The troubling rise of SWAT teams

SWAT team use has spiked from around 3,000 strikes per year in 1980 to as many as 80,000 raids a year now

(Image credit: (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images))

In Tomkins County, New York, earlier this month, as many as 150 police officers from no less than 18 law enforcement agencies engaged in a three-day standoff at a family home. Their goal? To arrest one David M. Cady Jr., who had barricaded himself in his family's home to avoid going to jail for missing a DUI court date.

By the time this legion of cops was finished, Cady was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound — and his widow was left with two children and no home in the middle of winter. The SWAT teams battered Cady's house so thoroughly that some exterior walls are gone entirely, while appliances and personal belongings are strewn about the yard.

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