What are the policies, both federal and local, which allow police military like powers to enter American homes as if conducting a raid in war zone? A seven-year old child was killed, a seven-year old child was killed! She lay sleeping with her grandmother in the home of a family who had nothing to do with the crime of the accused who resided in a separate duplex unit upstairs, yet even if the child had been a member of the household of the accused, isn’t it un-Constitutional to enter American homes as if they were enemy combatants?
Read what Ron Scott, founder of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality had to say about the policies which led to the death of seven-year old Aiyana Jones, during his interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now:
“And what we’re speaking to is the policy that was enacted. This policy, we saw an uptick in this in the beginning of this current administration, where, in effect, a zero-tolerance framework was established. And essentially these special response teams, fugitive apprehension teams, multi-jurisdictional task forces, with the aid of federal money, have been conducting military-style raids. And there’s even a group here called a “gang squad,” which has been essentially just terrorizing a number of people. So this was sort of bound to happen.
We had tried to raise the cry, raise the question, point out that these kinds of things were over the top, and we were vilified for raising that. At this particular point, it is unfortunate that we’ve been deemed correct by virtue of such a tragic situation.
So we’re saying Detroit is under two federal consent decrees. For the last seven years, there’ve been under federal consent decrees for issues of force and for issues of confinement, both which affected Mrs. Jones and her family and so forth. And so, we’re saying that the policy in this situation needs to be changed. We’re asking for Judge Cook and the federal court that is overseeing the consent decrees to essentially demand and make sure that the city of Detroit live up to and change rapidly its policies. We’re asking that the situation involving these special response teams and the team that did this, with this television program following them, that they essentially be disbanded and/or controlled, so that they don’t throw incendiary devices, like they’re in Iraq or Afghanistan, into homes of people in the city of Detroit. So those are some of the basic things…
We’re calling for, actually, the prosecution of the officer. We’re calling for a revamping of the policy. We’re calling for the mayor and the chief to step out and, I agree, offer an apology, at the very least, for this and to honor the framework of the federal consent decree. It’s within the hands of the mayor and all of us to come together and make a joint statement about resolving this matter. ”
I for one do not want to see our children become civilian casualties in the “war on crime”, nor do I want to see the accused treated as “enemy combatants”, I want to see the full restoration of our Constitutional liberties and our Bill of Rights. One of the prices we have to pay for these liberties is to respect the rights of the accused, to arrest them appropriately, read them their Miranda Rights, charge them, and proceed with the due process of law. It isn’t perfect but it keeps us from becoming a police state.