Missouri Officer Discusses SWAT Tactics

The video above was posted to Cop Block’s Facebook wall the other day.  It depicts approximately 8 SWAT team officers conducting a search of a residence.  According to the description on YouTube:

This video shows a search warrant served by the Columbia Mo. police department. The cops bust in this guys house in the middle of the night and shoot his two dogs (one a pit bull that was caged in the kitchen and the other a Corgi) with children in the home. it turns out that rather than a big time drug dealer, this guy had a small pipe with some resin in it, a grinder, and what the cops here call “a small amount of marijuana” (meaning less than a few grams). We here in Comlumbia want everyone to know what kind of police department we have here, check out our “finest” in action.

That’s right, not only did they fail to find a major drug stockpile, but they managed to shoot the family pets and terrorize a woman plus her young child.  I decided to call the Columbia PD about the action of their officers.  I wanted to find out if dogs were a big problem while executing search warrants.  I also wanted to ask what department policy was on a number of things relating to SWAT.

In the video below you’ll notice how little value police put on your pets’ lives.  Their official policy seems to be shoot first and ask questions later.  I hadn’t realized that one dog was possibly caged until after my call but either way SWAT doesn’t seem to care.  Even though SWAT teams have superior firepower, armor and backup they choose lethal force over finding any alternative.

At one point the officer says to me that you just can’t hit them (dogs) hard enough with non-lethal weapons.  Though we never really got into discussing this actual video because of the pending investigation,  the officer did reference my hypothetical examples to the actual story.  Our conversation seemed to go round and round with a focus more on the drug war than accountability and the actions of his fellow officers.

Toward the end of our conversation the officer repeatedly referenced that he’s just following the laws made by bureaucrats.  I tried to get him to realize that police don’t have to partake in such violent actions, to which he said I made a valid point.  But he would still enforce any law that legislators pass and fire any officer who chose differently.

It goes to show the mentality of officers today, the ‘I’m just doing my job’ type and if you have a problem with that, talk to your masters–oops, I mean local representatives.  As if that’s worked.

  • Chris Mallory

    I would like to know how in the hell a corgi, http://images.google.com/images?q=corgi&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi, is any danger to a grown man who is upright. Never mind that these guys are armored.

  • Mark

    Easy… Corgies will kill you with cuteness.

  • DRG

    I do think the officer was right on one thing. You asking if a law (such as the drug laws) is right is above his pay grade. That is a question you should be asking politicians. You should stick to things that ARE in his pay grade. Such as “How do you justify this amount of force to arrest someone for a ‘small amount’ of pot and a pipe.” Breaking down a door in the middle of the night and opening fire with guns in a house occupied by children is WAY OVERBOARD to arrest someone for a few grams of pot. The politicians make the law, ask them about their justifications for a law. The police choose how to enforce the law. Ask them questions about HOW they enforce that law.

  • DRG

    I would also ask him about things like the decision to bust a door down. The police in that video gave the residents 10 secs to answer their door from the time of the first knock to the time they broke down the door. I know when its late at night and I’m in bed, and I hear a knock at my door, I don’t just jump up and answer it. When I hear a knock, I look around wondering what that was. Then when I hear the second knock, I get up, put on some cloths and then go answer the door. There is no way I’m ever going to be able to answer a door late at night in 10 secs. The police know this and is the reason they bring the battering ram up to the door before they knock. Their procedure in this video makes it almost a 100% certainty that they will break down the door.

    There would be a lot less violence in serving search warrants if they would give citizens ample time to actually answer the door. Then the people would be able to, for example, secure their pets before they become a danger to the cops.

    Only after the citizen denies access inside or if amble time (like 5 mins of knocking) is given with no answer should the cops break down doors. One exception would be if the cops can PROVE that the danger to them would increase if warning of their presence was know by the occupants. For example if they were after a criminal with a violent past that would rather shoot at the cops then go to jail. But the burden of this proof should be very steep.

  • http://cosmicpenguin.com Mark S Bilk

    The cop on the phone said they can’t think of any way to stop a dog except killing it.

    Doesn’t Columbia, MO, have animal control officers? Dog catchers? SPCA?
    Those people routinely restrain and capture violent animals every day without
    injuring them, and with no danger of injury to themselves. A net, a pole with
    a noose at the end, tranquilizer dart gun, taser,… The cops only have to talk
    with them about equipment and training. It doesn’t take a genius to think of this.

