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Massachusetts swat teams claim they’re private corporations and immune from public records laws. But an investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union found out differently.
Swat teams in MA are actually operated by law enforcement councils, (LECs) that are funded and usually overseen by police agencies and police chiefs. In addition to operating SWAT teams these LEC officers have the same powers as police officers - to carry guns, arrest, break into homes and injure and kill.
Because they claim to be corporations, however, the public can’t find out exactly how and when SWAT teams are used and who they’re mostly used against - or what sort of training they get.
During its investigation, however, the ACLU found that the LECSs have special overseas units and also facilitate technology and information sharing and deal with computer crime specialists.
Based on what it found about SWAT teams, ACLU “confirmed a stunning rise in police militarization." In order to keep tabs on this disturbing trend, the public needs SWAT teams to be transparent, because we don't want our neighborhoods turned in to war zones!
Don’t let MA SWAT teams hide behind a fake corporation status.
We, the undersigned, say our homes are not battlefields and the escalation of militarization must be checked and Swat teams totally transparent.
Even though our communities are not supposed to be war zones or targets for military raids, our public police departments have moved away from the concept of serve and protect and increasingly resemble military units reinforced by advanced technologies, surveillance, tanks and other battle vehicles and weapons.
The raids on our communities are mostly for routine drugs raids, but nevertheless resemble Special Forces operations used in war zones. Homes are broken into at night and people, often innocent people and even children are terrorized -- far unnecessarily. In one case a baby was badly burned by a hurl flash-bang grenade, and in another misdirected drug raid an elderly man was shot dead in his bed, totally innocent, because of misindentification.
It seems that these weapons naturally come with the temptation to put them to and that the US is bent on find domestic uses for the “tactics, mentality, and tools deployed by the US military in overseas war operations.” We used to think of war as hell and celebrate when it was over. But now war is becoming a way of life, and the last thing the public needs it for this war mentality to grow in secrecy.
We request that MA stop trying to hide its SWAT team activities behind a fake corporation status.
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