I can't even tell you how sickening and extremely frightening this is. The implications to our freedoms hardly bear thinking of. I've taken the time to e-mail the state of Ohio about this travesty. Please help me spread the word, and if you have the time to send your own e-mail, please do.
Ohio Department of Agriculture
email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
To Whom it may concern:
I am writing to express my extreme concern regarding the recent raid on the Stowers family. Regardless of their guilt or innocence, the rights that the United States Constitution has given them were severely infringed upon. The 4th amendment was placed high on the list because of it's extreme importance. We have the right to live without fear of our government invading our homes over a small charge. A misdemeanor is called such because it is not a major threat to the people. Even were someone accused of the most heinous of crimes, they are still innocent until proven guilty, and the law must still be obeyed.
Ohio claims that their SWAT is to be used only for:
* Hostage Situations: the holding of any person(s) against their will by an armed or potentially armed suspect.
* Barricade Situation: the stand-off created by an armed or potentially armed suspect in any location, whether fortified or not, who is refusing to comply with law enforcement demands for surrender.
* Sniper Situations: the firing upon citizens and/or law enforcement officers by an armed suspect, whether stationary or mobile.
* High-Risk Apprehension: the arrest or apprehension of armed or potentially armed suspects where the likelihood of armed resistance is high.
* High-Risk Warrant Service: the service of search or arrest warrants where the warrant service matrix or policy recommends or requires the use of SWAT.
* Personal Protection: the security of special persons, such as VIP's, witnesses, or suspects, based on threat or potential threat to the well being of those persons.
* Special Assignments: any assignment, approved by the SWAT Operations Commander, based on a high level of threat and/or need.
It seems obvious to all that the SWAT team is to provide assistance for highly dangerous situations. I'm not certain how a family with small children, a family who runs a co-op qualifies.
As the wife of a fire arms instructor and former LEO, I am highly disturbed that it was deemed necessary for children and infants to be held at gun point. Anyone who has been trained in the use of firearms understands that you do not point a weapon at another person unless you are prepared to kill them. Are children now perceived to be so dangerous that this was necessary?
No matter what the reasoning for this attack was, it was completely mishandled. This has become a debacle, and whoever authorized it should be ashamed of themselves. Our country is a free country, or it is supposed to be. Stop doing things to give law enforcement a bad name, and stop abusing power.
I hope to hear of a formal apology and appropriate reparations to the Stowers for the unprofessional way this whole event was planned and handled.