The country’s first official SWAT team started in the late 1960s in Los Angeles. By 1975, there were approximately 500 such units. Today, there are thousands. According to surveys conducted by the criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University, just 13% of towns between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team in 1983. By 2005, the figure was up to 80%.

The number of raids conducted by SWAT-like police units has grown accordingly. In the 1970s, there were just a few hundred a year; by the early 1980s, there were some 3,000 a year. In 2005 (the last year for which Dr. Kraska collected data), there were approximately 50,000 raids.

A number of federal agencies also now have their own SWAT teams, including the Fish & Wildlife Service, NASA, the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the Department of the Interior. In 2011, the Department of Education’s SWAT team bungled a raid on a woman who was initially reported to be under investigation for not paying her student loans

This is a function of the idiotic drug wars and a judicial system that has no balls to stop this. And the more you read about these clowns the more you realize you are witnessing a modern version of the Keystone Kops. Unfortunately, they are armed to the teeth and trigger-happy.

  1. pam says:

    I had a relative living with me who did not show up for a DUI charge in court. He had moved out of state, and I ended up with a SWAT team surrounding my house at 6am and just about breaking my door down while I was in my jammies eating Cheerios.

    One of the guys started freaking out when he saw my dog’s dishes, screaming to the others over and over “THERE’S A DOG HERE!!” Thank god she was at my GFs house that day or they probably would have shot her.

    The element of surprise and tremendous show of force was of course necessary for something so horrendous as not showing up to court for what amounts to a severe traffic ticket.

  2. Hmeyers says:

    Years ago, at 7 am or so someone was knocking way fucking hard on the front door of my apartment.

    I went down to see WTF was going on and answered the door.

    There were 2 cops there askng for some dude that didn’t show for court or something.

    I was rather displeased and grumpy and after inquirying what this was about, I helped them somewhat politely (but not entirely) understand the difference between “Apartment B” and “Apartment D”.

    But I lived in a town of population 75,000 — different rules than large metro areas where cops sometimes seem like they are entirely unsupervised.

  3. Ben says:

    We go out. We hit people in the mouth ! :-)

  4. Concerned says:

    So have home owners been suing the police departments? Why is it ok for them to knock down the door blast the house with concussion grenades and kill your pets to serve a search warrant?

    This is excessive force. The officers should be put on desk duty and the departments should be fined big dollars.

    I get that they need to use force if they are at risk but as seen from some of those videos there was no threat just Commando cops doing whatever they want.