Sunday, July 7, 2013

The New Amerika: "Freeze, Don't Move, Show Me Your Hands"

Photo and Sub-title from here: SWAT teams raiding poker games and trying to stop underage drinking. Overwhelming paramilitary force is on the rise.

Interesting story from this book from Amazon.

A sample of what should be very concerning - this rise of the so-called paramilitary force ... suddenly every police raid looks like it's led by Jack Bauer and a phalanx from CTU (and I am a huge 24 fan), but that is not the point except for this illustration:

"In 2007 a Dallas SWAT team actually raided a Veterans of Foreign Wars outpost for hosting charity poker games. Players said the tactics were terrifying. One woman urinated on herself. When police raided a San Mateo, California, poker game in 2008, card players described cops storming the place in full riot gear and with guns drawn. The games had buy-ins ranging from $25 to $55. Under California law, the games were legal so long as no one took a “rake,” or a cut of the stakes. No one had, but police claimed the $5 the hosts charged players to buy refreshments qualified as a rake."

"In March 2007, a small army of local cops, ATF agents, National Guard troops, and a helicopter raided a poker game in Cary, North Carolina. They issued forty-one citations, all of them misdemeanors. A columnist at the Fayetteville Observer remarked, 'They were there to play cards, not to foment rebellion. I wonder what other minutiae, personal vices and petty crimes are occupying the National Guard’s time, and where they’re occupying it. Until we get this sorted out, better not jaywalk. There could be a military helicopter overhead.'"

The editorial reviews of the book at the Amazon link are very interesting, too, and the author, Radley Balko, is an award-winning investigative journalist who writes about civil liberties, police, prosecutors, and the broader criminal justice system, and certainly not a slouch on this topic, despite his political leanings otherwise.

Continue the main article to get the whole flavor ... as I said, this should be concerning to us all. Not to minimize the importance of SWAT and similar police force squads, but the massive growth of them is the point. 

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