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The Shocking Tales of 11 of the Most Over the Top US Police Paramilitary Raids and the Innocent People They Victimized

The proliferation of SWAT tactics has resulted in wildly disproportionate responses to suspected crimes.

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4. SWAT squad invades private poker game.

A low-stakes poker game in South Carolina turned gory after a SWAT team tried to gain access into the home resulting in a 20-minute shoot-out between the players and the police. The game host, 72-year-old Aaron Awty, shot through the front door injuring a sheriff.  The players said was hard of hearing and thought the house was being robbed when he began shooting at the door.

Four officers returned fire using high-powered assault weapons, according to Pokerati. The 12 people were ticketed for unlawful betting and released. Among the items police seized were cocaine, money, two poker machines, two poker tables, gambling paraphernalia and cards and chips.

5. SWAT team raids man’s home in search of stolen koi fish.

An Austin SWAT team destroyed the home of a man in a search for missing koi fish which had been stolen from the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Eric Philippus said 10 to 12 officers came to his house knocking down the door and drawing guns on his 17-year-old son and his girlfriend. Philippus, who has a koi fishpond in his backyard but wasn’t home at the time of the incident, said he did not steal the fish.

“They’re looking for koi in strange places—in the bedroom, in the closet, places that can’t hold water or fish,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. I love my koi fish more than anything but I never point a loaded gun at anybody over a fish without even checking the information,” he told Stateman.

6. Sex toys, condoms and pajamas seized in drug/prostitution SWAT team raid.

In a suspected drug and prostitution raid in Boston, police seized an unusual number of items including $13 from a bathroom, green pajamas worn by a suspect during a drug deal, sex toys, a vibrator and condoms, lubricant and a hotel card. Before raiding the building at 5am the Boston SWAT team detonated “ distraction devices” like bright flashes and loud bangs to disorient the occupants of the premises.

7. Peaceful monks arrested in SWAT team action.

According to KETV TV, Tibetan monks on a peace mission were apprehended by a SWAT team of immigration officials, in Iowa. The monks had come to the U.S. on a church-sponsored mission to spread the word about the plight of the Tibetan people. However, when they refused to recognize their sponsoring leader as the reincarnation of Jesus Chris and Buddha, they were abandoned. 

The monks then traveled to Iowa not realizing that their immigration visas had been terminated, before immigration officials showed up at the door with a SWAT team to arrest them. The monks were able to stay out of jail thanks to an immigration officer who arranged for them to stay in Carter Lake pending an immigration hearing.

8. Feds raid Amish dairy farm—twice—for selling unpasteurized milk.

SWAT agents stormed a Pennsylvania Amish dairy farm wrongfully accusing the owner of selling raw milk interstate. The agents arrived at 4.30am while the owner Dan Allgyer’s family was still asleep and he was preparing to milk the cows. A warrant was served upon him claiming the police had “credible evidence” he was involved in interstate commerce.

When Allgyer questioned the warrant which stated it was valid only at “reasonable times during ordinary business hours,” one of the officers replied that “ordinary business hours for agriculture start at 5am,” according to NaturalNews.

9. Police unlawfully invade a series of barbershops without warrants.

In Florida, up to 14 armed police raided over 50 barbershops in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods without warrants.  The police were in SWAT gear armed with masks and guns and police dogs, according to Reuters. Over 30 barbers were handcuffed, in front of customers, on criminal charges of barbering without an active license.

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