SWAT Teams in the United States . . . an ACLU report

SWAT VehiclesThe credits and list of contributing authors can be found in the report.  It is 98 pages and easily skimmed for finding information important to you.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the major findings of the ACLU on SWAT teams in the United States of America.  This is another cut and paste job but I think the findings are important and the report is well worth reading.  Especially if you care about your country.  As a responsible citizen you may want to know what the government is doing in your name.

SWAT Teams in USA . . . FINDING #1

Policing—particularly through the use of paramilitary teams—in the United States today has become excessively militarized, mainly through federal programs that create incentives for state and local police to use unnecessarily aggressive weapons and tactics designed for the battlefield.

SWAT Teams in USA . . . FINDING #2

The militarization of policing in the United States has occurred with almost no public oversight.

SWAT Teams in USA . . . FINDING #3

SWAT teams were often deployed—unnecessarily and aggressively—to execute search warrants in low-level drug investigations; deployments for hostage or barricade scenarios occurred in only a small number of incidents.

SWAT Teams in USA . . . FINDING #4

The use of paramilitary weapons and tactics primarily impacted people of color; when paramilitary tactics were used in drug searches, the primary targets were people of color, whereas when paramilitary tactics were used in hostage or barricade scenarios, the primary targets were white.

SWAT Teams in USA . . . FINDING #5

SWAT deployments often and unnecessarily entailed the use of violent tactics and equipment, including APCs; use of violent tactics and equipment was shown to increase the risk of bodily harm and property damage.

The report then makes a number of recommendations for improving the use of SWAT teams in the USA.  The following excerpt is just one of them.

state legislatures and municipalities should impose meaningful restraints on the use of SWAT. SWATdeployments should be limited to the kinds of scenarios for which these aggressive measures were originally intended– barricade, hostage, and active shooter situations. Rather than allowing for a SWAT deployment in any case that is deemed (for whatever reason the officers determine) to be “high risk,” the better practice would be for lawenforcement agencies to have in place clear standards limiting SWAT deployments to scenarios that are truly “high risk.”

Link to original article jus14-warcomeshome-report-web-rel1.pdf

SWAT Vehicle

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Nash_Bearcat.jpg