After the outrage that followed the release of a video (see below) showing the Columbia, Missouri police using deplorable tactics during an ultimately fruitless marijuana raid, the city’s police department has announced that they will be changing their SWAT policies.
While the officers involved have not been disciplined, future raids will be conducted immediately after the warrant is obtained, and every effort will be taken to determine the level of force necessary. Supposedly.
There was no indication, however, that SWAT raids would be discontinued in the enforcement of marijuana laws.
So does this policy change go far enough? While it is certainly a step in the right direction to have more transparency and accountability for law enforcement, the fact that military-style tactics can still be used against American citizens, whose sole crime is possession of a relatively harmless plant, is unacceptable. Killing family pets is unacceptable.
Putting a child at risk to make sure some unspecified amount of marijuana doesn’t get “flushed” is unacceptable.
The Columbia City Council is meeting May 17 to hear from community members who recognize the need for change.