Balko looks at the reforms Columbia, Missouri Police Chief Ken Burton has agreed to since video of his department's SWAT team in action went viral:
Unfortunately the changeswhile small steps in the right directionstill miss the point. Burton says his department will no longer conduct SWAT raids at night. They won’t conduct raids in homes where children are present. Suspects will be under constant surveillance until the raid is carried out. And raids will be conducted within a shorter period of time from when police get the initial tip about a suspected drug dealer. But the Columbia Police Department will still conduct volatile, violent, highly aggressive forced-entry raids on people suspected of consensual, nonviolent drug crimes. That is what’s wrong with the YouTube video. Changing the time of day of the raid doesn’t change the wildly disproportionate use of force.