SOP for SWAT teams: Shoot the Dogs!

From the Stumbled Across This While Looking for Something Else, and It Really Chapped My Ass department:

The Cato Institute website is carrying a reprint of an article by policy analyst Radley Balko (a specialist in “nanny state” issues and author of the forthcoming study “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Drug Raids in America,”) about the growing propensity of killing dogs in the commission of drug raids. And we’re not talking about savage Rottweilers or Pit Bulls guarding the premises of ruthless drug dealers here — we’re talking about family dogs; household pets of the families whose homes are mistakenly targeted for paramilitary assault.

Perhaps a hatred for animals, or at least dogs, is a prerequisite for SWAT police work. Balko’s article lists numerous examples of the offhanded (or, maybe, just-for-fun) shootings up dogs, including frightened animals simply trying to run away from all the ruckus. Describing a 2004 raid in a Phoenix suburb, in which the suspects house was actually BURNED DOWN , the author comments “the image that sticks in your head, as described by John Dougherty in the alternative weekly Phoenix New Times, is that of a puppy trying to escape the fire and a SWAT officer chasing him back into the burning building with puffs from a fire extinguisher. The dog burned to death.” That’s some good police work, Lou.

The piece originally ran April 5, 2006 on Reason Online; it’s entitled THE DRUG WAR GOES TO THE DOGS, and, if you have any soul at all, you’ll be enraged. Now that the DEA is using Blackwater mercenaries in their raiding parties (see the post below), one can only imagine the animal slaughter rate climbing even higher.

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