Meth

Washington State Reporter Wears Bulletproof Vest, Thinks SWAT Narcotics Raid is Totally Awesome

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Who needs prohibitionists politicians when the drug war has friends like Seattle's KIRO 7? A recent SWAT narcotics raid reported on sounds wearyingly by the book; Nobody, human or animal, was injured. And though this this video still is creepy in a hey, is this is third-world paramilitary strike nope, just a drug raid kind of way, it's not as surprising as it should be.

But please note how KIRO 7 reported on the raid. Cheerleading is the the best (or the most polite) description of how the vigilant fourth estate treats such bold police action.

Headlined under "SWAT team shows off new tactic in Centralia raid" and juxtaposed with an appalling video report (but we'll get to that in a minute), is the write-up:

A SWAT team raided a Centralia home Thursday as part of a new effort to keep officers safe on the job.

The team was called in to help protect officers who spearheaded the raid, which was aimed at a man wanted on a drug warrant.

First, the team created a distraction by firing a flash-bang grenade into the house. Then, an officer swung a battering ram twice at a door. In just 12 seconds, the team was in the building.

Two men were found inside and detained for questioning.

That sounds like it could be worse, what else happened? Police found marijuana and meth, so at least they got the correct house! Maybe that's something.

KIRO continues:

A Centralia police dog was then sent in to see if anyone else was hiding in the house.

"This is the police! The building is being searched by a police dog at this time. If you come out right now, you won't get hurt," one officer yelled before releasing the dog into the house.

As the dog searched, the SWAT commander said that in a raid like this where the suspects are known to have used methamphetamine, officers can't take any chances.

"These people have weapons, they are at times under the influence of methamphetamine – who knows what they are capable of doing," Sgt. Rob Snaza with the Lewis County Sheriff's Office said.

It's not exactly comforting that a Sgt. learned his drug facts from Degrassi, but in our brave new drug war world, it's technically part of a cop's job to participate in these raids (this is obviously not an excuse). But there's no official reason why the media's job in Centralia is apparently to treat drug raids with such gung-ho reverence.

The video of KIRO's report can be found here. The in-studio anchor delivers the set-up, describing this new effort "to keep officers safe." Richard Thompson, who has apparently won "numerous awards" for reporting, is wearing a olive green bullet-proof vest that says "Sheriff." His delivery is a little too excitable to be the embedded CNN journalist he clearly wants to be so badly he can taste it, still this is news; there are even explosions! "Only our cameras were there!" he verbally flails.

He delivers the same information as above, noting that the SWAT team does this "with the precision that can only come from many hours of training!" "First the distraction! [a flash-bang grenade] "then the battering ram!" and in 12 seconds police are inside. Nobody besides the two "detained for question" were found in home, "but police do find drugs!" says Thompson.

Still, Thompson looked for a little balance to his reporting. He remembered to get the opinion of a neighbor. The grisly local-dude proclaims "I think it's awesome!" 

Expect Richard Thompson to be on the scene, ready for more heroics, on the day Centralia, PA gets its own SWAT team.

Reason on the militarization of police