    It’s always the same story — governments controlled by the wealthy and powerful
    hire and arm obedient thugs to invade someone’s home or an entire nation,
    like Iraq or Afghanistan, attacking people who haven’t harmed anyone, and the
    thugs then murder anybody who even makes a move to defend against the
    invasion, claiming, “of course we have to protect ourselves”.

    If they hadn’t invaded someone else’s home or nation, they wouldn’t need to
    protect themselves!

    When was the last time the U.S. was attacked without provocation?
    Not 9/11 (unless you count the participation of Israel) — that was done by elements
    of our own government. Not the 1993 bombing of the WTC — that was entirely
    instigated by the FBI, who even supplied the explosives. Not Pearl Harbor —
    that was intentionally provoked by the U.S. economic blockade of Japan.
    I think it was the War of 1812.

    Of course, not all cops are thugs. The ones I’ve encountered here in Mountain View
    have been pretty nice, and helpful. And there are actual criminals that the cops are
    sometimes able to catch (after the crime is committed).

    So why does an allegedly democratic government commit acts of violence against
    defenseless people in their own home, acts which in any other context would be
    considered murderous psychopathy and would land the perpetrators in a prison
    for a very long time?

    Cannabis is one of the most beneficial plants on Earth. It provides medicine, fiber,
    food, oil, and is easy to grow almost anywhere. But most importantly, it can wake
    people up from the domination of social programming and allow them to regain
    contact with their true selves. And that’s why the wealthy and powerful have made it
    illegal. They’ve subverted democracy by using their media to broadcast lies about
    the plant — that it’s harmful, and is a narcotic (a substance that causes stupor and
    addiction, which cannabis does not). Cannabis cuts into the profits of the alcohol,
    tobacco, drug, chemical, and food industries, and by helping to wake us up, makes
    us aware of and resistant to our economic and spiritual slavery to the wealthy and
    powerful. This awakening played a significant role in the opposition to the Vietnam War,
    which is why cannabis was shortly thereafter made highly illegal, with sentences
    exceeding those for many violent crimes.

    The war against cannabis is a war against human consciousness.

    Keep up the great work CopBlock! I’ve linked to you on cosmicpenguin.com.

  • Jeff

    It appears the cops flat out murdered these pets under an incredibly thin pretext. The war on drugs has resulted in a criminal and out of control police force? Do we now have to hire security to protect ourselves from the police?

    Are we now a 3rd world country?

  • http://howgrowweed.com fred

    great job! please keep on these police asses. I feel sick after watching the police raid that poor family’s home.

  • Bradford

    I just watched this video not even 15 minutes ago. Then proceeded to watch you’re interview with the CoMO PD.

    Pretty much I had a lot of questions. Such as what kind of dog, if they even found anything, and was the officer/offender tried.

    Now that I know what kind of dog it is, that’s really upsetting that they would “take lethal force” on a corgi! I feel the officer that shot the dog, should be tried for animal cruelty.

    I’ve tried, along with many others such as NORML CoMO, SSDP Mizzou chapter, and SAFER CoMO chapter. I feel it’s impossible without a majority rule of people in the area to agree on the subject presented to the local politicians.

    I’ve signed many a petition for no tasers in Columbia, Sierra Club petitions for clean fuels, clean up, etc, and for reformation of drug laws. Nothing helps though… So what do you do? Send a personal letter with a majority of reasons/thoughts/signatures (I feel like at least 70-80% of columbia’s population would suffice, maybe not) to our state representative. But I feel that wouldn’t even help.


  • Tony C

    You guys should try and get this video to CNN or Fox news Because this is out right ridiculous of what happened. I’d like to see this on TV and hear the viewers and reporters comments.

  • Al

    Definition of a terrorist: – the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.

  • http://westfrat.com Westfrat1

    There are two facets at play that lead to the kind of thuggery that was demonstrated in the video.

    It is typical for today’s civilian law enforcement officers to attend training conducted the US Armed Forces. The military has a completely different mission then civilian law enforcement. The military is not necessarily taught to protect and serve justice. The military is focused on achieving objectives at almost any cost. This is exactly what we do not need driving our civilian police. These guys in the video look like a bunch of pumped up, over weight Barney Fifes who just got back from Delta Force training.

