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- The number of times the SWAT Team was “activated and deployed;”
- The location where SWAT Team deployed (e.g., zip code);
- The legal authority for each activation and deployment (i.e., Arrest Warrant, Search Warrant, Barricade, Exigent Circumstances, or Other);
- The reason for each activation and deployment (i.e., Part I Crime, Part II Crime, Emergency Petition, Suicidal, or Other); and
- The result or outcome of each deployment (i.e., forcible entry used; property or contraband seized; weapon discharge by a SWAT Team member; the number of arrests; person or animal injury or death by a SWAT Team member; injury to SWAT Officer).
- 68 percent of raids were for drugs/drug related
- 37 percent of raids used forcible entry
- 18 percent of raids seized property (no further information given)
- 30 percent of raids had 0 arrests
- 45 percent of raids had 1 arrest
- 9 raids were without warrant
- 0 raids had a weapon discharged
- 17.47 grams of suspected marijuana with an estimated street value of $260.
- 21.41 grams of suspected marijuana with an estimated street value of $215.
- 14.23 grams of suspected crack cocaine with an estimated street value of $1,280.70.
- .51 grams of heroin (total approximate street value $150), $324 in U.S. currency
- 3.89 grams of crack cocaine (street value approx $419), five Percocet pills (street value approx $25), $835 in U.S. currency, a 1999 Pontiac Van.
- 2.94 grams of marijuana, a trace amount of heroin, trace amount of crack cocaine, $2,453 in U.S. currency.
- 15.96 grams of crack cocaine (total approximate street value $1,755), 10.95 grams of heroin (total approximate street value $312), $2,590 in U.S. Currency.
- 33 capsules of suspected heroin or 12.43 grams with an estimated street value of $430, 16 suspected Hydrocodone pills with an estimated street value of $80, $322 in U.S. Currency and CDS paraphernalia.
Given that 75 percent of raids net 0 – 1 arrests, is using a SWAT team to serve a search warrant truly the militarization of police? Are these warrants more appropriately served by a couple of sheriffs deputies? Are these raids, with this level of force, truly protecting our safety?
Not only do police raid the residence and confiscate drugs, they often confiscate money and sometimes, vehicles. This is a practice called, “civil asset forfeiture” (asset forfeiture is not limited to SWAT raids). Part of the Anne Arundel State’s Attorney’s mission statement reads:
…a civil unit within the office operates to forfeit property obtained through illegal drug activity among other tasks….
Why is the State’s Attorney involved? Per the Anne Arundel County Police policy:
It is the policy of the Police Department to seize all conveyances including aircraft, vehicles and vessels; all money, coin, currency, and weapons; and other personal property used in violation of the provisions of the Controlled Dangerous Substance Title as set forth in the Criminal Law Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland (CR 5-101 et seq.). Once assets are seized, and it is determined by appropriate investigation that they are subject to forfeiture pursuant to Title 12 of the Criminal Procedure Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, they then shall fall under the prosecutorial jurisdiction of the Office of the State’s Attorney.
Just what is civil asset forfeiture? The Institute for Justice opines that for the government to take property:
the government must merely prove it is more likely than not that the property was involved in a crime, a far lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt….To contest a seizure, the property owner must prove that the property was wrongfully seized or that the owner did not have actual knowledge of the conduct.
In other words, the property owner must prove a negative. Let’s say your boyfriend was dealing drugs out of your house while you visited Mom. When you came back, your found your front door busted in, home ransacked, $500 missing, and your car gone. Now, you must prove that you did not know your boyfriend dealt drugs in order to have your car and money returned. Stay tuned for a more in depth article on asset forfeiture.
Being, “tough on crime” can bring myriad unwanted consequences. Good government is accountable to the People, it does not terrorize them.
PS Check out the spelling of “Arundel” on the receipt I received from the Anne Arundel County Police (click the receipt for a full view) – seems they may want to revisit their register’s programming:
Tags: Anne Arundel County, asset forfeiture, Police, StateStat, SWAT
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