FBI tactics in Stone arrest were over the top

Once upon a time, heavy-handed law enforcement came from agencies that hired people of limited education and to whom limited training was provided. The FBI became a standard of excellence because special agents were selected on the basis of very high qualifications and provided with extensive classroom and field training.

As a former special agent myself, I was taught to recognize the difference between violent and non-violent crimes because a different response was called for when suspects were to be arrested.

Let me emphasize the word “suspects” because at the time of arrest no determination of guilt/innocence has been made.

Arrests were to be made with the least danger for agents, suspects and innocent bystanders and with the least possible public attention. One such measure is early morning raids when the suspect is expected to be asleep and therefore incapable of resistance. Another reason for early morning raids is to prevent the destruction of evidence.

Let us consider the Roger Stone arrest. No history of violence. Not charged with a violent crime. No reasonable expectation of finding evidence. The arrest was made with SWAT-like tactics including an armored vehicle.

I know that Hollywood glamour comes with SWAT tactics, but it was totally unnecessary. He could have been arrested when he came out to get his morning newspaper by two Boy Scouts.

I am appalled that the FBI of today finds it necessary to use inappropriate and over-the-top tactics in order to make a statement.

Ed Burwitz


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