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Raid Of The Day: Witness To A Misdemeanor

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Today's raid comes courtesy of Vice.

It is an interview with an anonymous source, so factor that in when calibrating your outrage. But if true, this guy was raided not because of a murder, or a drug crime, or even a felony. He was raided because he may have possessed evidence of what appears to be a misdemeanor -- that was committed by someone else.

On Twitter, someone pointed out that regular folks can often mistake cops in riot gear for a SWAT raid. In other words, this may have just been an insanely heavy-handed police response, not a formal SWAT raid.

Still. We're talking about a misdemeanor, here. Not just that, but a consensual, nonviolent crime. It's also an activity that's legal in other contexts in other states. That is, pornography -- in which someone can pay someone to have sex with someone else, film it, and sell the footage -- is legal in many parts of the country. The suspect here was allegedly paying other people to have sex with him, filming it, and then selling the footage.

And it's worth repeating -- the guy they raided wasn't even the suspect. They've also apparently ruined his business, which included building website for a number of businesses that had nothing to do with pornography.

It's another data point supporting the theory that this sort of force is increasingly the first option police turn to, instead of the last.

Note: The "Raid of the Day" features accounts of police raids I've found, researched, and reported while writing my forthcoming book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. It's due out in July, but you can pre-order it here.

Filed by Radley Balko