10 Facts About The SWATification Of America That Everyone Should Know

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The American Dream blog,

The number of SWAT team raids in the United States every year is now more than 25 times higher than it was back in 1980.  As America has conducted wars overseas in recent years, our police forces have become increasingly militarized as well.  And without a doubt, many of our cities have become much more dangerous places.  Thanks to relentless illegal immigration, drug cartels are thriving and there are now at least 1.4 million gang members living in the United States.  But there are many that believe that the militarization of our police forces has gone way too far.  Almost weekly, SWAT team brutality somewhere in America makes national headlines.  You are about to read about a couple of horrific examples of this below.  Once upon a time, police in America were helpful and friendly and the public generally trusted them.  But now our police forces are being transformed into military-style units that often act like they are in the middle of Iraq or Afghanistan.  The following are 10 facts about the SWATification of America that everyone should know…

#1 In 1980, there were approximately 3,000 SWAT raids in the United States.  Now, there are more than 80,000 SWAT raids per year in this country.

#2 79 percent of the time, SWAT teams are deployed to private homes.

#3 50 percent of the victims of SWAT raids are either black or Latino.

#4 In 65 percent of SWAT deployments, “a battering ram, boot, or some sort of explosive device” is used to gain forced entry to a home.

#5 62 percent of all SWAT raids involve a search for drugs.

#6 In at least 36 percent of all SWAT raids, “no contraband of any kind” is found by the police.

#7 In cases where it is suspected that there is a weapon in the home, police only find a weapon 35 percent of the time.

#8 More than 100 American families have their homes raided by SWAT teams every single day.

#9 Only 7 percent of all SWAT deployments are for “hostage, barricade or active-shooter scenarios”.

#10 Even small towns are getting SWAT teams now.  30 years ago, only 25.6 percent of communities with populations between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team.  Now, that number has increased to 80 percent.

And thanks to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, police forces all over the nation are being showered with billions of dollars of military equipment that is coming home from overseas.  The following is what a recent Time Magazine article had to say about this phenomenon…

As the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have wound down, police departments have been obtaining military equipment, vehicles and uniforms that have flowed directly from the Department of Defense. According to a new report by the ACLU, the federal government has funneled $4.3 billion of military property to law enforcement agencies since the late 1990s, including $450 million worth in 2013. Five hundred law enforcement agencies have received Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, built to withstand bomb blasts. More than 15,000 items of military protective equipment and “battle dress uniforms,” or fatigues worn by the U.S. Army, have been transferred. The report includes details of police agencies in towns like North Little Rock, Ark., (pop: 62,000), which has 34 automatic and semi-automatic rifles, a Mamba tactical vehicle and two MARCbots, which are armed robots designed for use in Afghanistan.

But when you start arming the police like military units and your start training them like military units, eventually they start acting like military units and the results are often quite frightening.

For example, just check out what happened when a SWAT team in Florida raided the home of one young couple earlier this month

At approximately 6:16 am on June 10th, 2014, Kari Edwards and her live-in boyfriend were seized upon by a SWAT team who smashed in the door and using flashbangs and armed to the teeth, swarmed upon the couple and even stripped Ms. Edwards naked in the process.


The couple says that the group entailed personnel from DHS, for whom Edwards once worked. After smashing in the door, the tactical team threw in flashbang grenades, traumatizing their cat and swarmed upon Edwards’s boyfriend and Edwards who had just gotten out of the shower.


“They busted in like I was a terrorist or something,” Edwards said.


“[An officer] demanded that I drop the towel I was covering my naked body with before snatching it off me physically and throwing me to the ground.”


“While I lay naked, I was cuffed so tightly I could not feel my hands. For no reason, at gunpoint,” Edwards said. “[Agents] refused to cover me, no matter how many times I asked.”

That is the kind of thing that I would expect to happen in Nazi Germany, not the United States of America.

