Columbia Police Change SWAT Policy Following Botched Drug Raid Captured on Film

by

comment
Yes, SWATs and dogs can be friends.
  • Yes, SWATs and dogs can be friends.
The Columbia police yesterday announced additional changes to how the mid-Missouri law agency will administer its SWAT unit. The changes come after video was released last week showing police SWAT members raiding the house of a suspected drug dealer.

During the raid, the police shot two dogs (killing one) and brandished assault rifles in the presence of a wife and young child. The drug raid uncovered a scant amount of marijuana and some drug paraphernalia.

The Columbia police say that a captain will now have to sign off on all search warrants -- relieving the narcotics sergeant and SWAT commander from the process. Police will also have to deliver search warrants within a "reasonable time" (around 8 hours) and change a raid if a child is known to be in the area.

"I am telling you we did some things wrong. I am telling you we have fixed those things -- that the public can be assured that a similar incident will not happen again without someone's head rolling because it's now policy," Columbia police chief Ken Burton said in a news conference yesterday.

However, the police department's new SWAT policy does not address whether a cop can and/or should shoot an aggressive animal during police raids.

Which leads to the question: Are police ever justified in blasting away canines when carrying out a search warrant? Check back later today at Daily RFT as we address that issue in our Tuesday Tussle.  

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.