Massive SWAT team raid destroys organic farm

They were looking for pot plants but didn't find any

Topics: AlterNet, SWAT, Civil Rights, marijuana, Pot, Police, Law enforcement, ,

Massive SWAT team raid destroys organic farm (Credit: Wikimedia)
This article originally appeared on Alternet.

AlterNet

The police raid of a small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, which lasted for more than 10 hours and included aerial surveillance and a SWAT team, resulted in a confiscation of vegetables and plants on the property only, Huffington Post reported.

Owners of the property called “Garden of Eden” are now demanding an apology from police and compensation for what was taken from them including 17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants, native grasses and sunflowers, after police were granted a search warrant for marijuana plants. Ironically, no evidence of marijuana was found on the property.

The raid resulted in all adults being handcuffed and the residents held inside at gunpoint for at least half an hour, according to owner Shellie Smith:

“They came here under the guise that we were doing a drug trafficking, marijuana-growing operation … They destroyed everything,” she told WFAA.

“There were sunflowers for our bees and gifting. Lots of okra, and we had a sweet potato patch that they whacked down with a Weed-Eater … The weeds that we used to shade our crops are also gone,” she said.

Moreover, Smith claims that police failed to show a warrant until two hours after the raid began and hid their name tags to avoid identification.

City of Arlington spokeswoman Sana Syden said the Garden of Eden had been cited for numerous violations and a number of complaints by neighbors that marijuana was being grown on the property. However, no such plants were found.

The case illustrates another example of the increasing use of paramilitary police raids using SWAT teams as routine police work – in many cases where there is no justifiable threat to officer safety.



According to Cato’s Radley Balko, there are approximately 40,000 raids per year that involve subjecting nonviolent drug offenders and innocent bystanders to police terror by wrongfully having their homes invaded by police dressed as soldiers, which at times can result in unnecessary death and injuries.

Only last week a SWAT team was brought in to serve an administrative warrant. Moreover, in recent times the use of SWAT teams has proliferated with their use in a string of cases from performing regulatory alcohol inspections, raiding bars for underage drinking and performing licensing inspections at barbershops.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...