SWAT Madness and the Militarization of the American Police
A National Dilemma
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In the United States, military-style police enforcement is fast becoming the norm-even the smallest police departments now field costly SWAT units. While the fact that police forces have increased capabilities to deal with urgent or dangerous situations may seem positive, this type of aggressive response is problematic; court settlements regarding excessive SWAT raids cost law enforcement agencies millions of dollars every year, not to mention that these brute-force strategies often traumatize, injure, and kill innocent people.
This book takes an unprecedented look into the realities of zero-tolerance, militaristic policing, the tactics and equipment used, the problematic "crime warrior" mindset at play, and the statistical evidence of its ineffectiveness. The author's professional experience in criminology and scholarly knowledge of the topic enables him to candidly address common concerns about utilizing paramilitary law enforcement and special weapons and tactics (SWAT) units in routine, low-risk police work, such as the general loss of freedom, the often tragic results of excessive force, and the effects on race relations.
Provides 30 case studies documenting inappropriate SWAT team deployment
The facts are disturbing: Every year in the United States, SWAT teams conduct predawn, no-knock raids of at least 50,000 homes looking for drugs. Unfortunately, a substantial percentage of these assaults occur at the wrong addresses. And law-abiding citizens who mistakenly kill SWAT officers thinking they are criminal home invaders often end up on death row.