Great essay by a former serviceman, Alex Hortonis, who knows a little bit about kicking down doors and sticking guns into people's faces. Enough that when it happened to him he knew what to do when it happened to him. And after.
I got home from the bar and fell into bed soon after Saturday night bled into Sunday morning. I didn’t wake up until three police officers barged into my apartment, barking their presence at my door. They sped down the hallway to my bedroom, their service pistols drawn and leveled at me.
It was just past 9 a.m., and I was still under the covers. The only visible target was my head.
In the shouting and commotion, I felt an instant familiarity. I’d been here before. This was a raid.
Hortonis argues that militirising police work creates a militarised, high threat environment that is more dangerous to operate in:
...law enforcement officers need the cooperation of the communities they patrol in order to do their jobs effectively. In the early stages of the war, the U.S. military overlooked that reality as well. Leaders defined success as increasing military hold on geographic terrain, while the human terrain was the real battle. For example, when our platoon entered Iraq’s volatile Diyala province in early 2007, children at a school plugged their ears just before an IED exploded beneath one of our vehicles. The kids knew what was coming, but they saw no reason to warn us. Instead, they watched us drive right into the ambush. One of our men died, and in the subsequent crossfire, several insurgents and children were killed. We saw Iraqis cheering and dancing at the blast crater as we left the area hours later.
The way he went about piecing together the circumstances and context of his own raid experience is very impressive citizen journalism. Better than a lot of pro journalists could manage, actually.