    Secondly, real men would not have behaved like these pansies in front of women and children. They acted like a bunch of excited rap ho’s ready to bitch slap anything that might get in their way. The woman and kid in the video had more control of themselves. Too bad doggy, any inhibitions resembling honor were left by these guys in the powder room. A mixture of emasculation and combat training have created monsters out of these so-called police officers.


  • http://planetbush.blogspot.com Stu Piddy

    Police are dumb everywhere in the world. But in America they are the dumbest most violent.

    The trial of Jon Burge whose torture of people is an accepted fact is about to being on charges he lied about the torture. Mayor Daley of Chicago who then was states attorney made sure he never went to trial .

    Many people went to jail for 20 years for crimes they never committed.

    I have had a number of hostile experiences with the police where I live here in Uptown Chicago. And I see them as farmers for the prison industry….picking the crops each day and sending them to private industry jails for profit.

  • http://digits.newsvine.com Digits

    Thanks a lot for posting your video and talking to that guy. When I saw the SWAT raid I, too, had a lot of questions. Your sharing the video of your phone call helped answer a lot of them.

    One thing that was surprising was the guy giving a government lesson. [Different branches of gov’t and it was only up to cops to enforce.] I mean, I appreciate his trying to *educate* you into his version of reasonableness, while your morality draws no distinction… Which also reminds me of the argument, “I was just doing my job.” as an excuse for doing something heinous.

    The SS were just doing their job too. Funny, yet, when the prisoners were escaping from the Nazi death camp, Sobibor, they shot them, too, to escape. Silly prisoners!

    Thanks for writing about this. I referenced your page in my rendition because I think you went well beyond the call of dutiful reporting.

  • MrJustin

    Great video, Guys! CopBlock sounds like a good program you have there. I enjoy the pun hidden in the name. Hahaha. I just want to say Good work and that I am totally disgusted with what happen. Shooting an animal that is IN A CAGE and then shooting a small Welsh Corgi is totally criminal and satanic behavior. But the thing I dont hear people talking about much is BULLET RICOCHET and the fact that bullets can penetrate walls multiple times and go in any direction. Bullets are completely unpredictable when they ricochet. They spin and they deform and change shape upon impact. So when you shoot downward at an animal on the floor, the bullet will go through the animal, through the carpet and bounce up off the concrete floor (assuming this is not a raised-floor house). Etc etc.

    If cops ever raid my house for any reason (legit or not, cant imagine why) and fire rounds in my house, I think I’d go absolutely APE SHIT and my soul will burn with the fire of vegence until they day I die – IF – anything happened to ANY of my family members.

    These cops are totally out of control, we ARE living in a police state. Stand up, organize and lets shut this sort of thing down.

    Off-Duty Miami Police Shoots At Dog, MISSES and bullet ricochets and skins PREGNANT WOMAN IN THE NECK http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vK_2rcA4n8A

  • Boycottmc

    As usual, this smug Captain falls back on the “Nuremberg Defense”: “I was just following orders” (“Befehl ist Befehl”, literally “order is order”). After all, one can argue that a judge signed a warrant (order) for this swat team to take down the house and seize evidence with ‘rules of engagement’ that allow guns to be fired with women and children occupants inside. If an animal is there that could potentially threaten injury to the officer, they will be shot and killed during the Iraqi styled ‘house clearing’ procedure. However, the good Captain’s argument was used at the 1947 Nuremberg Trials by the NAZI war criminal defense. It was concluded that following an unlawful order is not a valid defense, which has set precedent in cases against rogue law enforcement since.

    More recently, the San Jose, California, Police executed a warrant on a dwelling occupied by the Hells Angels Motorcycle club. On a fishing expedition, a prosecutor was looking for evidence to link the club with a murder at a local tavern. During the raid, a dog was shot and killed, guns were blazing and the family was terrorized. No evidence was found and the actual defendant was exonerated. According to the San Jose Mercury News, police stated that they were merely carrying out the order of the judge. However, a jury didn’t buy this and awarded the club millions in damages in a civil litigation against the department.

  • http://silvercirclemovie.blogspot.com Megan

    Good investigating, i appreciate you stepping up to call.

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  • http://www.pregnantstretchmarks.net Laura Berg

    Keep up the excellent work and I’ll try to come back for more posts like this one.

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  • Anthony Quatroni

    Lies and more lies. Yet another lawsuit for the taxpayers to cover. Come to my house and shoot my gentle and loving dogs and I’m going to retaliate. Pieces of garbage, upholding idiotic “laws” that make no sense.