Because any infraction of the law deserves complete, over the top violent response from a paramilitary police force. Ladies and gentleman, the panopticon and your tax dollars at work in the Society of Control…
Police have justified this sort of heavy-handedness by claiming that people who run illegal gambling operations tend to be armed, a blanket characterization that absurdly lumps neighborhood Hold ’Em tournaments with Uncle Junior Soprano’s weekly poker game. And in any case, if police know that people inside an establishment are likely to be armed, it makes even less sense to come in with guns blazing. Police have also defended the paramilitary tactics by noting that poker games are usually flush with cash and thus tend to get robbed. That too is an absurd argument, unless the police are afraid they’re going to raid a game at precisely the same moment it’s getting robbed. Under either scenario, the police are acknowledging that the people playing poker when these raids go down have good reason to think that the men storming the place with guns may be criminals, not cops.
- Cato: Botched Paramilitary Police Raids (interactive map) (fourthamendment.com)
- Interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids (CATO) (dailypaul.com)