice to activists: When you supply the highly reliable information that crazed, heavily armed Jamaicans living at (insert congressional love nest address here) are moving at quarter-ton of the kind-bragh out tonight, better get over there fast be sure you use a phone that can’t be traced to you. If possible, use the congressman’s phone.

  52. If you think this is chilling, consider that due to drug forfeiture laws police departments have massive incentives to preferentially bust drug users and dealers, because such things can directly generate revenue for the department. Kind of puts the whole thing in perspective doesn’t it?

  53. Here’s my letter, please reproduce it if you like
    Dear Senator,

    I am writing to request that you take notice and strongly consider action to censure the Columbia, MO police department for their February raid on a family in possession of marijuana. This video is being widely circulated and details the excessive use of force by the SWAT team (SWAT team? For a bag of weed?). In particular, you’ll notice their slaughter of the family dog wakes up a little boy with gunshots in the middle of the night. I find this use of force HIGHLY excessive and object strongly to it. Will you do something to curb these attacks?

    I am circulating this video to every major outlet that I know of, in the meantime. This is a complicated issue where family’s rights as well as those of the police must be respected.

    Thank you.

    Columbia, MO citizen feedback form:

    MO Senator Kit Bond’s contact page: and

    Claire McCaskill’s:

    1. Yes, our non-law enforcement citizens are prevented from using excess force.

      Actually, I’m being snotty – not towards you though. Yes, we have excessive force laws, but hey, who enforces the laws?

  54. Nation of Zombies.
    Those cops, Zombies
    That Family, Zombies
    Most Americans, Zombies
    Stay Asleep
    Everything will be OK

  55. I lived in a small town when I was a kid and was raised by a single mother. In the middle of the night, some police inexplicably came to take my mother to jail. Her crime? She was late in paying for a parking ticket. Bad Mom!

    I didn’t know it at the time, but my ass almost became a ward of the State. What saved our asses was the fact that the county sheriff lived next door and we were friends: we let him keep his horses in our back pasture.

    Boy was he pissed when he got the hysterical phone call from Mom. He came over and stared at those two police officers like they were the biggest idiots in the world. My little story is simply not comparable to what I’m seeing here, I just wanted to warn you all to pay off those parking tickets or ELSE!

  56. I feel…







    SOMETIMES I really fucking hate cops.

  57. Ugh. This is INSANE. Right-wing control freaks ruining people’s lives and calling it “justice”.

  58. I’m sure everything I’m thinking has already been said, but I can only wish the same kind of treatment on each of these officers some day. How can they sleep?

  59. remember DEVO guy interview about him being at KENT STATE ??!! his view was a bit dark (or realistic)
    of course this website illicits Ben Franklins quote about’ those who are willing to forego freedom for security deserve neither’

    -on a personal story I had a dog that was a menace in that he had bit another dog(yes that’s it),

    …So one night the SWAT surrounded my schoolbus motorhome in my posh city ‘hood with 15 submachineguns ablaze, a sniper, remote voice PA, special military vehicles, while we slept, then took the happy, friendly, social, mellow dog to the gas chamber, AND (just like KENT sTATE,slightly) they announced on news ‘ARMED standoff with violent criminal armed with attack DOG threatening Police’

    1. I believe the full and correct Franklin quote is “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.”

      That quote certainly touches this situation with a needle.

      I’m encouraged, however, by the citizens of Columbia. I’ve been following this story all day since it was first posted here (and yes, I’ve managed to do a few other things today as well).

      They are fully up in arms. Heads will roll. The police chief called a press conference today when the story went national in a big way.

      As is common with law enforcement when addressing these types of outrages, he tried to pacify the public with circular logic and lies, while not actually admitting any wrongdoing or ill-conceived procedures on the part of the police.

      But unlike most times this happens, judging from the huge volume of blogging in the local paper, the citizens of Columbia are simply not buying it.

      Many are promising to be at the next town council meeting with their own agenda, many are calling for the firing of the officers involved, many are calling for the resignation of the chief AND the mayor, some want a total housecleaning.

      Much respect to these solid citizens for recognizing Fascism when they see it and not backing down in the face of a little media spin.

  60. As someone who views pets as members of the family, all I can say is: you shoot my dog, it’s on.

  61. In a less-than-perfect world, were I to be deciding matters, I would decimate these officers ranks and crucify their commanding officers.

