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Why camo?

Looking again at the picture from the other day:

Why do cops on SWAT teams feel the need to wear camouflage? They always seem to wear a pattern of camo that most closely resembles current military patterns. If cops in rural areas wanted to actually hide in their surroundings, they would wear RealTree or some other effective pattern. City cops would try to look like mailboxes, homeless people, or dumpsters.

The purpose of camouflage is to hide by blending in to your surroundings. That isn’t what is happening here. These uniforms are actually being worn so that the officers STAND OUT from their background. They WANT to look different. They WANT to look like they are some sort of badass John Rambo SEAL team operators.

By dressing like them, they are engaged in some sort of cosplay fantasy where they are also armed with “cool” guns that ordinary people can’t have. Then they go and raid the house of some grandmother, or flip a grenade into a baby’s crib. Note that when they guy in the building is actually armed and can mount any sort of resistance, they surround the place and wait him out.

Why do so many people suddenly have a problem with the cops? Watch this video of a grandmother’s house. The raid was done because someone from her IP address criticized the police, and they took offense.This meant that a short platoon of heavily armed cops had to use hand grenades against an old woman and her two young grandchildren.

The grandmother sued the police, and won. The court of appeals ruled:
“The members of the team are seen on the tapes impressively clad in body armor and big helmets and carrying formidable rifles pointed forward. It would take a brave criminal to try to fight it out with them, and of course there was no criminal in the house and little reason to expect one to be there,” then went on to compare the police to the “Keystone cops”  and called the actions during the raid “almost inconceivable.”

The odd part was that the Internet threats came because the grandmother didn’t know enough about her Internet router to change the password, and a neighbor was using it to post threats and comments about the police. The neighbor had been convicted in the past for similar actions, and this took police less than an hour to figure that out. The neighbor who actually posted the threats is visible in the video, sitting on his front porch watching the SWAT team pass by on their way to raid the wrong house. Had he actually been as dangerous as they claimed, he could have ambushed and wiped out the entire team.

“It took them only a day to discover that it was indeed he [Derrick Murray] who was responsible,” Judge Posner wrote. “But rather than give him the SWAT-team treatment, the police politely requested that he come to police headquarters, which he did, where he was arrested without incident. … The police department’s kid-gloves treatment of Murray is in startling contrast to their flash-bang assault on Mrs. Milan’s home.”

“The police neglect of Murray is almost incomprehensible. His past made him a prime suspect. A day of investigating him would have nailed him, as we know because a day of investigating — the day after the violent search of the home — did nail him.”

“So while the defendants are correct to point out that a reasonable mistake committed by police in the execution of a search is shielded from liability by the doctrine of qualified immunity,” the panel concluded, “in this case the Evansville police committed too many mistakes to pass the test of reasonableness.”

After the court ruling was made, the city settled out of court for $60,000. All paid for by taxpayers and not the cops who screwed the pooch.

And thereby created another few honest citizens who don’t like cops. Keep acting like an invading army, and the citizens will eventually treat you like one.

One reply on “Why camo?”

Mind boggling story, and I hadn't heard the details about the guy being across the street and then called down to the police station. I just recall it as the case where a court affirmed we really do have a fourth amendment protection. It's just good they didn't kill the grandmother.

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