But this next example is even more horrifying.  The following is what one mother says happened to her 2-year-old son when a SWAT team raided her home…

After the SWAT team broke down the door, they threw a flashbang grenade inside. It landed in my son’s crib.


Flashbang grenades were created for soldiers to use during battle. When they explode, the noise is so loud and the flash is so bright that anyone close by is temporarily blinded and deafened. It’s been three weeks since the flashbang exploded next to my sleeping baby, and he’s still covered in burns.


There’s still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs. At least that’s what I’ve been told; I’m afraid to look.


My husband’s nephew, the one they were looking for, wasn’t there. He doesn’t even live in that house. After breaking down the door, throwing my husband to the ground, and screaming at my children, the officers – armed with M16s – filed through the house like they were playing war. They searched for drugs and never found any.


I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth.

Does that make you angry?

It should.

That young child is probably going to be disfigured for the rest of his life because of the brutality and the carelessness of that SWAT team.

Yes, we live in perilous times and many of our communities would rapidly descend into anarchy if there were no police.

But that does not mean that they have to act like Nazis.  They should be able to protect us while treating us with dignity and respect at the same time.

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crazybob369's picture

We so need to legalize drugs. I can't see how society would be worse off. But, not going to happen any time soon because then this police state behavior would be much harder to justify.

Top Gear's picture

I say unleash the cops. They protect property values by getting rid of occupiers and vagrants.  And druggies. Ever see what happens to property values when druggies move in? The War on Drugs is the War for Higher Property Values.

"Cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment...unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares?" ~Murray Rothbard

Let them eat Nutraloaf.

LetThemEatRand's picture

You're going to get a lot of downvotes (from Rothbard followers) if you keep quoting him like that.  

A Nanny Moose's picture

One of Rothbard's failures, was the belief a legal monopoly on the initiation of force could ever be mastered.

SilverIsKing's picture

There's a very easy and tried and true method for disarming the SWAT team when they enter your home.

As soon as the front door is banged in and the flash grenade explodes, scream, "donuts and coffee in the kitchen!!!"

It works like a charm.

stacking12321's picture

this comment is an example of the extreme stupidity constantly exhibited by one michael snyder:

"Yes, we live in perilous times and many of our communities would rapidly descend into anarchy if there were no police."

DESCEND into anarchy? people who disparage anarchy with such comments are those that feel that they themselves cannot be trusted without adult supervision.

mr. snyder, you gave some fine examples as to why the state cannot be trusted and should not be tolerated, and then you turn right around into being an apologist for the police.

a group of armed thugs running amok in society should not be tolerated nor supported.

i am happy to pay for pay for private security patrols, keep a gun, etc, but the government, which is neither by, nor of, nor for the people, should be properly viewed as the enemy.

Top Gear's picture

Yeah, DESCEND into anarchy.

• "Our falling into anarchy would decide forever the destinies of mankind, and seal the political heresy that man is incapable of self-government." ~Thomas Jefferson, to John Hollins, 1811

• "The voluntary support of laws, formed by persons of their own choice, distinguishes peculiarly the minds capable of self-government. The contrary spirit is anarchy, which of necessity produces despotism." ~Thomas Jefferson to Philadelphia Citizens, 1809

• "...repairs to the standard of the laws. Do this, and you need never fear anarchy or tyranny. Your government will be perpetual." ~Thomas Jefferson, Manuscript, c. 1801

Because anarchy, and most libertarianism, is just re-hashed Marxism, that is, the bullshit belief system that somehow the state can be eliminated.

• "Communism...movement to create...STATELESS social order..." ~/wiki/Communism‎
• "Karl Marx hypothesized...STATELESS, humane society..." ~/wiki/Marxism
• "Anarchism advocates STATELESS societies..." ~/wiki/Anarchism
• "...the STATELESS society both anarchists and Marxists view as their end goal..." ~wiki/Anarchism_and_Marxism
• "...anarchists and Marxists share an ultimate goal of a STATELESS society..." ~/wiki/Libertarian_Marxism
• "...share an ultimate goal of a STATELESS society..." ~/wiki/Libertarian_socialism
• "...share an ultimate goal of a STATELESS society..." ~/wiki/Libertarian_socialist

Headbanger's picture

So how's that hypertension working for you?

