Unnecessary SWAT Use

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jewish_scientist
Posts: 654
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:15 pm UTC

Unnecessary SWAT Use

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:56 pm UTC

I wanted to start this thread, because there seems to be a recent trend of SWAT teams being used to deal with mundane situations. In case you live out side the US, a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team is "a group of elite police marksmen who specialize in high-risk tasks". When most people hear SWAT, they think of bank robbers and terrorists. They are armed with military grade equipment and training. I have nothing against SWAT teams in principle; the problem is in practice. They are being called on to deal with situations local police could easily handle on their own. The results tend to be tragic.

Funny examples:
https://loweringthebar.net/2014/08/swat ... andma.html
https://loweringthebar.net/2014/10/a-fun-quiz.html

Serious example:
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/0 ... story.html

cphite
Posts: 1155
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Re: Unnecessary SWAT Use

Postby cphite » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:42 pm UTC

In the third example, it's not SWAT that really caused the problem. The police were in a tough situation - they have a kid who they know is armed, barricaded, and who has already threatened to shoot someone. At that point they are obligated to stay until the situation is resolved. No matter how sure the parents are that this kid will just calm down if left alone, the police aren't allowed to take that chance. If they had left, and this kid had shot someone, either in the house or otherwise, they would be responsible for that. So they contained the situation and tried to talk him down. Unfortunately, that doesn't always work.

SWAT was called because there was the potential of a shootout in a residential area, with someone who is barricaded, and who is clearly not in a good frame of mind. If that were to happen, it isn't something your average local officer is equipped or even trained to handle. They didn't barge into the house or use any kind of force; they were there in case things got out of hand.

There are definitely examples of SWAT being overused; but frankly, in this case it sees appropriate based on the situation.

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LaserGuy
Posts: 4382
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

Re: Unnecessary SWAT Use

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:33 pm UTC

You can find numerous examples of this in the police misbehavior thread


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