I’m something of a libertarian, and libertarianism is about fighting big government. Usually when push comes to shove, it’s law enforcement officers who are the point of the government’s spear. So it would be easy to hate cops.
I try not to, though. Most of the cops I know seem like pretty decent folks doing a job that I couldn’t do. They don’t invent the rules, they just have the crappy job of enforcing them. So I try not to hate cops.
But sometimes, they don’t make it easy for me. For example, I think I hate these cops:
Last December, I posted about a botched SWAT raid on an innocent Minnesota family. Acting on bad information from an informant, the police threw flash grenades though the family’s windows, then exchanged gunfire with Vang Khang, who mistook the police for criminal intruders. Seven months later, no one in the police department has been held accountable for the mistakes leading up to the raid.
However, this week Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan and Mayor R.T. Rybak did give the raiding officers medals and commendations for their bravery in nearly killing Vang Khang, his wife, and their six children.
Radley Balko has the whole story.
Update: I’ve read a few more stories about this, and I may have to back down. It sounds like the SWAT team was acting on bad information from the Violent Offenders Task Force. They wouldn’t have had reason to question the Task Force’s determination that a raid was justified. The officers that were shot do not appear to have been at fault. In that case, they deserve their medals.
To the department’s credit, at least they aren’t trying to put the homeowner in jail for shooting at them, or planting drugs on him as certain other departments might have done. These days, that makes them honorable professionals.