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The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 05 Aug 2013 08:26 am

UPDATED! Will Virginia’s Next AG Address SWAT Rules & Police Militarization?


  • AUGUST 8! Alfred Regnery explains (Breitbart) in “The Trivialization of SWAT” — “A couple of things going on in America are dramatically increasing the possibility of violence in these situations, which in the process undermines public support for legitimate law-enforcement tools. The first is the use of SWAT teams to serve search warrants on nonviolent offenders, enforce evictions, and otherwise get involved in cases where the use of force is unlikely to be necessary. The second is the growing use of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics by government agencies that have no business employing such methods. As mentioned, these include the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the National Fish and Wild Life Service, the National Park Service, and, perhaps the worst of all, the hated Internal Revenue Service. The last thing this country needs is gun-toting government bureaucrats with battering rams as they carry out a liberal agenda. Not only is this level of force entirely inappropriate for such government agencies in a free society, but it is almost certain to empower untrained amateurs to make huge mistakes with deadly consequences.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
  • AUGUST 6! Our goal in publishing this and closely related accounts (click here and scroll to bottom) is that the next Attorney General of Virginia — not just through developing statewide standards but through his own ‘bully pulpit’ – will make rogue or abusive or overreaching or simply grossly incompetent policing a rarity in the Old Dominion. Whether today’s serious police missteps result from inept leadership, or worse, a leadership without respect for ordinary citizens – much like what scholars have described as the attitude of today’s “Ruling Class” – these missteps are not limited to Virginia or Maryland. There is a growing awareness of them nationally. World Net Daily’s (WND) Chelsea Schilling, for example, asks (click here) “Why did cops kill this 95-year-old in walker? World War II hero Tasered, shot in stomach.” AG candidate Mark Obenshain, ironically, proposes an extensive roadmap (click here) to “Prevent and Prosecute Elder Abuse in Virginia.” Perhaps Obenshain’s plan needs an addendum to protect the elderly from police who believe they are a law unto themselves?

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Will Virginia’s Next AG Address SWAT Rules & Police Militarization?

Last Friday according to the Washington Post’s Laura Vozzella in her “Virginia candidates woo prosecutors” (click here)–

“All four candidates for Virginia governor and attorney general made a rare joint appearance Friday at a prosecutors’ convention, each making the case that he would do more to boost law enforcement than his opponent.”

Lamentably, as it seems from the Post story, neither of the Attorney General candidates talked about how to curb what Radley Balko as early as 2006 termed “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America.” (Click here.)

In our post of July 9, “Rogue Policing: Conservatives Must Put Ordered Liberty First” (click here), we pointed out that –

“The security of one’s family and property against misuse of state power must always be a central conservative concern.”

We declared–

“We don’t expect big-government zealots nor public-employee unions representing police officers to worry much about our traditional freedoms. But those politicians who sail under the conservative flag should be held accountable if they turn their back on such apparently growing practices.”

Most Recent Case in Point: VA ABC Enforcement Out of Control?

K. Burnell Evans (Daily Progress) reported last Friday “ABC official calls Charlottesville incident ’embarrassing’” (click here) –

“State Alcoholic Beverage Control agents erred in their arrest of a University of Virginia student wrongly suspected of buying beer while underage, an agency commissioner said Friday.” . . . . “It was the first public acknowledgement by ABC of errors in agents’ actions in the April 11 arrest of Elizabeth Daly, 20, who spent a night and an afternoon in jail after six plainclothes agents confronted her and two sorority roommates in the Barracks Road Shopping Center parking lot. The women were carrying sparkling water that the agents mistook for beer. One of the agents pulled a gun.”

Reporter Evans had earlier exposed (click here) the pork-lubricated mission creep of this state agency in her “ABC’s $750K mobile command unit loaded with extras”–

“The mighty machine stretches 45 feet, weighs 44,600 pounds and is equipped with more than $300,000 in extras. At Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control, the vehicle is known as a ‘game changer,’ the terms an ABC official used to describe the mobile command unit unveiled at a May news conference in Richmond. Purchased with federal forfeiture money, the vehicle was designed for ‘large-scale events where alcohol enforcements are routine,’ according to ABC, the Prohibition-era state agency responsible for, among other things, policing moonshiners and underage alcohol sales.”

In another case (click here) in which Virginia police played a part, according to the Rutherford Institute

“Brandon Raub, a former Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was forcibly taken from his home on August 16, 2012, by FBI agents and police in Chesterfield County, Va. and placed in a psychiatric ward against his will. His crime? Posting personal political views and song lyrics to his Facebook page.” . . . . “Fortunately, in an unexpected ruling handed down on August 23 by Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett, the government’s case against Brandon Raub was dismissed on the grounds that the petition for Raub’s detainment ‘is so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.’  While The Rutherford Institute was able to help Raub win his freedom, we must ask ourselves why this happened in the first place.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

We learn that state senator (and GOP Attorney General nominee) Mark Obenshain told his audience last Friday–

“I want you to know that my door will always be open to the prosecutors and Commonwealth’s attorneys across the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Is falling back on nostrums like this the best he can do? We had asked last July 9–

 “Will Virginia GOP Attorney General nominee Mark Obenshain tell conservative and other freedom-oriented voters about his plans to address these concerns as they touch Virginians before the November 5, 2013 election in the Old Dominion?”DawnPatrol1930

Click here to read our entire July 9 post. Note the conservatives weighing in not only on overcriminalization but also on rogue police activity.

Virginians deserve better: rational guidelines on SWAT use; a check on police militarization; and perhaps auditing Virginia overcriminalization in view of the now-well-established record of Federal overcriminalization.

Keeping our freedom is much too important to be left to the “professionals.”



(Picture via Wikipaedia)

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