Citizens Alarmed as Militarized Cops Invade Missouri Neighborhood
“The army’s here,” frantic woman tells her husband
August 15, 2013
In order to justify the use of heavily armed and militarized cops in routine police work, police now say they must rely on SWAT teams to serve felony arrest warrants. In South County, Missouri, police rolled out their SWAT force on Tuesday evening, alarming citizens.
“An unidentified man pulled up around 8:15 p.m. was frisked by police and then detained for questioning, but what got neighbors here very upset happened a few minutes earlier,” reports FOX2Now in St. Louis. “It was the presence of a SWAT team, complete with officers wearing armor and carrying assault rifles surrounding the man’s home as police went to the door. One woman frantically told her husband, the army’s here.”
Police shrugged off the urgent concern of residents who thought their neighborhood had been invaded. “Police say that it was the service of an administrative warrant by their special investigations unit. Officers will not go into any greater detail, though SWAT team members were downplaying it again saying that their presence on any felony warrant search is standard practice,” the FOX news station reports.
In response to a large number of high-profile, lethal-force incidents involving SWAT cops, the American Civil Liberties Union announced earlier this year a nationwide investigation of the militarization of police departments and simultaneously filed 255 public records requests in 24 states on March 6. According to the Standard-Examiner, agencies have been asked to provide information on SWAT team deployments, injuries during the operations, weapons used, and the level of funding for military equipment from the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.
“I’m very concerned that, on a national basis, police organizations are looking more and more like combat troops and less and less like community police officers,” Robert Wadman, a former police officer and emeritus Weber State University criminal justice professor told the newspaper. “If Osama bin Laden killed and captured anything, it was community policing,” he added.