Put aside the wisdom or morality of the drug war. Balko and Sullivan both pivot that way. I want to talk about something different. Something a bit larger. Folks talk about the banality of evil. It's one of those cliches that you hear from time time. But I don't think that folks stop very often to think about what that phrase means. Or what it looks like in action. Evil becomes banal when people — good people — stop recognizing it, stop appreciating it, and come to accept it as normal. When evil becomes so routine that good people accept it as the way of doing business.
I am not comparing the cops in the video to Nazis (whence the phrase comes). But it's hard for me to see their actions, here, as anything other than evil.
Maybe I'm overly influenced by having kids; maybe I'm not thinking straight. But my reaction to watching these cops, dressed to kill, bashing down a door and shooting two dogs (a pit bull and a corgi) in front of a seven year old child all because his father had a little bit of pot … well, my initial reaction was shock. This video literally took my breath away. Followed, quickly, by anger. This kid could easily have been killed for nothing; he certainly will be scarred.
Mark Thompson goes another direction:
I will believe that conservatives and the American Right view the words “liberty” and “tyranny” as something other than politically effective platitudes when they make putting an end to 40,000 raids like this a year a higher priority than whether they are taxed to provide someone else with health care or the unrealized hypothetical consequences of cap and trade.
I can’t get over those assholes that shot that man’s pets over a miniscule amount of pot (and more than likely based on faulty information from an informant with whom they cut a deal). I’ve only had Lily 11 months (today!), but I would be out for blood if someone shot her, cop or otherwise. I’d be a helluva lot less rational than that guy was. At the very least there would have been a tasing on that video or another shooting (of me) as I lost my shit all over the place.
Pete Guither follows up on the story.