    Thankfully, I am not the one deciding such things.

  62. I love how everyone cries and pulls their hair at the injustice portrayed in the video, yet only one person (that I found) proposed doing something about it. Who is really more at fault here: the police who abuse the laws that allow them to get away with this kind of behavior, or we citizens who elect the officials who write the policies?

    I for one am committed to “no incumbents.” Period.

    1. Fellback, I think you might find there is a storm brewing here. In Columbia, there’s a City Council meeting on the 17th. Many of the local citizens who are blogging about this travesty are intending to be there.

      Obviously one can never know how long the people will maintain their outrage, and usually it stops short of actually taking action.

      But in this situation, it may be different. This incident happened in February. I just found out about it today, and maybe you did too. But the people of Columbia have known about it for months, and they still have steam coming out their ears about it.

      I think something big is going to come out of this. When have you seen another video which clearly demonstrates the danger – TO THE CITIZENRY – of the spectacular decades-long failure called the War on Drugs? I have never seen one so telling until now.

      This could be a watershed incident in American history. Or maybe not. Guess it depends on how much spin control is exercised by the giant media corporations controlling the information flow in this country.

      After all, while you and I are reading about this here, the vast majority of people are watching the 10 o’clock news for their daily dose of “knowledge.”

      1. Unfortunately, you are probably right on the second part. I would love to see this become, as you say, a watershed moment, but has this broken out into the national media? I hate to think that boing boing is the only second tier outlet that has covered this. And even if it is taken up by the activists of our country, there are those who will instantly take the opposite of any issue that “unwashed radicals” support.

        1. 350k views on YouTube ATM – up from 20k this morning. It is now the featured news video on the front page. I’ve also read that Andrew Sullivan of Atlantic Monthly has picked up the story. Yes it’s definitely breaking nationally, basically right at this moment.

          It’s certainly possible Mr. Frauenfelder’s contribution here was a factor.

          If you’re interested in the ongoing commentary in Missouri, here’s one link:

          I wouldn’t call these people “unwashed radicals,” though I might start using that to describe myself, especially since I’m in Nashville and am currently under a compulsory water conservation initiative.

  63. A relevant quote I just found: “Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.”
    – William F. Buckley Jr.

  64. This is absolutely digusting. Shooting a dog… what were they thinking?? I hope they’re proud.

  65. If the family man was not speaking English and the home had Muslim decorations, do you think there would have been an outcry at all? This is simply the outrage of our inner American saying “NOT US?”, remembering bygone days when we actually had rights that protected us. Half the outcry is for the DOG? I love my pets, but what was shot and killed was also your innocence.

    Amazingly enough one bit of info on this video has not been commented on. The fact that a swat member opened up on a target in a household not once but multiple times. If you have never shot anything before, let me enlighten you, bullets don’t stop at the property line. hitting the target with semiauto fire doesn’t stop at the body, or the wall usually. That is a CSI brainfart. Go to a homes in high crime areas and see the bullet holes in the houses, through the houses and into the next. Most folks here don’t live where that happens too often, believe me the collateral damage from this could have magnified the issue even higher.

    Who watches the watchers? The more relevant question is, who punishes the strong for abusing the weak?

  66. “I want to talk to a lawyer.”

    Smartest thing you’ve said all day, that’s for sure.

    Those heavily armed men who came into your house and shot your dog – they aren’t your friends.

  67. I thought you Americans had ammendments and constitutions and stuff that kind of stopped the state from bursting into private homes and shooting household pets.

    I guess Jefferson et al were too busy drinking laudanum and forgot to mention that rights don’t stop when someone has a trivial amount of weed.

    When they came for the potheads, I did nothing…

  68. For those who think somehow this treatment was deserved, consider this:
    a) Anyone can make a false anonymous tip you have drugs in your possession.
    b) They can accidentally raid the wrong house

    Imagine that’s the situation and it’s your dead dog and your traumatized child.
    Oops, wrong house. Oops, false tip. Maybe a little more restraint would be wise?

  69. This kind of thing has been going on so long it’s become background noise. Years ago a nearby police department got to the wrong address, shot and killed a woman for rushing to protect her children instead of laying down on the floor hands over her head. What pissed me off was how the newspaper soft-pedaled the story, and the police were cleared of wrongdoing.

