May 7, 2010


Via Radley Balko, here's an extremely important video. Warning: it's very disturbing and NSFW.The dogs involved were a corgi (WTF!?) and a pit bull. What's more, after this video, the police only found enough marijuana for a misdemeanor charge, but added child endangerment because of his 7-year-old kid (seen in the video). Balko:
I'd urge you to watch it, and to send it to the drug warriors in your life. This is the blunt-end result of all the war imagery and militaristic rhetoric politicians have been spewing for the last 30 years—cops dressed like soldiers, barreling through the front door middle of the night, slaughtering the family pets, filling the house with bullets in the presence of children, then having the audacity to charge the parents with endangering their own kid. There are 100-150 of these raids every day in America, the vast, vast majority like this one, to serve a warrant for a consensual crime. But they did prevent Jonathan Whitworth from smoking the pot they found in his possession. So I guess this mission was a success.
Now, I'm not a dog person. Never have been. But there's something wrenching about the video even for me. Balko has remarked often about how people will get more upset about slaughtered pets than slaughtered people in raids like this, and I think I see why.

It's easy for rightwingers or judgmental types to say in the face an accidental killing of a person, "Well, he shouldn't have been hanging around with confidential informants and druggies, he deserved what he got," especially if some tiny quantity of drugs is found (which was the case with this video). It's a way of avoiding the issue and rationalizing the current system. But no one can argue that a corgi was somehow in on the drug use. The undeniable innocence of dogs breaks through the protective shell of a person, forcing them to confront the reality of armed thugs committing senseless violence in the name of the state.

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