By Morgan Fox, MPP.ORG
The brutal methods used by SWAT teams throughout the country are not news in the war on drugs. This steady militarization of our police forces in the pursuit of drug seizures has largely gone unnoticed in the press until recently, when some high-profile incidents highlighted some of the uglier tactics used when raiding potential drug dens.
Two such cases were those of Tarika Wilson, who was killed while holding her baby, and Cheye Calvo, the mayor of a small Maryland town who had his home raided and two black Labradors killed by local SWAT because a package of marijuana was sent to his house without his knowledge.
A similar incident occurred on Feb. 11 in Columbia, Missouri, resulting in the death of one dog and the shooting of another during a raid on the home of Jonathan Whitworth, who police suspected of selling marijuana. Police stormed into his house and immediately opened fire on the dogs, before they realized that there was a 7-year-old child in the house. A grinder, a pipe, and a small amount of marijuana were found, but no evidence of distribution.
Watch the video below, keeping in mind that police later tried to charge Whitworth with child endangerment, as if having a little marijuana in the home is more dangerous to a child’s wellbeing than storming into their house with automatic weapons and killing their dogs.
Spokesperson Officer Jessie Haden defended the decision to commence the raid without verifying who was in the home by saying, “If you let too much time go by, then the drugs are not there.” Well they weren’t. But no one paid too much attention until the video surfaced that showed the raid in detail. Now people are paying attention.
It’s a little sad that it requires graphic video of dogs yelping as they die and a child being rushed out the door to get people to ask questions about something that happens all too often in every state in this country because of the government’s war on marijuana.