I’ve been saying for some time that my first official act, if I were ever elected as mayor of a major city (Hah! Fat chance!), would be to issue an executive order that the black SWAT uniforms be immediately turned in and destroyed. They would be replaced with similar equipment in a lovely shade of hot pink. I would also order that all SWAT vehicles be painted a matching shade of pink. I would also order that those face masks SWAT teams wear to hide their identities be immediately banned and that all badge numbers be prominently displayed and made available on request of the arrestee.
SWAT teams use black uniforms for the same reason Hitler’s SS wore black uniforms. They are intimidating. And, unfortunately, they also tend to attract persons of a particular mentality, and not a particularly good or desirable mentality. It tends to attract the type of man who doesn’t know and doesn’t care what the Constitution says about the rights of citizens, even those suspected of a crime. It tends to attract men who like to see themselves armed with billy clubs, flash-bang grenades, tasers and automatic weapons and using those weapons in situations other than protecting home and hearth. This makes for a a dangerous combination. And, believe me, those pink uniforms and vehicles would go a long way to discourage the “licensed headknocker” types from going over to SWAT. Imagine having to appear at SWAT competitions and demonstrations dressed in pink if what you really care about is appearing to be “bad.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that special weapons and tactics don’t have a place in modern law enforcement. I’m definitely not saying all SWAT team members are bullies or power freaks or completely ignorant of the Constitution. I’m sure there are some, somewhere, who love liberty and look at their SWAT team membership as a necessary evil, and who consider the legality and constitutionality of the actions they take. But if that’s true, how come we never hear about one being fired or reprimanded for refusing to carry out an illegal order?
Will Grigg, formerly on staff at The New American magazine and currently a blogger has written a detailed report and analysis on the incident that CCV Bruce blogged about a few days ago about the SWAT team being called to forcibly kidnap a child from his parents for “medical treatment” that was later admitted to be unnecessary.
Grigg goes into far greater detail and has a deeper analysis than I am capable of so please click on the link above and read his entry. He fleshes out the story with detail I only saw on his blog (he does that a lot) and clarifies issues that the local sheriff tried to use to cover his own tracks in forcibly removing a child from legal parental custody. While the doctrine of interposition is far too detailed to go into here (though not too detailed for these articles), suffice it to say that the sheriff admits that he didn’t think the court order he was serving was necessary (not to mention legal or constitutional). So why didn’t he refuse to serve it if he thought it was in error? Because local officials no longer understand that part of their job is to refuse to violate the rights and property of those he has sworn to protect.
Grigg points out that one of the reasons that the SWAT team was called out was because the man being served papers was constantly citing (GASP!) the Constitution and loudly proclaiming that he had inalienable rights that he would defend (unlike the sheriff)! How dare he?
What will you do when they come for you?