Shortly after Jared Loughner allegedly opened fire in the parking lot of a Tucson grocery store last January, we saw much hand-wringing about the threat of violence against the government. In fact, violence against government officials is actually pretty rare. But just three days before Loughner's rampage, police in Framingham, Mass., raided the home of 68-year-old Eurie Stamps. Stamps wasn't the target of the drug raid. Police were after the son of Stamps' girlfriend, and actually apprehended him outside the home. They raided the house anyway. Stamps, who was unarmed and broke no laws, was shot and killed by a police officer. By my count, he's at least the 46th innocent person killed in a botched drug raid. Every politician in Washington condemned the Loughner shootings, and rightly so. But nearly every politician in Washington supports the laws and policies that led to the death of Eurie Stamps.-- Radley Balko continues his lonely crusade documenting the ongoing militarization of America's police forces.
Jose Guerena, 26, was a Marine veteran and father of two. He served two tours in Iraq in 2003 and 2005. On May 5th, he was killed in his home by a SWAT team looking for narcotics [more inside]
Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. Radley Balko (also mentioned here and here) has released a year long study of the militarization of police departments across the United States. Cato has a corresponding interactive map to track and filter botched paramilitary raids.
The Drug War Goes to the Dogs. SWAT teams (usually the young ones) seem to commit a lot of puppycide. (Via The Agitator, who is also a MeFite.)