SWAT Raids Organic Food Coop

On December 1st, a heavily armed SWAT team raided an Ohio family's home, rounded up the entire family and held them on a sofa at gun point for 9 hours... Adults, toddlers and infants alike. The SWAT team was exercising a warrant sworn out at the behest of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (who were also represented during the raid) for the egregious crime of running a retail establishment without a license. You see the Stower family has operated a well-known organic food coop out of their western Cleveland home for years. This is apparently the latest in a string of SWAT raids that appears aimed at cracking down on Amish and traditional farmers for allegedly distributing traditionally raised farm products outside of the regulatory process. Those targeted claim that it is an attempt to persecute small family farms in favor of large corporate industrial farms. After a long string of tainted meat recalls by corporate farm operations, how much more dangerous could this truly be?

Now, I really have very little interest in the issue of hippies distributing organic foods out of their home. My issue arises when SWAT tactics are inappropriately used in abeyance of an American's 4th amendment right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure. How is it reasonable to hold children at gun point? How is it reasonable to use a police unit designed for extremely dangerous situations to exercise a search warrant on a bunch of hippies in regards to a third degree misdemeanor? This is a continuation of the no-knock warrant issue that I blogged about some time ago. I have nothing against the police. I do however think that we the people need to be vigilant against this obvious attempt to do an end around posse commitatus and the fourth amendment. It has become unsettlingly common to have every warrant served as a no-knock warrant and it has also become unsettlingly common for police forces that don't need them to create heavily armed SWAT forces then try to find any reason to use them.

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