Outrageous SWAT Mix-Up: U.S. Marshals Mistakenly Raid Home of Fla. Nurse
Are police forces in the United States becoming too militarized?
A police mix-up nearly had a disastrous outcome in Sarasota, Florida, when a SWAT team burst into a woman's apartment with their guns drawn.
Louise Goldsberry, a 59-year-old nurse, was terrified when she saw a man with a gun outside her kitchen window. She then ran to her bedroom and grabbed her gun, leading to a tense standoff. Fortunately no one was injured during the confusion.
U.S. Marshals apparently believed they were about to arrest a child-rape suspect, who was eventually caught in another apartment complex.
Balko says SWAT raids have become all too commonplace, and "the overwhelming majority" are now conducted to serve warrants for drug crimes, "creating violence and confrontation where there was none before." He said that he sees examples of "mission creep," where SWAT teams are being used for more and more apprehensions.
Matthews argued that cases like the one in Florida are so rare overall when you consider how many routine raids are conducted around the country. He said that in drug cases like Balko described, many suspects have weapons and police have no way to know what a suspect will do when they show up with a warrant.