Tuesday, January 18, 2011

An Unacceptable Outcome?

It's amazing how quickly a "dynamic entry" on a drug bust unfolds. There's a video that goes along with this story. It's less than a minute long, and the setup eats up all of the first quarter of the video, and then some. To say that things get chaotic is to vastly understate what happens. I know that I'm watching a video of a police raid, but when the police first start shouting "Police! Search warrant!" it takes me several seconds to untangle their competing voices and understand what is being said. It's no wonder the homeowner came out brandishing a golf club. It seems to me that these sorts of entries into homes are intentionally designed to be disorienting - but the suspects are still expected to act as if they know exactly what is going on. It's a wonder that more of these don't end in tragedy.

“We’ve discussed a couple of ways as to how we can be more careful,” [Ogden Utah Police Chief Jon Greiner] said without elaborating. “The problem is, what you’re looking for could easily be destroyed and there’s generally weapons. ... I just don’t know an easy way to get in there.”
Okay... so let's say that the suspect destroys the drugs he has in the home. It doesn't seem that this would close the door on police efforts to arrest him forever. Drug dealers and drug abusers aren't known for quitting cold turkey on a dime. But let's say that one did. Because the police officers took their time getting into the home, the suspect flushed the drugs down the toilet. Realizing that he was basically seconds away from doing some pretty hard time, the guy swears off the stuff forever, and stays clean. The police never get another crack at him, because he stays on the straight and narrow.

Would that really be so bad?

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