And I say "unleash the cops" on ranting Nazi nut bags like you!

Do you even realize you're the same mentality as the Islamic terrorists?

But thanks for the laughs.

zerozulu's picture

If something is wrong with your country, you are responsible for it. Because you asked for it and you deserve it.

Travis Bickel's picture

Top Gear you are the copy/paste quoting King!



BigJim's picture

Marx and his lay followers may have envisioned a STATELESS social order eventually arising, but Mao, Lenin, Stalin etc certainly didn't.

And given that communism requires central planning, this is hardly surprising.

So to conflate Libertarianism (a label for a continuum which extends from anarcho-capitalism at one end to small-State conservative minarchists at the other) with communism is ignorance personified.

imbtween's picture


you mustn't have noticed.

Dave Thomas's picture

If there are some druggies that moved in next door, this is the perfect opportunity for some old fashioned police work. Think Starsky and Hutch, they case the house, two guys and a Grand Torino, build a case, then take the perp with Wayne Gretzky like hair down in his driveway as he's making another delivery, get a warrant, then send him up river to do a nickel at state. You know, they used to call it POLICE WORK.


Now two re-fitted MWRAPS drive up to the house at 5:30am, they have a drone or two and a helicopter with FLIR circling, about 12 guys decked out with all sorts of tricked out M4s, Pepper Balls, TASCAM equipment, Dogs, CS, Flashbangs, Battering Rams you name it. Now they break down your door, toss a few flashbangs in to scortch the carpet, shoot your dogs, toss an extra flashbang in the babies crib just for good measure, then kill you if you're holding a golf club.

Does anyone know how much it costs to deploy one roided out SWAT team to apprehend a small time choom pusher?

Nehweh Gahnin's picture

What the hell are you doing here?  Don't you have a John Birch Society meeting to attend?

Idaho potato head's picture

Altered or abolished, take your pick.Soon you will have no choice.

Chump's picture

These assholes are your neighbors.  They're in line behind you getting groceries.  They're at the next pump over getting gas.  Pretty formidable when operating as a team with all their accessories, yes.  Pretty easily reached, though, remember that.

BigJim's picture

Yeah, if you happen to know that the guy living next door, or pumping his gas, is a SWAT team member...

Abitdodgie's picture

The problem with the United States of America is that it has been taken over by the UNITED STATES. If you don't understand that sentance then you are part of the problem.

Blythes Master's picture


I am not property of, nor a slave to, the corporation.

Top Gear's picture

Oh boy, a CAPITAL LETTER conspiracist.

Keyser's picture

Typical low-information knuckle-dragger that supports Gestapo tactics... You really are an idiot, but you know that, right?  


CH1's picture

Nah, he's a troll, looking for attention.

10PastMidnight's picture

not only that, but the statement at the end of the article should alarm most.

"Yes, we live in perilous times and many of our communities would rapidly descend into anarchy if there were no police."

would they? or have we been conditioned to beleive that.... would we decend into anarchy without the legal gang bangers, i for one do not think so, but it works well to keep the sheeple in fear and controlled.


crime was minimal even in a time of lawlessness compared to today, in early amerika. reason being, people stuck together and took care of these issues as a community, we had a sheriff and a deputy and the people handled the rest without issue.


Idaho potato head's picture

Um, I'll take the anarchy over this shit any day.

Top Gear's picture

Yeah, like the fundamentalists who hate people quoting the Bible, they usually whine about "context," which means they've found another sweet, sweet passage that somehow completely neutralizes the ugly horrors of other passages.

Frankie Carbone's picture

I'm not a "fundamentalist" as you call them but the I will add that the problem with bible bashers is that they never understand the context of what they are reading (because you have to read the whole thing to understand it) so they cherry-pick a passage out of context and declare it "horrifying". 

