– Texas SWAT Team Raids Organic Farm for No Reason (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Aug 17, 2013):
The increasing use of SWAT teams across these United States is completely and totally incompatible with a free and civilized society. As I mentioned in my recent article about how there are now 50,000 SWAT raids in America annually, many of these military-styled operations target nonviolent offenders, and are often merely money making rackets for local police departments.
It appears the trend is getting even worse. Just like cops will pull you over on the highway and claim to “smell marijuana” as an excuse to violate your 4th Amendment rights, this claim of drugs being present is now being used to SWAT raid organic farms. Or perhaps it’s just because your neighbor thinks your yard is untidy. The story below is nothing short of a complete and total disgrace and we should not stand for this sort of behavior any longer.
From the Huffington Post:
A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-hour search.
Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.
Local authorities had cited the Garden of Eden in recent weeks for code violations, including “grass that was too tall, bushes growing too close to the street, a couch and piano in the yard, chopped wood that was not properly stacked, a piece of siding that was missing from the side of the house, and generally unclean premises,” Smith’s statement said. She said the police didn’t produce a warrant until two hours after the raid began, and officers shielded their name tags so they couldn’t be identified.
The city of Arlington said in a statement that the code citations were issued to the farm following complaints by neighbors, who were “concerned that the conditions” at the farm “interfere with the useful enjoyment of their properties and are detrimental to property values and community appearance.” The police SWAT raid came after “the Arlington Police Department received a number of complaints that the same property owner was cultivating marijuana plants on the premises,” the city’s statement said. “No cultivated marijuana plants were located on the premises,” the statement acknowledged.
It’s difficult for me to express how reprehensible I find all of the above. One thing is for sure, we need to reverse this trend and fast. The first thing we should do is institute punishment for any police officer that claims to “smell marijuana” and then finds none. In a civilized society, power hungry maniacs in costumes who are supposed to “protect and serve” cannot and should not be permitted to grossly violate citizens rights at will.
Full article here.