By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Another day, another Constitutional violation… Yesterday, I wrote on Idaho attempting to expand the National Guard’s policing powers in an effort to combine it with police forces in the state, effectively militarizing the police. Today, Des Moines, Iowa shows us another example of blatant Fourth Amendment violations. The Iowa state motto is a little tarnished today: Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain has morphed into a joke via SWAT and a militarized police intrusion. These days, SWAT and US militarized police are beginning to resemble the Russian FSB a great deal:
Sally Prince is now afraid to stay in her own home, but she has nowhere else to go. “I’ve been so traumatized. I don’t sleep at night,” Prince says. I bet. The Second Amendment truly is our last, best defense from the enemies within and without. It’s getting harder and harder to tell who the enemy is these days.
I’m no big fan of the Progressive Washington Post, but a tip of the hat goes to Radley Balko for writing an excellent piece on this and bringing it to our attention. You may remember Washington Post civil liberties blogger Radley Balko, who is author of the book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.
This whole episode was over an accusation of ‘credit card fraud.’ What ever happened to innocent till proven guilty? This is a minor crime that in no way calls for a full on SWAT assault. You’d think they were terrorists or mass murders. It’s thuggery and oppression — it’s over the top brutal police tactics with a fascist haute couture, dressed in battle-dress uniforms, helmets and face-covering balaclava hoods. What’s more, the officers knew what they were doing was not okay. They destroyed at least one camera and covered another to prevent the recording of the raid. Unfortunately for them, it was still taped. One point here, the news reporter asks why all the cameras? Since when did that become a red flag? It’s prudent for protection and frankly, it is no one’s business but those living there.
I’d also like to know why a police department wouldn’t have a written policy on how search warrants are conducted. Bull crap. From WaPo:
Finally, note that police department officials say they “do not have a written policy governing how search warrants are executed.” That’s inexcusable. Most police departments do. But whether or not they’re governed by a formal policy, the use of these kinds of tactics for nonviolent crimes like credit card fraud is hardly unusual, and it’s happening more often, not less. I’ve reported on jurisdictions where all felony search warrants are now served with a SWAT team. At least one federal appeals court has now ruled that under the Fourth Amendment, there’s nothing unreasonable about using a SWAT team to perform regulatory inspections. To be fair, two others have ruled that such tactics are not reasonable. But it’s concerning that this would even be up for debate. We have plenty of discussion and analysis about when searches are appropriate. We also need to start talking about how.
This use to be a free and Constitutional America. It would seem it no longer is — the jack boots are leaving an imprint on America’s face and soul. It’s been getting worse for years and it is long past time that Americans put a stop to this. We are seeing a massive escalation here in police militarization and excessive force used by local and federal authorities. I’ve read numerous accounts recently where people have simply stopped calling the police. They don’t know who to fear more… the criminals or those who are sworn to protect and serve, not persecute and violate. At this rate, we are truly gulag bound.