Invariably ignorance leads one to treat the allegorical as literal, and the literal as allegorical. Ignorance is not an insult by the way. I am terribly ignorant in so many subjects, and despite my best efforts, will die someday in that state. We all will. 

FWIW. I despise organized religions for they are, at their roots, tainted and corrupted by man's own biases.

If you read the bible from cover to cover with an open mind, not trying to "be a Christian", or worse be a "insert organized faith here" you'll find it one of the most beautifully written tomes of wisdom ever written. 

Now, if I could only abide by a 1/3 of its principles I'd be the better man for it, meaning far be it from me to cast a stone your way when I struggle so hard myself to live by its principles. But seriously, treat it like a old book of wisdom, suspend judgment, forget what your fellow man tells you it says, and mull through it, all of it. 

You'd be amazed at how beautiful the story is, and how better off you and I, as men would be if we lived even a portion of the way it tells us to. 

TheRedScourge's picture

The bible exists for the purpose of selling a way of life, one that is impossible because of how many times it contradicts itself, due to the fact that it was written by many different authors who disagreed on many issues. Each author attempted to bring their best ideas forward, but most of them had the sensibilities of a modern-day Afghani, so most of it has little or no wisdom to offer anyone born in a first world nation today. Case in point: old testament saying you cannot wear clothing of mixed fabric, or eat any pork products.

Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

Top Gear your making a Top Joker out of yourself here with your incoherent ranting, I think you need to get some med to calm your wonton brain.

potato's picture

When I see cops prowling in my neighborhood, I call the county sheriff.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Good idea. Can you call 911? Flood the system till it breaks. Make it work against itself.

After all...how can you be sure the cops are the legit cops?

swmnguy's picture

The actual Cloward-Piven strategy, as opposed to the fairy tales the Glenn Beck crowd likes to repeat.

European American's picture

"When I see cops prowling in my neighborhood, I call the county sheriff."

Fortunately I don't live in a neighborhood like yours, yet.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I am giving you the benefit of doubt and assuming this is sarcasm. It has been a long time since I have heard MSM drivel and I have forgotten its stench. You may have your police state if you wish but I want the freedoms this country was founded on back. Please troll elsewhere where your ideology is welcome.


Top Gear's picture

I quote Rothbard. I promote policies that maintain Private Property Values. And that's considered sarcasm or "trolling" at ZH. What is the world coming to?

<< this country was founded on >>

This country was founded on Statists like me. Fact is, I'm a most precious statist.

"The small landholders are the most precious part of a state." ~Thomas Jefferson, to James Madison, 1785

hobopants's picture

Stop rambling, this is about the militarization of the police, not Thomas Jefferson's thoughts on land ownership. Pay attention. 

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the definition of Statism.

Statism is concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry.

Partly as a result of this distaste for one branch of government's control over another, Jefferson supported a more equitable division of power between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government in his book, Notes on the State of Virginia:

"All the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judiciary, result to the legislative body [in Virginia]. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. . . . An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others."

Jefferson was not a Statist.


Top Gear's picture

Libertarian howlers don't use that definition, they simply call anybody who supports government, even small government, a statist. Hell, some reguarly call Ayn Rand a statist.

Jefferson supported government. He did not support the anarchism popular around ZH.

• "Our falling into anarchy would decide forever the destinies of mankind, and seal the political heresy that man is incapable of self-government." ~Thomas Jefferson, to John Hollins, 1811

• "The voluntary support of laws, formed by persons of their own choice, distinguishes peculiarly the minds capable of self-government. The contrary spirit is anarchy, which of necessity produces despotism." ~Thomas Jefferson to Philadelphia Citizens, 1809

• "...repairs to the standard of the laws. Do this, and you need never fear anarchy or tyranny. Your government will be? perpetual." ~Thomas Jefferson, Manuscript, c. 1801

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Self government is representative government i.e. A Republic. This is not the form of government today which is best described as a fascistic corporatocracy. Jeffersons flaw was he believed he could control government's power by checks and balances. Unfortunately he was not correct in this regard. Government is a cancerous tumor which marches to a historical known end.

