Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr released a statement today criticizing the bungled police raid of the mayor’s home in Berwyn Heights, Maryland. He said that no knock raids are unconstitutional, and that law enforcement has become arrogant and less accountable.
The case Barr is referring to involves a bungled raid on Mayor Cheye Calvo ‘s home that resulted in the mayor and his mother in law being hand cuffed and his two dogs killed. The mayor had been victimized by drug smugglers, but law enforcement never bothered to take the time to actually investigate and gather the facts.
“Absent exigent circumstances, not present here, so-called no-knock raids are an affront to the Constitution. So is a shoot first, ask questions later philosophy by the police. Yet the Prince George’s police have done this before—last fall they invaded a house at the wrong address and shot the family dog. All Americans are at risk when the police behave this way. Just ask yourself what might happen if a suspicious package is delivered to your home and the cops bust in,” Barr said.
His bigger point is that law enforcement needs to be able to do their job while protecting people’s liberties, “But there is an even larger point. Law enforcement agencies have become more arrogant and less accountable in cases other than those involving drugs. Most people are aware of well-publicized examples like Waco and Ruby Ridge, but similar abuses are common across the country, though they usually receive little or no public notice. We all want police to do their jobs well, but part of doing their job well is respecting the people’s constitutional liberties.”
Barr knows what he is talking about. Before serving in the House of Representatives, he was a U.S. attorney, and before that he worked at the CIA. For lack of a better term, I think that some law enforcement agencies have gotten lazy. We see people getting shot or tasered too often without cause, but seems like if some law enforcement officers don’t want to deal with a situation, they skip right to using force. This attitude comes from the top down. It can be traced to the example set by the Bush administration after 9/11. This anything goes attitude needs to stop which is another reason why the neo-cons have to go.