We have briefly noted previously the Puppycide Database Project's interest in police militarization issues (as well as our belief that explicitly paramilitary tactics do not play the outsize role in puppycide that we first suspected) in our previous post The Fourth Amendment and Police Use of Force Against Animals. While our research so far has shown that SWAT teams do not kill as many dogs as "beat" police do, the tectonic shift in police culture over the preceding decades from a civilian to a military agency could very well be playing a role.
Last week, a group of law enforcement and military officials raided a series of homes in Flint, Michigan in what has been described by those same officials and the media who reported the event as a "warrant sweep". The following agencies were involved:
- National Guard
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
- Michigan State Police
- Genesee County Sherrif's Office
- Flint Police Department
- Flint Area Narcotics Group
- Genesee Auto-Theft Investigation Network
- Homeland Security
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
The target was an entire area - the 3400 census tract. The tract is home to over 2,000 people; most of whome are children and their mothers (at least when sorted by residency).
A total of 19 arrests were made from the list of 50 individuals with outstanding warrants police used as justification for the "sweep". A military helicopter manned by the National Guard circled overhead during the arrests. Police would later claim an additional five arrests were made as part of "directed patrols".
We have yet to confirm how many animals were seized or killed during the operation. This post will be updated when that information becomes available.