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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is freedom in America a myth or a reality?

"As this column will, 'It Is Dangerous To Be Right When the Government Is Wrong' tells stories that generally do not have happy endings. Most of the time, freedom loses. But these arguments I will make come from my heart as well as my head; and they should resonate in your heart and head. Every day, in many a way, seen and unseen, liberty is lost. It is the purpose of this column to address the seen and the unseen, to argue for the primacy of the individual over the state and to help foment a reawakening of the natural human thirst for freedom. Let me spend some time with you in the privacy of your own thoughts. Let me take you on a wild ride through the annals of freedom in America. As you read the pages of these forthcoming columns, ask yourself if, at each turn, we are closer to freedom or slavery, if the majesty of the law really means what it says, and why – why – it is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. You'll be educated and agitated, but you won't be disappointed.--Judge Andrew Napolitano Click to read this column by Judge Andrew Napolitano.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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