For Once, SWAT Operators Didn’t Terrorize Kids

Exchanging one set of costumes for another of a more benign variety, a dozen SWAT operators from the Toledo Police Department posing as superheroes performed for sick children at the ProMedica Toledo Hospital.

“It was cool,” said Officer Matthew Slaman, who dressed as the Adamantium-enhanced mutant Wolverine. “It was a lot of fun to see their faces light up, and hope it helps with the healing process.” Other officers were decked out as Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, and other fictional private-sector crime fighters and distributed candy and other treats to children who were delighted by their visitors — or perhaps simply relieved that on this occasion they weren’t flinging flash-bang grenades and ordering terrified people to prone themselves out on the floor.

North Toledo resident Tanya Michael had a markedly different experience when fifteen SWAT operatives — wearing their standard-issue masks, in that instance — barged into her home without cause or justification several years ago.

“I kept hollering, `What are you doing? I’m not doing anything,'” recalled the traumatized 63-year-old woman. “They started going through my bedrooms and told me, `You better not move.'”

As is so often the case, the night-time no-knock raid had been conducted at the wrong address. After reducing the senior citizen to tears, the invaders withdrew and kicked in the door to her neighbor’s apartment.

Acts of kindness toward sick children are always commendable and rewarding, even when carried out as transparent propaganda exercises on behalf of the coercive sector. It should be remembered that what the Toledo SWAT team did to Tanya Michael is the rule, and the hospital visit very much the exception, where SWAT activity is concerned. It’s also worth wondering if any SWAT team anywhere in the soyuz has ever paid a hospital visit to comfort children who were injured as a result of police negligence or abuse. No police officers dressed up as superheroes brought gifts to The infant Bounkham Phonesavanh, whose chest was blown open and face was mangled by a flash-bang grenade during a 3:00 a.m. SWAT raid earlier this year.

(Thanks to LRC reader Alex Peterson for the tip.)

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2:42 pm on November 5, 2014

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