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By conservative estimates, there are about 110 of these types of raids per day in America.  The vast majority are for drug crimes.  I find it hard to believe that the only time time these shortcuts have been used are, coincidentally, in those raids we read about over and over in the newspaper.

And all of this to stop people from getting high.

No, my friend. It's to stop the cycle of violence that surrounds the buying and selling of drugs. Not to mention the crimes committed by addicts who need to steal to feed their habit.

I could care less if people get high. If they could find a way to stop all the other stuff, I could care less. Really, the snobbish conclusion to the article informs me that the writer doesn't live in a neighborhood with such problems.

This whole story is just truly bizarre. It serves no purpose of justice to raid a home w/o reliable reason. If the police were so dumb that they merely knocked down the wrong door ... well, affirmative action ruined our police department, perhaps the same can be said for Atlanta.


I don't know if any of these police were affirmative action hires, but I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be as capable of following proper procedures as anyone else.

Also, a lot of libertarians, myself included, believe that the prohibition of drugs has led to much of the violence and corruption that is supposedly being fought against in the War on Drugs; instead, it seems to increase in a vicious cycle as police focus more and more on drugs as the "root cause" of the problem rather than on theft and violence as crimes to be prevented and prosecuted in and of themselves. People who steal or do violence should be treated as criminals for the theft and the violence, not for the drugs. If that happened, police could concentrate more on protecting the public from crime rather than less.


. People who steal or do violence should be treated as criminals for the theft and the violence, not for the drugs.

Well, if they can be caught, they are.

But, often drug busts occur in homes that are a plague on neighborhoods. Havens for addicts and those who do violence.

I think if this debate is about drug legalization, than that is something entirely different. To say that this event is an example of why the "war" on drugs is wrong is misplaced, imho. People who make this argument don't live in these neighborhoods.


I think it's an example of why the "war" is wrong because the police were using an excessively militaristic tactic in approaching a situation of suspected drug use or drug dealing; There was no indication that the people in the house were engaged in violent activities.


If it had been a drug house, it would have been the appropriate manner. I think there is something rotten in this story, I just have no idea what it is.

I wish they wouldn't make mistakes, because there certainly are a lot of drug houses that they are missing.

Down the street from me, a man is raising pit bulls for fighting. One of his dogs attack my Greta when I was out on a walk. The house attracts shady people. Who suffers from this? The people who live here. Why? Because the family has civil rights, because they can't prove anything. In the scales of "police wrongdoing" versus "criminal activity" - the criminals are ahead by a longshot. Yet, what makes the lead stories? To read the papers, you would think that the only ones doing wrong, are the police. There is story in the local paper about a police chase - three men were killed NOT by the police, but by the car they were chasing. Again, public outcry is against the police.


Well, I pay attention when police screw up because I expect them to rise to higher standards of behavior than people running crack houses or raising pit bulls, but I also think it's important because their resources are wasted this way. All the money and effort that was spent on this pointless and destructive raid could have been put into having a beat cop driving or walking past suspicious houses and making sure the people in them don't endanger their neighbors.


But, they don't do that. They are afraid to. The criminals are winning. Which is why I find it so dangerous to sensationalize "bad cop" stories. Many times (although I make no speculation on this occurrence), the cops are eventually exonerated. That does NOT make the headlines, and the negative public perception remain. Especially in the ghettos.


This goes beyond proper procedure. It is about a policy (no knock raids) that infringes on everything decent about our legal system. Yes, I understand the need for police to protect themselves.

But adopting the same tactic as burglars (or burglars adopting the same tactic as police) means there is going to be a high rate of confusion and tragedy.

John Salmon

Carin-The "they don't live in that kind of neighborhood" argument is, sorry to say, a weak one.

It's the people who do live in this type of neighborhood who typically object the most.

What is your evidence for saying "the criminals are winning"? Crime rates are far lower today than a generation ago.

The truth is, many big city cops have a siege mentality, and put their own safety ahead of the public's. Any cop with this (perfectly understandable) attitude should quit.


It's not just big-city cops either. One of Balko's best points is that small-town and rural police are adopting these tactics even though they don't have the ability to properly train in these tactics.

What drives me nuts is that the overwhelming majority drug-enforcement efforts including raids like this are petty anti-marijuana busts. Even in the no-knock raids where the police do everything right and drugs are present, most of the time they're still putting suspects, families, neighbors, pets, and the police themselves in mortal danger over a little bit of weed.

I can see the argument for using these kinds of raids on meth labs and crack dens, but as Bill Hicks once pointed out, marijuana is only illegal because anyone can grow it. If the marijuana market was an oligopoly like the alcohol or tobacco markets there would be politicians paid to keep it legal everywhere.

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