As the Fourth Amendment is crushed like a dry leaf in most communities in America, SWAT Teams are often the source of unwarranted forcible invasion. Law enforcement, decked out in battle armor “detonated the grenades and smoke filled the first floor” of a Cleveland, Ohio, home. But, MSN News revealed, that the SWAT Team got the wrong house again.
There seem to be a lot of warrants all but rubber-stamped in the U.S.A. today and “DEA agents and members of the Bradley County SWAT team” really got it wrong. They found a man in the cellar with a gun, a common reaction when someone thinks their home is being invaded. The innocent man was tackled and told that he would be arrested for murder. The team claimed that his car in the driveway looked similar to the one where they were supposed to be.
Those who allowed this to happen should be fired and jailed. Such a punishment would stop unnecessary invasions, or at least make darn sure that the police have the right target.
Spencer Renck, the man attacked by law enforcement, had just awoken for work. He heard noises above his head and retrieved his gun expecting the worst. Reports say that he had only a desire “to protect (his) family from whatever was happening.”
On Facebook, he posted, “I thought someone had broke in.” His wife and his four children were in the dwelling, so it makes perfect sense that he would feel such concern.
“As soon as they open the door I turned around, seen all those guns to pointed at me,” he told CNN affiliated WDEF News. Had he used the gun, there is a likelihood that he could have been charged, a travesty of law that is common when such errors happen. In the past, even small babies have been burned in their cribs due to such mistakes.
In this case, the grenade went into his son’s room and “blinded and deafened” the child.
Rench told of the horror and the aftermath as he stated, “They destroyed my door, door frame, carpet on my stairs blew my ceiling out and burned my living room floor and hallway. All because someone got the wrong house.”
After tackling the wrong person, the SWAT Team descended upon the neighbor’s house, the dwelling that they should have gone to initially.
The father is worried about his son and how “how he’s going to sleep at night and he’s wondering if he’s going to have nightmares when he had guns drawn in his room, waking up to a big bang.”
As is common, the War on Drugs caused the mishap. A statement from the DEA read, “On May 22, 2018, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Louisville Field Division and the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office served a federal search warrant at an address associated with an individual wanted for murder who was also a target in an ongoing heroin investigation.”
It also said, “This operation was a part of a larger ongoing investigation. Unfortunately, this search warrant was initially served on the wrong residence… situations such as these are tragic and DEA takes them very seriously. We intend to look into this matter further and take steps to ensure situations such as this never occur again.”
Spokesman Josh DeVine said that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident. “At the request of 10th District Attorney General Stephen Crump, TBI Agents are investigating the actions of law enforcement officers from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office while executing a warrant earlier this week. Preliminary information indicates the deputies appear to have initially entered the wrong home,” promised DeVine.
Renck is still rightfully angry at what took place in his home. “I had a Yukon and a Camry. And they said, ‘you had a white car so we just got your house. It looked similar,” he said.
So-called “no-knock” raids are said to save the lives of cops, but to what end? This is not what America was based on and these errors are not as rare as authorities would have the public believe. Therefore, for the good of everyone, the whole idea of no-knock raids should be reevaluated.
Hopefully, before this happens yet again.