    It’s all well and good to whip yourself into an outraged froth and promise to vote different in a few year’s time, but what are you going to do when democratic methods fail to change things?

    It only becomes a civil war when *both* sides wear uniforms and shoot at each other.

    1. This time things are a little different, Anansi, for a couple reasons.

      Most importantly, this didn’t happen in a big city, where the police’s PR department would have already implemented the usual damage control tactics.

      In Columbia, the police chief and mayor are both taking the hard-line. They’re letting it be known that this is perfectly acceptable procedure from the police perspective. And the people aren’t swallowing one bit of it.

      Also, it’s one thing to read about jackbooted thugs with badges oppressing decent citizens. It’s quite another to see it happen.

      The video, and the attitude of the local administration are creating a huge gap between the public and the Columbia officials. Not to mention the Columbia PD apparently has a history of this type of ham-handed nonsense.

      No, I think this might be a big one. This could lead to genuine change. A lot depends on endurance. How long can the people maintain their righteous anger in the face of the media-spin onslaught that’s sure to come? We will find out.

      I know that I personally can maintain my righteous anger indefinitely. I’ve done it for oh these many years. I’m certainly not gonna calm down now.

  70. I have a hard time feeling sorry for the people in this video or share any of the outrage that people here in the BoingBoing comments feel. A middle class family has their door kicked in by SWAT because they are using drugs in around their kids? Good, about freaking time.

    Poor black and latino Americans have had their doors kicked down and their families taken away for decades now and no one batted an eye, heck they even based the show COPS around it. The police are now coming out of the inner city with all the training and thug mentality they learned there to crack down on the drug use of the affluent (marijuana, prescription and cocaine) neighborhoods, and the affluent are suddenly outraged that these guys are ruthless. Well Boo Hoo, you should have been listening when community activists have been trying to tell you for years that this was happening.

    With that said, I hope that this finally gets the Sheltered Class to admit we have a problem with the militarization of our police forces, and that their concern doesn’t stop at the edge of their own well-groomed lawns.

    1. You sound pretty bitter dude.

      Bitter enough to ignore the facts in your little racist diatribe.

      His door wasn’t kicked in because he was using drugs around his kid. His door was kicked in because he didn’t answer it within the 7 seconds allotted.

      It’s funny how two people can look at the same facts from the same point of view and draw two different conclusions.

      I totally agree with you that poor black and Latino areas have received the brunt of these kinds of tactics. But here’s a fact – poor black and Latino neighborhoods tend to be a hotbed of drug-dealing activity. I know this from personal experience, not statistics. I know where to go to score dope in my city. Or anything else for that matter.

      You consider this guy a member of the “Sheltered Class?” Sorry pal, you’ve gotta be in the 7-figure house neighborhood to get into that class. This guy’s just a working stiff.

      The point is, this could have happened to you, or me, or anyone. Whereas traditionally it has only happened to actual drug dealers.

      I couldn’t possibly care less what race this guy is. I care about what happened to him at the hands of violent thugs with badges.

      You’re the racist, Ian. No one else has even mentioned it.

      1. Ndanger, I want to be careful here because I am not trying to pick on you, but what your perspective is exactly what I was talking about in my response to the story.

        The “sheltered class” that I was referring to was not the family victimized by SWAT, but the commenters here at BB who are shocked at the levels of police power and violence only when it happens to drug dealers and users they identify with. As I said, this has been going on for decades against the poor but no one cared because, as you put it “poor black and Latino areas have received the brunt of these kinds of tactics. But here’s a fact – poor black and Latino neighborhoods tend to be a hotbed of drug-dealing activity.” This belief/view dismisses the exact same drug activity that occurs in middle America as somehow different or not illegal when it happens in a suburban home vs a troubled neighborhood. More importantly, it tries to continue the myth of a separate class for these types of crime. A drug dealer is a drug dealer and a user is a user not matter what his financial status.

        I do also take a dim view of a family that uses drugs in a house with children. Knowing full well the consequences of their actions if they get caught (when SWAT smashes down their door) they are basically saying that their party comes before their kids. Selfish.

        I’ll say again that our police forces have been out of control for a long time now, and hopefully now that it is spilling out into suburbia, something will be done about it and the reforms will not just be for the elite.

        1. Well Ian, it’s possible I misunderstood you to some extent. Truthfully you and I are more in agreement than not. However, in my opinion, you are not viewing this from a fully-accurate demographic perspective.

