Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Drug Raid Goes Viral

by Radley Balko

August-September 2010

In May a Missouri police raid that was captured on video went viral. As of this writing, the video had been viewed more than 1.2 million times on YouTube. It lit up message boards, blogs, and discussion groups around the Web, unleashing anger, resentment, and, regrettably, calls for violence against the officers involved. I’ve been writing about these raids, including some that claimed the lives of innocent people, for five years. There’s never been a reaction like this one.

Despite all the anger the raid has inspired, the only thing unusual about it was that it was captured on video. Everything else was routine. Raids just like this one happen 100 to 150 times every day in America. Those angered by the video probably should look to their own communities. Odds are pretty good that their local police department is doing the same thing.


The Video

Radley Balko on the Missouri SWAT Raid