US MD: Police Develop 'Military Mind Set'
"...Between 1995 and 1997, the military handed over 1.2 million pieces of surplus military hardware to police SWAT teams. But more important, about half of SWAT members get their training from active-duty military personnel, some of them from the Navy SEALS or Army Rangers. Like those special operations units, the SWAT team is structured as a combat unit, with a commander, a tactical leader, a scout, a sniper and so on. The 10-member La Plata County, Colo., SWAT team stormed Samuel Heflin's 46-acre ranch in Bayfield in April 1996, searching for evidence related to a barroom brawl: a cowboy hat, a shirt and a cigarette pack. In the process, an 8-year-old boy playing basketball was forced down at gunpoint, as was a 14-year-old boy.
Sheriff's deputies then followed screaming Shelby Heflin, 4, into the house with a laser-sighted weapon pointed at her back. The SWAT team ordered everyone to lie face down, and when Heflin asked to see a search warrant, he was told to "shut the f--- up."
The family has filed an excessive force suit against the county's SWAT team.
In 1997, the SWAT team of Dinuba, Calif. ( population 15,000 ), broke into the home of Ramon Gallardo, looking for his son, and shot the unarmed Gallardo 15 times. A jury awarded the family $12.5 million, which exceeded the town's insurance coverage. The town has disbanded its SWAT unit. ..."