Calm as a Hindu cow
- Nov 28, 2008
- Reaction score
Full article at: Columbia, Missouri Police Chief: “I Hate the Internet” | The Agitator)Columbia, Missouri Police Chief Ken Burton is apparently frustrated. At another press conference yesterday, a reporter asked the chief what he has learned from the international attention generated by the YouTube video of his departments SWAT team conducting a drug raid last February.
His reply: I hate the Internet.
Ill bet he does. For two-and-a-half months, Burton and his department were quiet about the raid. Thats likely because, as I wrote yesterday, the raid was really no different from the tens of thousands of similar raids conducted every year, and that are probably conducted by his own department a couple of times per week. Within days of the video hitting the web, Burton was forced to hold several press conferences, and has now laid out several reforms to the way SWAT raids will be conducted in Columbia in the future. I suppose its possible those reforms were brewing all along, and the timing of him announcing them after the video went viral was mere coincidence. It seems at least plausible, though, that the dread Internet sparked some actual policy changes, here.
Unfortunately the changeswhile small steps in the right directionstill miss the point. Burton says his department will no longer conduct SWAT raids at night. They wont conduct raids in homes where children are present. Suspects will be under constant surveillance until the raid is carried out. And raids will be conducted within a shorter period of time from when police get the initial tip about a suspected drug dealer. But the Columbia Police Department will still conduct volatile, violent, highly aggressive forced-entry raids on people suspected of consensual, nonviolent drug crimes. That is whats wrong with the YouTube video. Changing the time of day of the raid doesnt change the wildly disproportionate use of force.
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