So first things first, the disclaimers. I'm the son of a police officer. I was a military police soldier in the US Army and I currently work in corrections as a zoo keeper.
Those things being said, my sympathy for law enforcement should go without saying. I think they should have every tool constitutionally available to them, and taxpayers should pay for it. I think they should be paid well. I personally think that their pensions are completely out of control, but that's just me. (C'mon, nobody deserves 90% of their pay at 25 or 30 years, NO ONE.)
Now, here's what got my engine running for this post.
There was a drug raid. The cops busted into this dude's house. Between him and the cops somewhere between 130 and 250 bullets were fired.
One cop got killed.
Five cops got wounded.
And Matthew Stewart (the suspect) died as well. He killed himself. The media calls him Matthew David Stewart which to me is just their way of equating him with a serial killer. I swear you only get a middle name if you've killed at least two people.
It's kind of ridiculous that all that blood had to be shed over a few marijuana plants and a pissed off ex-girlfriend.
Not a whole lot of this convoluted story is particularly clear. What is clear is that these cops decided that the best way to blow this whole case wide open was to raid this guy's house, with guns drawn.
Now I'll tell you one thing for absolute fucking certain. If you know a guy is an former Army paratrooper. I would think twice about how you are going to go about arresting him. You walk into the home of a combat veteran (not sure if this guy was or not) and you pull out a gun, I would certainly expect a swift and violent response.
But that's what they did. They could've waited for him to go to the Redbox. They could've got him when he stepped out to go to BK. They could've grabbed him when he came out to get the newspaper. Or any of the million other random reasons I'm sure this guy came out of his house for every day.
Sometimes I wonder. Because throughout my entire life working in the military as a combat soldier or in a police capacity the one thing that was always right in the front of my head at any given moment was the safety of my soldiers and my safety.
I remember a time when violence and battle appealed to me. It was right before I encountered my first truly violent experience.
I don't know what kind of people are becoming cops nowadays but it seems (I could be wrong) that they are more and more militaristic and they are looking at the public with more and more of a military friendly vs. enemy frame of mind. They all wear bullet proof body armor, which in Chicago I can understand but the suburban and the rural guys are doing it too. They've all got M-4's which sorry folks is a military assault rifle designed to...get this...assault people. It is a weapon of death. That's all its for. Killing people.
Whatever your opinion of this case is, its not really the point. The point is that no cogent argument can be made that this guy posed any threat to society other than to buy the 7-11's out of peanut butter cups. He was a pot head, and he pissed off his ex-girlfriend.
Instead of choosing a low risk method of arrest, the police chose to bulldoze their way into his house. I'm sorry but you break down somebody's door waving guns around you had better be ready for some action Jack!
It's a tragedy that 16 pot plants and a vindictive ex caused all this bloodshed.
And why didn't the police at least do their due diligence and check all this shit out ahead of time?
This is the kind of thing that soldiers do. In foreign lands. In defense of this nation.
This is not the kind of thing that cops should be doing in fucking Utah...
Will there be times when cops would need to do things like this? Absolutely. However, it should be extremely rare and it should be done by the specially trained units that every police department including Mayberry seems to have nowadays.
It should obviously not be done by The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force.
With a name like that, could you expect anything less?