10 facts about the SWATification of the US

SWAT team raids in the US have gone up 25-fold since 1980. Time's recent article about the militarization of the police reports that "the federal government has funneled $4.3 billion of military property to law enforcement agencies since the late 1990s."

End of the American Dream has assembled 10 facts about SWAT teams:

  1. In 1980, there were approximately 3,000 SWAT raids in the United States. Now, there are more than 80,000 SWAT raids per year in this country.
  2. 79 percent of the time, SWAT teams are deployed to private homes.
  3. 50 percent of the victims of SWAT raids are either black or Latino.
  4. In 65 percent of SWAT deployments, “a battering ram, boot, or some sort of explosive device” is used to gain forced entry to a home.
  5. 62 percent of all SWAT raids involve a search for drugs.
  6. In at least 36 percent of all SWAT raids, “no contraband of any kind” is found by the police.
  7. In cases where it is suspected that there is a weapon in the home, police only find a weapon 35 percent of the time.
  8. More than 100 American families have their homes raided by SWAT teams every single day.
  9. Only 7 percent of all SWAT deployments are for “hostage, barricade or active-shooter scenarios”.
  10. Even small towns are getting SWAT teams now. 30 years ago, only 25.6 percent of communities with populations between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team. Now, that number has increased to 80 percent.

Notable Replies

  1. The term militarization gets used, but SWATification is better. Pretty sure that throwing grenades into cribs isn't "military" in any way.

  2. Ya, the list needs an additional item -- how many innocent folks get killed or injured...
    It should also list how many are the wrong address.

  3. Fair enough. I mean, real militarization of police would mean just destroying the neighborhood with a missile strike.

  4. Not everything needs to be ificated. Headline writers should try other morphemes from time to time. Maybe the odd prefix too. I could go for enswatment..

  5. It must suck to be one of those 100+ families.

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