          How many drug dealers do you think there are in the suburbs? A few, sure, but that is not where they primarily operate. They primarily operate in poorer neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods happen to be primarily occupied by blacks and Latinos.

          So if there are more drug busts in those neighborhoods, it’s because there are more drug dealers there. That’s not a belief or a view, it’s a fact.

          I live in the predominantly white suburbs. I could put you in the passenger’s seat of my car and take you past a dozen drug dealers in the nearby projects. I could also take you for a ride up and down my street and tell you exactly which legal job each of my neighbors holds.

          I guess the reason there are more dealers in the poor neighborhoods is that the people who live there are not as employable as the people who live in the suburbs, and therefore they resort more readily to illegal activities, out of necessity. Which opens an entirely different can of socially aware worms.

          The police are are simply unlikely to accomplish much by focusing their attention where the drug activity ISN’T.

          Still, I don’t see any favoritism happening here among my middle class peers. I posted yesterday about what happened to my next-door neighbor at the hands of the SWAT team.

          Maybe reforms are coming. And like you, I hope they come to everyone.

  71. The fine people of Columbia need to hold a big festival right in the center of town to “honor” these fine officers. Give each of them an award from the citizens for their “bravery” in protecting the community from the great threat posed by this family. Cheer and applaud their fine work. Get a big video screen and show the video over and over. Thank the officers and the chief for their excellent work. Remind them that their excellence in law enforcement has brought Columbia, MO to world attention. Maybe add an extra award to the SWAT unit for raising the standards of “ethics” in policing. Perhaps there could be an “animal care” award for how the officers “protected” the dogs from worse harm?

    I’m not kidding. Take a lesson from Steven Colbert and publicly “honor” these sterling examples of law enforcement officers in the most visible and vocal way possible. Don’t jeer or boo them. Stand up in public and say, “You’ve done such a good job, you deserve this big, shiny medal. You’ve brought honor to our city. You should be very, very proud of yourself. Your mother must be very proud of what a fine, brave police officer you are.”

  72. I cannot say out loud how this makes me feel, but by the posts above people the world over feel the same way.

    The suggestion above about giving mock honors to these dog-killers is the best solution. I hope Colbert doesn’t take all the wind out of this. They should sacrifice a dog(in effigy) on the steps of the station every year to commemorate the day the honors were conferred. There should be scantily clad maidens. Diogenes can officiate.

    As I finally learn to read old books it is becoming clear to me that ridicule is a very potent force for change.

    Our natural inclination to threaten these militaristic swine with violence must be checked. Gush honors on these ravishers of justice until they flee from every honor. Ridicule has had a history of brooking the sort of changes that are called for here.

    ‘Privateering’ should be taken up as a dysphemism for these tactics, especially those with a forfeiture angle. We have been manipulated into accepting the imagery of Piracy by our shepherds, now we should hoist them up on any peg they can be impaled upon. Victorian justice and its colorful excesses fall easily in train(as symbolic devices, calm down ppl…). We can have a lot of fun demanding reform at long last.

    Nonviolence is the trouble; we have lost it, and without it we can be subverted. It feels amazing to say it; I am a militaristic thinker. It is not my first impulse. It is a tactical necessity, for the right of association is lost without it, and a true movement for change is impossible without that.

    I am no enemy of the police; but I can never stand by what I have seen here. I hope that some internal tuning up has occurred at the precinct; it is the last word of this kind of ‘justice’ after all… I have met police who would not sit well with this killing either. We must get them on the side of reform.

    The uncomfortable implicit fact, that the word of criminals matters more than that of the innocent accused, must be magnified in the minds of all Americans. How you feel about drugs does not equivocate this fact in the least. It is the actual problem.

    Oh, by the way, a demand that they submit to drug testing immediately after firing a weapon would be a great ‘peg’ to hoist them on. I know you SWAT boys like speed. Wink.

  73. this is about as repulsive as it gets, someone need to be brought to justice for this travesty. a shame

  74. Couldn’t even finish watching the video. This is the sort of crap that makes me embarrassed and scared to be an American. Embarrassed because there’s supposedly some sort of democracy at work and these public “servants” are supposed to represent us. And scared because despite the fact that their job description involves protection, I need to worry about them terrorizing me and ruining my life.

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