It’s hard to lose votes in the United States by advocating “tough on crime” tactics. Sure, everybody wants those rapists and murderers behind bars. But “tough on crime” too often degenerates into “murderously insane,” even when minor, victimless “crimes” are at issue.
Take, for instance, the February SWAT raid on the Columbia, Missouri, home of Jonathan E. Whitworth. Whitworth was ultimately charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and second-degree child endangerment (he ultimately pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge for possessing drug paraphernalia and paid a $300 fine according to Missouri’s Case.net — all other charges were dropped). The drug charges were apparently related to the discovery of what news reports described as “a grinder, a pipe and a small amount of marijuana.” The child endangerment charge seems to be the result of Whitworth daring to be at home with his wife and seven-year-old son when the storm troopers burst in and shot two family dogs — killing a pit bull and injuring a corgi.
Who endangered whom?
Video of the raid has just been made available and is below. This is “tough on crime.” If this is what you want, may you get it, at your home, in abundance.
Whitworth, not surprisingly, is considering legal action.
Thanks to Radley Balko for tooting the horn about this incident.