Update: Link to the story repaired – it was apparently taken down for some significant editing. Google cache of the original version is here. h/t to Standard Mischief (in a comment at Tam’s) for the link to the cached version, and h/t to Tam for the link to the new version.
Serving a search warrant for an unpaid student loan. Yes, you read that right.
Wright came downstairs in his boxer shorts as a S.W.A.T team barged through his front door. Wright said an officer grabbed him by the neck and led him outside on his front lawn.
According to Wright, officers also woke his three young children ages 3, 7, and 11 and put them in a Stockton police patrol car with him. Officers then searched his house.
Wright said he later went to the mayor and Stockton Police Department, but the City of Stockton had nothing to do with Wright’s search warrant.
The U.S. Department of Education issued the search and called in the S.W.A.T for his wife’s defaulted student loans. [Emphasis mine.]
We already know about the hazards of a dynamic entry simply for serving a warrant. A 6am SWAT raid for nothing more than an unpaid loan could easily have resulted in the death of the homeowner or one or more SWAT team members (they’re with the Dept. of Ed, I’m not going to call them police officers). How does a defaulted student loan justify this kind of risk? What evidence of what crime did they think they were going to find?
What idiot judge signed off on this warrant?
The use of SWAT in this country has gotten out of control. We need to put a stop to this sort of jack-booted thuggery, and put heavy restrictions on when such tactics can be used.
END OF LINE
[Source: News10 (Stockton?) website, retrieved 6/8/11]