SWAT Team Raids Families Home and Kills Dog. Finds a Bong.

Last month, HeadCount's Community Question asked "what personal liberty issues are most important to you?" Those who participated in the poll overwhelmingly chose marijuana legalization among the 4 choices. So it's pretty certain that this video of a marijuana raid that took place at a family home in Columbia, Missouri in February will stir some emotions among HeadCount Blog readers and any dog lovers that might be reading.

[poll id="4"]

While the raid took place months ago, it's this shocking video that is bringing criticism to the Columbia Police Department for the raid's execution which involved kicking in the door of Jonathan Witworth's home late at night followed by the shooting of 2 family dogs, one of which was killed and the other injured. The raid turned up a "small amount of marijuana." So small that the suspect is not even facing marijuana possession charges and was able to plead down to paraphernalia charge for the bong and weed grinder they found. It's certainly worth noting (and pretty ironic) that as the father of the 7 year old boy (who witnessed the whole violent ordeal) the man was also charged with child endangerment.

Surprisingly, these raids are quite common with upwards of 150 occurring every day throughout the U.S.  Most go unnoticed unless, like this one, they're caught on camera or involve a public official like the Mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland who watched his two brown labs get shot to death in a botched marijuana bust 2 years ago. If you're poor and black you can probably forget about getting any sympathy from the media.

A video like this really has the potential to shift public opinion about marijuana legalization. Read other activists' takes on this viral video like Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake and Scott Morgan from StoptheDrugWar.org who eloquently sums up how watching it will make you feel:

“You have to see it with you own eyes to fully absorb the brutal callousness of the people who carry out these violent attacks on peaceful families. Even knowing as I do how often events like this take place, I still shuddered while witnessing the suspect’s grief at discovering his dogs had been shot.”