Police Militarization, Abuses of Power, and the Road to Impeachment
At the same time, the increasing militarization of law enforcement, most visibly demonstrated by the growing use of massive, SWAT-type raids on businesses and individuals, sometimes with federal involvement or authorization, is heightening concerns that this country is moving toward a police state.
Mountain Pure SWAT Raid: The Movie
Mountain Pure Water, LLC is headquartered on Interstate 30 just outside the town of Little Rock, Arkansas. The company manufactures and distributes beverage containers, spring water, fruit drinks, and teas. In January 2012, about 50 federal agents, led by Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Special Agent Cynthia Roberts and IRS Special Agent Bobbi Spradlin, swooped in, guns drawn. Without explanation they shut down plant operations, herded employees into the cafeteria, and confined them to the room for hours. They could not so much as use the bathroom without police escort. Cell phones were confiscated and all Internet and company phones were disabled.
Plant Manager Court Stacks was at his desk when police burst through his office door, guns drawn and pointed at him—a thoroughly unprofessional violation of basic firearms discipline in this circumstance, and the cause of numerous accidental SWAT killings.
According to Mountain Pure CEO John Stacks, the search warrant was related to questions about an SBA loan he secured through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recover tornado losses to his home, warehouse, and associated equipment. Mr. Stacks says the SBA apparently doesn’t believe that assets listed as damaged in the storm were actually damaged.
The search warrant was extremely vague and some agents’ actions may have been illegal, according to company attorney, Timothy Dudley. Comptroller Jerry Miller was taken to a private room and interrogated for over three hours by SBA Special Agent Cynthia Roberts, the raid leader. He requested an attorney and was told “That ain’t gonna happen.” According to Miller, the SBA unilaterally changed the terms of Stacks’ loan. He says he asked Roberts what gave the SBA authority to do that, and she responded, “We’re the federal government, we can do what we want, when we want, and there is nothing you can do about it.” Miller said during the raid Roberts “strutted around the place like she was Napoleon.”
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