These stories are becoming much too commonplace -- more so than is healthy for a functioning democracy:
A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-hour search.
Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized "17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants ... native grasses and sunflowers," after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.
Local authorities had cited the Garden of Eden in recent weeks for code violations, including "grass that was too tall, bushes growing too close to the street, a couch and piano in the yard, chopped wood that was not properly stacked, a piece of siding that was missing from the side of the house, and generally unclean premises," Smith's statement said. She said the police didn't produce a warrant until two hours after the raid began, and officers shielded their name tags so they couldn't be identified.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/texas-swat-team-conducts-_n_3764951.html?ir=Politics
Being held at gunpoint by a bunch of steroid crazed SWAT droids for the evil crimes of "grass that was too tall," "bushes growing too close to the street," a "piano in the yard," and horror of horrors -- "chopped wood that was not properly stacked" ---- aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh! That's America baby.
The Gadfly believes that the only solution to this problem of the escalating militarization of civilian police forces is for citizens to start suing the fuck out of their local police agencies -- even if it results in putting those agencies out of business. If that is what it takes to put an end to this tyranny - then so be it.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ― Benjamin Franklin, Memoirs of the life & writings of Benjamin Franklin