Transparency? Nahh, we don’t need that.

Yes, it’s long, but I highly recommend watching the whole thing (well, you can probably skip the part that the 10A guy starts talking, he was missing the mark all over the place).

Yesterday (1 October 14), the House Criminal Justice Committee finally heard testimony on Rep. Tom McMillin’s HB4914 (introduced back in July 2013). This legislation would require that law enforcement agencies report every six months on the usage of their SWAT teams.

From the language of the bill:

Sec. 3. Beginning October 1, 2013, and every 6 months after

that date, any law enforcement agency that maintains a SWAT team

shall report all of the following information to the office of the

attorney general using the format developed under section 4:

(a) The number of times the SWAT team was activated and

deployed by the law enforcement agency in the previous 6 months.

(b) Without identifying an exact address, the approximate

location within or outside of the jurisdiction of the law

enforcement agency to which the SWAT team was deployed, including

the name of the county and the city, village, or township, and the

zip code.

(c) The reason for each activation and deployment of the SWAT


(d) The legal authority, including type of warrant, if any,

for each activation and deployment of the SWAT team.

(e) The result of each activation and deployment of the SWAT

team, including all of the following:

(i) The number of arrests made, if any.

(ii) The type of evidence seized, and whether property was


(iii) Whether a forcible entry was made.

(iv) Whether a weapon was discharged by a SWAT team member.

(v) Whether a person or domestic animal was injured or killed

by a SWAT team member.

But we don’t need reporting for these sorts of things though, right? I mean, bad raids never happen in Michigan!

Well, apparently the Republicans on the committee think otherwise. For example, Rep. Joseph Graves finds it worrisome that the officers would have to go back and justify their actions (7:20 in the clip). Heaven forbid a SWAT deployment be justified, or even just tracked! Further he goes on to say that filing a report of the incident doesn’t take it away (8:58). Really? I didn’t think about that.

However, that’s just one of the many gems coming out of Team-R in this hearing. The amount of stupid coming from them just boggles the mind.

Yup, just shows Team-R is all for transparency!

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  7 comments for “Transparency? Nahh, we don’t need that.

  1. Tom Lambert
    October 2, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    As someone who watched the testimony yesterday, I found it very interested that most of the Republicans seemed to completely miss the point, while the Democrats understood well enough.

    I know they think their job is to ask the tough questions, but instead they asked the dumb and irrelevant ones.

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  2. Sovereign Mary
    October 3, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I fully support the needed transparency on SWAT Team usage introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin.

    You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
  3. victor_vicious
    October 4, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Wow, can anyone summarize what is being said by these Representatives of the People?? They are concerned that "drug Dealers" will be able to look at these reports and gain some tactical advantage?? The 'disdain' from the Chairman is palpable. His body language cannot be disguised, how can he call this a 'justice' anything.
    Rep Kesto, we see what you are attempting, cloud the issue, so what other concerns do you want addressed, lets get them all out there. Or to quote you, when another committee you are on was having hearing about video's by CPS workers, "Why wouldn't anyone want this". Your are all trying to make the objections you think the police might have to "Reporting what they are doing" as if that is the only thing that is important because "criminals make there money from drugs".
    Let me give you all a hint, the "Drug War Is An Abject Failure". Let me explain, ok??
    Drugs are stronger, cheaper and more readily available than they were in 1970, those are facts, folks, no one can dispute them.
    The Number UNO drug problem is "Prescription Drugs" being used by people that do not have a Prescription, they are taking them for fun, this according to Gil Kerlikowski, the "Drug Czar", head of ONDCP. 50,000 people will die in the US this year from doing so, how do these Swat Teams address that problem.
    These "Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Forces" are not under the jurisdiction of your Local Police Departments, they operate autonomously, providing they bring in enough "Drug Forfeiture Money". As long as the local police departments funds are not being used no one seems to care.... until someone they know gets raided.
    There are so many under-educated people on this "Criminal Justice Committee" that it should be criminal. They think they should support the police against the citizens that pay all of the salaries for the politicians and the police??? Start calling them "Double Dippers", I bet they would think you should provide your own lawyer, after all, if you did everything right, you wouldn't be in your situation, right. ??
    All of these folks are up for election, please remove the un-educated OR continue to pay more for prisons than we do for education, make them see the trade-off, actually it isn't a 'trade' prisoners kids become prisoners, they are not given any other choice. Fill up the seats, and the recidivism rate will take care of the rest, I bet they would vote for a "New State of the Art Prion" because it would create jobs. VV

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  4. Charmie Gholson
    October 26, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I presented the testimony at the end and can tell you that the Representatives that attacked Rep. McMillin did so by reading directly from the talking points handed to them before the committee hearing by the Michigan State Police. They are furious that we want transparency, and called Rep.. McMillin in to humiliate him for attempted to do so.

    Michigan Moms United is working to re-introduce this bill immediately, with the addition of questions regarding children present in the house during SWAT raids. Please reach out to your representatives and tell them that YES the SWAT teams actually DO need to report and ask them to support legislation that allows so.

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    • October 27, 2014 at 7:02 am

      Ms. Gholson,

      The only thing I could correct you on in regard to your testimony is that I doubt they're using Blackhawks, but rather probably Lakotas, or previously, Kiowas, for the counter drug stuff.

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      • Charmie Gholson
        June 19, 2015 at 12:46 am

        Mr. Gillman:

        I'm not sure why you feel a need to correct me rather than report on the information I gave at the hearing. Both the Washington Post and Forbes Magazine have reported recently on two of my SWAT survivor moms, I had to leave the state in order to get coverage.

        I say, "Blackhawk" because that is the term used by the SWAT survivors I interview.

        Regardless, we will re-introduce the SWAT reporting bill, and continue to tell the stories of Michigan families eviscerated by these dangerous teams

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        • June 19, 2015 at 9:18 am

          Ms. Gholson,

          My statement was not designed to be an attack against your testimony - hardly, as I agree with you.

          I was merely saying that the reality is, for counter drug stuff (if the state was flying, which I admittedly forgot to mention), it would have been Kiowas, and now Lakotas. I can certainly understand your interviewees not understanding the difference necessarily (and I'm also not knocking them if that is the case, either), and if the feds were flying, I suppose they could have been Blackhawks.

          I can say I most certainly look forward to a reintroduction of such a bill.

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