Now first off I didn’t actually go looking for this story in the first place. I was watching youtube and forgot to a) turn off auto play and b) left it running while doing something else.
So, some 238 years after those pesky Whig colonists rebelled about ‘no taxation without representation’ and offloaded a shipment of tea into the Boston Bay, at at 7:30 a.m. on April 20, 2012 the local paramilitary police of Johnson County Sheriff’s Department (Kansas) – sorry that should say “Johnson County’s friendly SWAT team”, raided a house. The crime of the owners it seems was traced back to a mixture of wanting to grow food from seeds, and the used loose leaf tea that they had foolishly discarded into the rubbish (sorry trash can).
It seems that the local law enforcement folks couldn’t tell the difference between tea and cannabis – blimey just what where the local law enforcement folks smoking and drinking?
The owners of the house in question ended up forking out some $25,000 to find out that an in effective and unreliable field-testing kit on their tea leaves, created a false-positive for marijuana, and a search warrant was acquired. Note, having got a result from the field test kit they didn’t test the used tea in an actual lab, but instead used a full blown SWAT raid to then search the home!
The fact that it then took 2 years and $25,000 to get the complete details about how their home was targeted became a source of contention for the family.
Now on the bright side of this all, at least the Police came in the front door, and announced who they were.
From several reports, Police have taken to ‘no knock raids’, in their ‘war on drugs’. Now, if this was to happen in the UK to an innocent person/household the chances are against anyone being shot dead. However, a ‘no knock raid’ with police entering through a window/crawlspace in the middle of the night in Texas – one of the most heavily armed populations in the world, you just know it’s not going to end well. Firstly the homeowner has no way of knowing initially who is attempting to forcibly enter their home, it is only reasonable to expect that you are becoming a victim of a crime; so grabbing the nearest firearm to defend oneself and family is not going to be an unreasonable act where you have Federal law, and the American Constitution in your favour,
The Second Amendment (1791) protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms
The Fourth Amendment (1791) protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures of either self or property by government officials.
Now, I’m pretty sure that a SWAT raid, to a family home, unannounced entry and during the night can at least be described as “unreasonable”, the police in the UK have a mandate not to use ‘unreasonable force’. It would seem that Pima Regional SWAT team have no such mandate, and in the case of José Guerena, a 26 year old former Marine who had served two tours of duty Iraq, being shot 60 times in his own kitchen might to the average person seem more than excessive. During the following few weeks and months the explanation for the raid changed several times, even stranger is the fact that the search warrant and court documents that would reveal what the SWAT team was looking for in Guerena’s home have been sealed by a judge and are unavailable to the public. Bare in mind that like in the case above neither José nor his wife Vanessa had a criminal record and in the subsequent search while handguns, body armour and a portion of a law-enforcement uniform were found inside the house, even the lawyer for the AZCOPS law-enforcement union, Michael Storie was forced to admit that if a formal search warrant was issued without incident those inside “probably … wouldn’t have been arrested.”
Now as of yet no federal investigation of the actions by the Pima County SWAT team is planned yet one would think that they are in breach of the Guerena’s rights, since the bill of rights also states “No person shall be subject, except in cases of impeachment, to more than one punishment, or one trial for the same office; nor shall be compelled to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law;”. Dawn no knock raids by SWAT are hardly ‘due process’.