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Over the past 10 years, law enforcement officials have begun to look and act more and more like soldiers. Here's why we should be alarmed."
t around 9:00 a.m. on May 5, 2011, officers with the Pima County, Arizona, Sheriff's Department's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team surrounded the home of 26-year-old José Guerena, a former US Marine and veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq, to serve a search warrant for narcotics. As the officers approached, Guerena lay sleeping in his bedroom after working the graveyard shift at a local mine. When his wife Vanessa woke him up, screaming that she had seen a man outside the window pointing a gun at her, Guerena grabbed his AR-15 rifle, instructed Vanessa to hide in the closet with their four-year-old son, and left the bedroom to investigate.
Within moments, and without Guerena firing a shot - or even switching his rifle off of "safety" - he lay dying, his body riddled with 60 bullets. A subsequent investigation revealed that the initial shot that prompted the SWAT team barrage came from a SWAT team gun, not Guerena's. Guerena, reports later revealed, had no criminal record, and no narcotics were found at his home.
Sadly, the Guerenas are not alone; in recent years we have witnessed a proliferation in incidents of excessive, military-style force by police SWAT teams, which often make national headlines due to their sheer brutality. Why has it become routine for police departments to deploy black-garbed, body-armored SWAT teams for routine domestic police work? The answer to this question requires a closer examination of post-9/11 US foreign policy and the War on Terror.
One warrant shows police were looking for any kind of legal or illegal drugs.