swatcats.jpg
Sure, without context it looks bad. But if you only knew what that cat was capable of...
Two weeks ago, a special drug S.W.A.T. team

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Map of Botched Drug Raids Shows They Aren't a New Phenomenon

swatcats.jpg
Sure, without context it looks bad. But if you only knew what that cat was capable of...
Two weeks ago, a special drug S.W.A.T. team raided a Tacoma home that doubles as a medical marijuana dispensary. During the raid, the homeowners allege that the cops held a gun to their 14-year-old son's head, confiscated cash from their daughter's Minnie Mouse wallet and stole signed ballots supporting a pot legalization initiative.

The point of the raid was to prove that the owners were illegally profiting from pot sales. But the resulting press just made the cops look bad.

Now, thanks to a crowdsourcing map from libertarian think tank The Cato Institute, we can see that botched paramilitary police raids in and around Seattle are nothing new.

Most recently there was the case of Leticia Lopez:

October 15, 2002

Police storm Lopez's home and handcuff her in front of her 8-year-old son after getting a tip from some homebuyers who saw a propane burner, cooking pot, and other items in the woman's backyard they said suggested a methamphetamine operation.

After police handcuff and detain Lopez, they discover that the burner and pot were leftover from a steak cookout a few days earlier, and the chemicals the officers and informants had mistaken for meth ingredients were paint solvents.

After the raid, Lopez begins to have anxiety and panic attacks, and is admitted to a hospital for treatment.

Even more egregious is the case of Brian Eggleston, which resulted in the unnecessary death of a police officer and the jailing of a man who thought he was being robbed:
On October 16, 1995, police raid the home of 24-year old Brian Eggleston's parents. Eggleston, a small-time marijuana dealer, is in the home at the time, as are his parents. As police force entry, Eggelston says he thought they were intruders there to harm his parents. He comes out of the bedroom firing, and shoots and kills Dep. John Bananola. Eggleston himself is shot in the chest, knee, abdomen and groin.

Police find a small amount of marijuana, and later charge Eggleston with selling the drug to an informant.

Prosecutors made three attempts to convict Eggleston of first-degree murder, which could have resulted in the death penalty. On the third try, a jury found Eggleston guilty of second-degree murder. He's serving a 39-year sentence.

(H/T: SeattleCrime)

 
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