Part of the problem is that they're not being trained very much at all.
Traditional (late 20th century) SWAT teams were highly trained and brought out once or twice a year specifically for hostage-barricade situations. I remember the game SWAT 4 (2004, I think -- done with consultation from LAPD SWAT) you lost points for even a justified suspect kill. (I eventually armed myself with less lethal weapons only and relied on the computer controlled teammates to determine that narrow zone of time when shooting to kill was acceptable.)
These days, US precincts like to SWAT people for the stupidest reasons, I think because regular suburban officers really want to be able to handle the cool guns and raid someone's house and bag them a bad-guy. And hazard pay, probably.
It sounds like the NHTSA grants were merely mislabeled.
Given that the National Highway Transportation Safety Association's oversight of their grants is allowing for law enforcement agencies to buy license plate readers, there are obviously some exceptions to the for highway safety only provision.
I wonder if they provide grants for Las Vegas junkets too.
I'm not sure that sovereign immunity should be the defense for using IP for innovation and development.
Considering that the whole patent / copyright thing is to promote science and useful arts there should be protections for violating the temporary monopoly that these offer when doing so also promotes science and useful arts.
By placing defense of activities according to the intention, we don't have to rely on the laboratories being part of a state-sponsored (and therefore protected) university. Everyone should be allowed to tinker.
What it's going to come down to, is how many undue swat raids, how many asset forfeitures ruining lives, how many fatalities due to police escalation, how many flashbangs tossed into occupied cradles is it going to take before we justify monstrosity.
Especially if things are not going to change until we retaliate in kind?
I, for one, am open to other solutions especially if they can be done with less loss of life (on both sides), but right now I'm seeing no solution. And considering how tough on crime and pro-death-penalty the US is, we appear to be really big on revenge.
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.
The Ferguson footage showed police officers pointing their guns at the general public, which I remember seeming dangerous and peculiar. I was trained like Horton that you only point a firearm at something you intend to shoot, and all these officers pointing their guns into crowds seemed like something right out of Bizarro World.
I still don't understand it. I'd expect trigger slips to be a regular thing. I assume during the Ferguson standoff that a trigger slip was exactly what the administrators were hoping for, so they could have a justified massacre.
Maybe it's easier on the paperwork when all the parties of an encounter have no more tales to tell.
I would not expect the average officer to know what to do with a written order, let alone figure out what may be lawful or not.
According to the UCMJ every soldier and sailor is supposed to be thoroughly educated regarding the Geneva Convention rules of warfare during their training, and in preparation for entering any theater of combat, be briefed as to the rules of engagement.
This isn't for the soldiers' protection but the officers'. When a war crime is committed and brought to justice the fingers can point downward as far as possible.
Allegedly, soldiers are supposed to refuse illegal orders. In reality that's a good way to get arrested or shot so illegal orders put troopers in a bit of a dilemma. I want to believe this is a rare occurrence, but ever since the Bush administration and all the scandals of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I can't really say.
Well when there's a common belief that says one thing and in reality the law says another, it should raise question about the validity of the law. Especially if there is a law proscribing x and the common belief is that x is legal, and a juror is being asked to convict someone of x.
Of course, right now, with prosecutory discretion and ridiculous levels of criminalization we just have a system where if someone important doesn't like you, you go to prison. For a long time.
Makes me think of the Espionage act and how the law (somehow) dictates that the defense cannot justify the act, or even discuss it with the jury. We have laws like that?
So yeah, when we talk about whistleblowers having their day in court or facing the consequences, it's not the same day in court one gets when (say) charged with murder.
Our administrations are going to keep secretly interpreting the law whether to render laws they don't like inert, or to give themselves privileges that the people wouldn't approve of.
Secret interpretations didn't stop with Bush and they're not stopping with Obama, and wuthout some immediate reform to halt this crap immediately, it pretty much turns the United States into a polished totalitarian turd.