But despite all the anger the raid has inspired, the only thing unusual thing here is that the raid was captured on video, and that the video was subsequently released to the press. Everything else was routine. … Raids just like the one captured in the video happen 100-150 times every day in America.
According to Montgomery, when the couple’s neighbors inquired about the raid, they were told that the SWAT team had merely conducted a drill, and no shots were fired. When neighbors learned from the family that this was a lie, they began writing to the department and the Daily Tribune to demand answers. When the couple discovered the police had videotaped the raid, they requested a copy of the video. Montgomery said in her email that the copy they were initially given had no audio, and the incriminating (to the police) portions of the video had been removed.
On February 23, the Daily Tribune published its first story on the raid. The paper made its own request for the SWAT video, which the police department initially denied. On April 20, Jonathan Whitworth pleaded guilty to a single charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. He wasn’t even charged for the minor amount of marijuana in his home (marijuana for personal use has been decriminalized in Columbia). He was issued a $300 fine. On April 27, the Daily Tribune made a formal request for the video, which it received on April 30, with full audio and with no visuals removed.
This is the war on drugs: Blatant terrorism, shameless deception, and desperate cover-ups. It happens in cities across the nation every day. I’m ready to end this madness whenever you are. Read the rest of this entry »