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No-knock paramilitary raids and the War on Drugs

Bloomington Herald-Times, June 16, 2014 (Comments)

To the Editor:

When I wrote a letter to the editor last October about excessive force by law enforcement and the militarization of police, a HTO commenter said he does not live his life "under paranoid delusions of things over which I have no control and can do nothing about."

What are these paranoid delusions? The cases of Kathryn Johnston, Cory Maye, Aiyana Stanley-Jones and Cheye Calvo actually happened.

More recently, 18-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh suffered terrible burns and was put into a medically induced coma after a highly dangerous "flash bang" grenade was thrown into his crib during a no-knock drug raid in the middle of the night.

Police said that the paramilitary SWAT raid was justified because the suspect was dangerous. Police found no weapons in the home and only drug "residue" according to the Washington Post. The suspect was not even home, having been kicked out earlier. He was arrested at a separate location.

Speaking against injustice and abuse of power is not a paranoid delusion. The militarization of law enforcement is real and worrisome. Does Morgan County really need an armored military vehicle straight from a battlefield for common criminals?

The War on Drugs is a threat to our liberty.

Scott Tibbs.