A Texas grand jury rejected a capital murder charge against a man who shot and killed a deputy executing a no-knock warrant.
I certainly have sympathy for Burleson County Police Sgt. Adam Sowders who killed by Henry Magee. He was a victim of the militarized law enforcement mentality that pervades so many police departments these days.
I picked up the link above from Denninger's post on a truly sad incident in which there are no winners.
The lesson from this, as Denninger points out, is that these raids are unnecessary 99% of the time. Put a cop at the back door, knock on the front door, and respect the presumption of innocence.
We have a lot of good, dedicated police officers in this country who do put their lives on the line daily to carry out their duties. I have no doubt that Sgt. Sowders was a good person, and I mourn his untimely death. He was only 31. His life was wasted. The police went there to bust Magee for growing marijuana, which he was doing and for which he will be prosecuted. The likelihood that Magee would have offered armed resistance had the police executed a normal search warrant is miniscule. Most people think and react just like the Dead said in "Truckin'" -- "If you got a warrant, I guess you're gonna come in."
It is, though, high time we stopped allowing law enforcement to continue these kinds of actions. We have too many innocent people killed when cops kick in the door of the wrong house. We have cops routinely shooting family pets whether there is any evidence of criminal activity on the part of owners or not. We see cops riddling with gunfire a truck of the wrong make and color occupied by the wrong number of persons of the wrong sex and race. We see children with toy guns cut down before they have a chance to surrender or even comprehend what is happening.
It is criminal, and it has to stop.
The McLennan County sheriff knew David Koresh and could have brought him in any time without bloodshed. The infamous raid on the Branch Davidians by the ATF was done for dramatic effect to secure more funding for further militarization. Sadly, this kind of logic has only intensified in the intervening two decades since that debacle. If you have all the SWAT regalia, you feel obligated to justify it by raiding.
We need more peace officers and fewer commandos.