May 092007

Corry, one of my favorite observers of Western civilization, called my attention to this gem in which a mom getting orange soda and her 12-year-old son got the full S.W.A.T. treatment during a shoplifting investigation. Quoting the article:

With the rifle trained on her and an officer clad in helmet and body armor advancing toward her, Prince went to the floor face-down. She said her hands were pulled behind her back and she was handcuffed.

“I was crying and telling them my son was outside in the car,” she said.

What about that son out in the car?

“I was just sitting in the car waiting for my mom” when a SWAT officer pointed a rifle at him, Davonte said.

“He was looking at me through the rifle’s scope and telling me to get out of the Jeep, get on the ground and put my hands behind my back,” Davonte said.

The Perkins Middle School student said he complied and lay on the ground, which was wet from the morning’s rain.

The officer “asked me how old I was, searched me, then took me to the back of the jeep,” said Davonte, who acknowledged he was frightened.

What has the department in question to say about the incident to this point?

“We believe everything was done according to the book,” said Keith Thornton, an inspector with the sheriff’s office. He stressed that officers “did nothing wrong and followed protocol and procedure.”

The article further explains that a S.W.A.T. entry was employed because the owner of the store allegedly had a violent past and owned guns. Well and good, folks; well and good. How does a mom holding a soda pop and lottery tickets wind up face down on the ground, handcuffed, with a riot officer’s rifle pointed at her? How does a 12-year-old kid sitting in the back of a Jeep doing 12-year-old things get a rifle pointed at him?

Don’t worry, though. They’re going to write her a letter non-apologizing for the fact that she was “caught up” in “an unfortunate situation.”

If this is “according to the book,” they need a new book.

This is the United States of America. It breaks my heart that there are so many places I can look and not be able to tell that right off anymore.

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 Posted by at 8:18 pm

  2 Responses to “S.W.A.T. needlessly traumatizes mom, 12-year-old son”

  1. In my better moments I try to remember that, due to electronic communications, we now get news spewed at us from all directions simultaneously. This volume of news can overload the mind and so we select the news that will reinforce our preconceptions.

    For instance, I divide people into two groups –



    The Others.

    So this huge volume of news coming at me probably isn’t going to help that one bit.

  2. I’ve got one myself!
    Good girl that I am – I decided to pull off the road to get directions to a friends house – instead of drive and talk on the phone – when about 6 police cars pulled up around me and told me ***at gunpoint*** to drop my phone and get out of the car! My friends freaked out because they heard all of it on the phone of course. After they determined there was no one else in the car and I didn’t have any weapons and they put away their guns – I asked what the hell was going on?! – they explained that there’d been a report of someone lurking in the bushes – near the bank. I had mistakenly chosen a city block that shared a grocery store, about 10 other various strip mall stores and tiny satalite bank that evening. What the &*^&!? I’m sorry – a report of a bush lurker does not constitiute surrounding and drawing guns on someone trying not to be an ass by driving and talking on a cell phone. You know they never even apologised? – they wrote down my liscence # and then said don’t hang out in parking lots.

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