Tag Archives: mission creep

American S.W.A.T. & the New Warrior Cop

Radley Balko’s must-read article on Salon.com inspired this webstrip about U.S. police mission creep; i.e. domestic law enforcement’s militarization, lack of training, & willingness/eagerness to sidestep around America’s Fourth Amendment.

An excerpt:

By the end of the 2000s, police departments were sending SWAT teams to enforce regulatory law. In August 2010, for example, a team of heavily armed Orange County, Florida, sheriff’s deputies raided several black-and Hispanic-owned barbershops in the Orlando area…

(P)olice held barbers and customers at gunpoint and put some in handcuffs, while they turned the shops inside out…

By all appearances, these raids were drug sweeps… (b)ut in the end, thirty-four of the thirty-seven arrests were for “barbering without a license,” a misdemeanor…

(P)olice didn’t even attempt to obtain a legal search warrant. They didn’t need to, because they conducted the raids in conjunction with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Despite the guns and handcuffs, under Florida law these were licensure inspections, not criminal searches, so no warrants were necessary.

The Salon.com article is excerpted from Balko’s “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.”

Canada is but a few years behind the ‘progress’ of our southern neighbours.


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