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:
- 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.
- 79 percent of the time, SWAT teams are deployed to private homes.
- 50 percent of the victims of SWAT raids are either black or Latino.
- 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.
- 62 percent of all SWAT raids involve a search for drugs.
- In at least 36 percent of all SWAT raids, “no contraband of any kind” is found by the police.
- In cases where it is suspected that there is a weapon in the home, police only find a weapon 35 percent of the time.
- More than 100 American families have their homes raided by SWAT teams every single day.
- Only 7 percent of all SWAT deployments are for “hostage, barricade or active-shooter scenarios”.
- 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.