Police Say Woman Threatened Officers
This week, in Prairie VillagePrairie Village, Kansas, police were called to conduct a welfare check on a reportedly depressed and unstable woman. SWAT officers were called in when her behavior took a turn for the worst. But the police department says 47-year-old Susan Stuckey threatened SWAT officers with a knife, forcing them to shoot her dead.
The police haven't alleged that Stuckey was committing a crime when they were called to her home -- they were just there to make sure she was OK.
Since 9/11, police departmentspolice departments all over the country have rushed to add SWAT teams, drawing federal funding and surplus military weapons to do so. Combined with the militarization of police forces caused by the drug war, the shift to a more starkly paramilitary model has made police more aggressive and less patient. While all of the details aren't clear yet, what is clear is that Stuckey wasn't wandering the streets, waving a gun at people; she was inside her own home, and apparently wanted to be left alone.
This kind of claws-out aggression is the opposite of the original SWAT modelSWAT model, which still endures in a few jurisdictions with highly trained, full-time SWAT officers. (In many communities, small police departments add SWAT duties to the role of cops with other jobs -- who do highly specialized SWAT training on the side.) The LAPDLAPD, the originator of the SWAT model, prides itself on how rarely its special weapons teams pull the trigger: thousands of call-outs, a handful of shootings.
I've watched the Los Angeles Sheriff's DepartmentLos Angeles Sheriff's Department's special enforcement bureau at work, and they are reliably methodical, careful professionals. Like the LAPD's full-time SWAT cops, their specialized task is the only one they do.
We don't know yet exactly what happened in Prairie Village. But as a clearer picture emerges, we can use Susan Stuckey's death to examine the course of American governments, asking questions that keep coming up in a variety of contexts: Who does government serve? Are the current values of our local, state, and federal governments consistent with the values they once had? Are we headed the right way?
Most people appreciate the police. But most people want to be left alone inside their own homes. Are the police on the wrong track?
Read more: http://www.kmbc.com/news/23026312/detail.html
Ok, why was SWAT called in to intervene with a reportedly mentally troubled woman? Does this sound like a job for SWAT? The regular police could have handled this....or could they?
Police today are not being trained properly to communicate with people and use sound, less intimidating straegies. Instead they are trained to yell and scream orders at you and if not obeyed immediately, will shoot or taze you, and it's usually a gang of them against one person....and I do mean GANG because that's what they have become.
Police are more becomming buzz cut headed bullies who are high on the authority they have over others, horribly abusing it.
Generally, they are not being taught to have patience, communicate with people in a non threatening way, and wait the situation out if neccessary. This really works in most cases. There is no reason why this woman could not have been dealt with in this way.
This woman wanted to be left alone. She broke no law nor was charged with anything.
She was reportedly seen in her apartment through a window by a neighbor who claimed she was holding a bat. So what....is that against the law now to hold a bat in your own home? She didn't threaten or hurt anyone with it. What if she smashed all of her furniture with the bat? So what! It's HER furniture to do with as she wishes as long as she hurts no one!
She was reported to have been verbally abusive to her neighbors the day before....again....so what! Is that also now against the law? Have people become such wimps that they run and call the police after being called a name or yelled at? Kind of like a child tatteling to the parents to get someone in trouble.
She was in her apartment not wanting to be bothered, not breaking any laws and had every right to not let police in. They got a key from the landlord and tried to force their way in. They had no warrant and no reason except that some neighbors called with concern for her. Neighbors like that should mind their own damn business. I would not want the police checking on MY welfare. My family can do that if neccessary.
So an army of SWAT decended on her, a lone 47 year old woman, probably terrorized, allegedly hold a knife. Im'sure SWAT had their bullet proof vests on and all other protective gear they use and the woman had no protection.
Do you think they could have subdued her or talked her down without having to shoot her? YES! I could understand if she were holding a gun, threatening to shoot, refusing to put it down. I don't think she was an immediate and deadly threat to them. Excessive, unneccessary force was used on this poor woman. They could have used a chair to put against her while another member of that "brave" swat team took the knife. There might have been some other ways also but the point is, they had no business forcing their way in!
This woman should not have been shot!!