We are far over due for a Constitutional Convention and this country will face anarchy of the flow of benefits ceases. No amount of police can stop this though they hope the show of force will do so.


James_Cole's picture

Some day americans will notice that they have been the biggest beneficiaries of this 'fascist corporatocracy.' The "takers" vs. "makers" is one of the more absurd arguments around the world. Hopefully at that point they'll start to go back to old school values (and I mean real old school values, hunter / gatherer style).

Anyway, in terms of police / drugs there is ample evidence that the US .gov (+allies) controls many aspects of the drug trade and benefits greatly from it. Picking and choosing which drugs are legal and illegal has been a colossal failure, nothing suggests any success has come from it.

- more people addicted to drugs (legal and illegal)

- most people in jail (tax $$$)

- more people killed


Are their any metrics which paint the 'war on drugs' in a positive light?? I'd be curious to see them.

sleigher's picture

Was it checks and balances that failed or those who were put in the position to run those checks and keep things balanced?

Frankie Carbone's picture

Top Gear. 

Slapping a label on someone, or branding them, is old-school, Matrix-driven thinking. I don't affiliate with any -ism, or -ocracy, -ists, or -crats. Some here do, but most do not.  

I think for myself. 

What you're doing here, and it is so painfully obvious to everyone here but you, is coming in here with a bag full of square and round pegs, and trying to pound them into any hole (idea) that you find, even if they don't fit. 

Because when all you know are square and round pegs, every hole looks either square or round. 

What I, and many people I know find irritating is the uncontrollable inclination for people to bucketize other people. To tag, brand, or label them. That is the the hallmark of someone deeply plugged into the matrix, and when you do that, you're going to deservedly catch a lot of crap, because people around here have zero tolerance for a simpleton. 

Nothing you've said so far is original, or hasn't been said here before, sans the same tired crap with rehashed paraphrasing. By simpleton, I mean someone of low intellect (or even potentially high intellect where most of it is completely idle, therefore effectively a simpleton) that is executing open source thought macros without completely understanding what they are saying. 

Which leads me to believe that you watch a lot of television. Well, it ain't called programming for nothing you know. Tell me. Do you also read the NYT and WaPo and take what they print as both fact, and all inclusive of relevant news? 

Try walking away from the idiot box for a week. Go to your doctor and get a week's worth of valium to help with the withdrawal symptoms, then start reading some material that is far off the beaten path of what institutional America considers "mainstream". 

You'll be shocked at what the world really looks like once you detox. 

messymerry's picture

Dr. Carbone, U Da' Man...  +1000

Frankie Carbone's picture

Why thank you. My fee for the services that I provided him will be for him to someday enlighten me to a perspective that I had never considered, and such a perspective will be logically crafted, with reason and consistency in its argumentation. 

I receive enough payments like that and I'll be a rich man indeed. 

messymerry's picture

It will be my pleasure to give you my two cents worth...and don't worry, they will be pre 1982 solid copper,,,  ;-D

Frankie Carbone's picture

THe way the dollar is going to go, they could be stamped in limestone and they'll still be worth more than their face value. But a few grams of pure copper would be nice in times like this. Thank you for the offer. 

GubbermintWorker's picture

Is that what he is doing? And here I thought he was just an attention whore trolling to see what his bait will bring in.

motorollin's picture

Okay dickbag, what happens when you wake up to a no-knock warrant on your high-value private property?

messymerry's picture

Ease up on the Nutraloaf TG, it's going to your head...

SmackDaddy's picture

ever watch those swat shows on tv?  the crackheads leaned a chair against the door and it took a dozen cops 5 minutes to breach the door.  the cops would be totally overmatched by all but the dumbest fucking criminals