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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Columbia Police Change SWAT Policy Following Botched Drug Raid Captured on Film

Posted By on Tue, May 11, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Yes, SWATs and dogs can be friends.
  • Yes, SWATs and dogs can be friends.
The Columbia police yesterday announced additional changes to how the mid-Missouri law agency will administer its SWAT unit. The changes come after video was released last week showing police SWAT members raiding the house of a suspected drug dealer.

During the raid, the police shot two dogs (killing one) and brandished assault rifles in the presence of a wife and young child. The drug raid uncovered a scant amount of marijuana and some drug paraphernalia.

The Columbia police say that a captain will now have to sign off on all search warrants -- relieving the narcotics sergeant and SWAT commander from the process. Police will also have to deliver search warrants within a "reasonable time" (around 8 hours) and change a raid if a child is known to be in the area.

"I am telling you we did some things wrong. I am telling you we have fixed those things -- that the public can be assured that a similar incident will not happen again without someone's head rolling because it's now policy," Columbia police chief Ken Burton said in a news conference yesterday.

However, the police department's new SWAT policy does not address whether a cop can and/or should shoot an aggressive animal during police raids.

Which leads to the question: Are police ever justified in blasting away canines when carrying out a search warrant? Check back later today at Daily RFT as we address that issue in our Tuesday Tussle.  

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