Will Atlanta granny's death kill the no-knock warrant?
This story has turned into a major shitstorm. In the latest news out of Atlanta on the botched SWAT team raid, the confidential informant says he was called after the fact by the narcotics squad and told to lie in order to cover their ass. Further, it appears that the no-knock warrant may have been forged. It at least seems apparent that even if it was lawfully obtained, it was done so with false information. In any event, as the beleaguered Chief Pennington notes, somebody is lying. To Pennington's credit, the FBI has now been called in to investigate the matter.
The story is being picked up across the spectrum in Blogtopia. I thought conservative blogger Q and O had the best take on that side of the fence but as always, our man Radley has the best analysis. One really important point he makes is that even "by conservative estimates, there are about 110 of these types of raids per day in America. The vast majority are for drug crimes." Think about that for a minute. A SWAT team serves a warrant over a 100 times a day. If there were really that many dangerous criminals that justified using a SWAT team, none of us would be able to leave the house unarmed.
Of course, there's no upside for the deceased Ms. Johnston and her family, but for the rest of us, perhaps the good that will come of this tragedy is that the overuse of SWAT teams and no-knock warrants will finally get some overdue scrutiny and if we're lucky, the practice will be banned for non-violent crimes.