Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Safety vs Rights

Perhaps I think too much. I'd be the first to admit that I can over analyze at times, but I still treasure that about myself. It is only through such processes that I discover where I stand on many issues.

One of those issues is this. What are the rights or expectations of a person whose house is raided by SWAT?

Obviously, they can expect to not be shot so long as they don't resist. But what else? Does their property have a reasonable right to little damages being caused? Do their dogs have the right to continue living? Does their child have the right to be at school or somewhere else when SWAT does finally perform the raid?

Some of this seems like a no brainer. SWAT might break down a door, but they shouldn't be running through the house and intentionally breaking glass windows/doors or knocking over the china cabinet if you are not resisting. They shouldn't be shooting the dogs if the dogs aren't trying to bite them.

And yet, constantly, we read about this very behavior. Worse, this behavior is carried out in front of our children. "So what" some say. They say that criminals bring it on themselves. That drug dealers are notorious for having attack dogs, and that shooting the dogs to prevent attacks is justified.

So what? How many times do the police in general have bad intel? LOTS of times.
And I quote :

Calvo said yesterday that he did not know how the drugs wound up on his doorstep. He works part time as the mayor and serves as director of expansion for the SEED Foundation, a well-known national nonprofit group that runs urban public boarding schools.

"My government blew through my doors and killed my dogs," Calvo said. "They thought we were drug dealers, and we were treated as such. I don't think they really ever considered that we weren't."

Calvo described a chaotic scene, in which he -- wearing only underwear and socks -- and his mother-in-law were handcuffed and interrogated for hours. They were surrounded by the dogs' carcasses and pools of the dogs' blood, Calvo said.

Calvo is the MAYOR of that district. And yet he still lost his dogs, and he was still treated poorly. From other reports, the police were apparently harassing his elderly mother in law. Not only did they do all this, but one of those dogs was shot WHILE RUNNING AWAY from the noise.

Yeah, that must be an aggressive dog!

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