Wednesday, March 4, 2009

SWAT Accountability

There's a move afoot in the state legislature to require police to report monthly on their SWAT raids, according to this WJZ report. Here's a link to the channel's video.

The Sun had its own piece.

Karen Thomas says she remembers the smallest of details about a Howard County SWAT team raid on her Ellicott City home in 2007, down to the time displayed on a clock as she heard her 10-year-old dog start barking.

In testimony yesterday before the state Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Thomas told how six masked men with guns had crashed into her home. Thomas was forced to the ground, handcuffed and heard a gunshot from the family room where her younger son was sleeping.

"You can't imagine, an unfathomable mother's nightmare had become my ordinary Friday-morning reality," Thomas told the panel in Annapolis.

In a separate report, the Sun's ExploreHoward blog talked with the HoCo chief as he defended a SWAT raid in Elkridge, in which police killed a family dog as they searched for a rifle and other missing police gear. No arrests have been made.

“From what I know about this, this was an appropriate use of tactical,” McMahon said last Friday during an interview, his first comments on the police raid. “We had stolen weapons that could present a danger to the community, so it was important for us to get them.”

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