Sometimes it could mean the police force is looking for some vittles. In Texas, where they worry more about tampons than guns being in the courthouse, and take frisking young girls to a whole other level, a local organic farm was the site of a SWAT raid in search of illegal marijuana plants. Or were they? After a ten hour search, yes a ten hour search, no pot plants were found. They did however, haul off 17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants and 14 tomatillo plants, along with some native grasses and sunflowers.
So the question arises, were they looking for pot, looking to bring home some snacks, or was it something else? Apparently the Garden of Eden Farm in Arlington, was cited several times for lack of upkeep on the property. It seems keeping things organic extended to not cutting the grass, and letting a piano in the backyard decay naturally. So in true Alice’s Restaurant law enforcement mode, the police decided to use every bit of equipment they had, and scare the shit out of the farmers, who were held at gunpoint during the raid. I don’t know if they produced “27 glossy photos with circles and arrows on the back of each one,” but bringing out cops in full riot gear for ten hours on a trumped up code enforcement raid is a bit… well, over the top.
This is just one example of the growing concern over police using a show of force when it’s not needed. Just this past week in New York, 43 year old father of eight died of a heart attack after police rousted him out of bed, and dragged two of his son out of the apartment for questioning in the robbery of a cell phone. A cell phone.
Police show up, people get scared, things can go from bad to very bad quickly. The incident on the organic farm while slightly amusing, could have ended tragically. No question, there is a time and place for specialized police tactics, but maybe it’s time to start reviewing the circumstances in which they are used.