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Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Tampa SWAT Team Kills Armed Man In Marijuana Grow House Raid

marijuana prohibitionBy Phillip Smith

A Tampa, Florida, police SWAT team attempting to carry out a drug search warrant shot and killed a man they said pointed a gun at them Tuesday night. Jason Joseph Westcott, 29, becomes the 19th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

According to Bay News 9, citing police sources, the residence had been under surveillance after undercover officers bought “narcotics” there on several occasions since March. A SWAT team was used in the raid because police knew Westcott had guns in the home.

The Bay News 9 story used anodyne language to describe the raid, saying only that police “entered” the residence. It is not clear from the reporting whether this was a no-knock raid or how the police entered the residence.

Police said one man in the front of the house surrendered when the SWAT team entered, but that Westcott, who was found armed in a back room, pointed his gun and officers and was then shot.

Although police repeatedly referred to “narcotics,” the only “narcotic” Westcott was accused of selling was marijuana. Police found a hydroponic marijuana grow in his home.

Westcott had no prior criminal record except for one incident of driving without a license.

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  • acidsex

    The number of people dying at the hands of police officers is alarming as hell. Only in America do we allow police officers to act as a judge, jury, and executioner while denying citizens their right to due process and their guilt to be judged by a jury of their peers. Just because police said the suspect pulled a gun does not make it so. Why should we believe the police just because they say there was a gun? Is there any proof showing the suspect had a gun? What’s to stop the cops from conducting a no-knock raid and killing the suspect only to find out there was no gun? And if I have a right to defend my property from someone invading my home, why are cops afforded protection and a license to shoot and kill when they are doing the same thing? How many times have we seen cops shoot someone for merely possessing a cell phone that was thought to be a gun? And all for what? For growing a plant that grows in the wild that will be later legalized medically later this year. WTF!

    • bruzer88

      This is just more of the militarization of our police forces. Police have become gangsters, yes I said it, police are gangsters. Police used to protect and serve. Then in the 1970’s with the advent of SWAT this all changed and police became paid enforcers. Paid enforcers in any other arena of life except police work are called gangsters. I personally expect nothing less from the boys in blue, oops, I mean the boys in BDU’s. People are eager to remove civil rights of ex-offenders such as the Sex offender registrations, but what they fail to realize is that by violating the rights of the ex-offenders they open the door to have their rights taken as well. Slippery slopes are just that slippery and there are no lack of LEO’s willing to take your rights or your life in the name of the war on drugs.

      This is just another example of how we have crossed the line form a democracy to a fascist state.

      • Dee

        The cop cars in illinois don’t even say ‘to protect & serve’ anymore- they obviously know they are not fooling anyone

  • painkills2

    The young man pointed his gun at the officer? That doesn’t sound right. If he was a hydroponic grower, than he would have been smarter than that. Where’s the video footage, say from a helmet or lapel camera?

    And maybe 19 people have been reported as being killed by law enforcement this year in the drug war, but multiply that by the thousands that have been injured this year, physically and monetarily… for life.

    • mk

      I was driving home from work and saw the 2 armored SWAT vehicles and some very large police vehicle driving to that kids house I was thinking there is a serial killer cornered somewhere when I got home and saw the news my heart sank it’s ridiculous never believe what a police spokesman says because it’s a flat out lie something has to be done with the trigger happy SWAT guys there is no way this man pointed a gun at all those guys there had to be 20 of them. at the same time there was probably 2 or 3 murders happening around town what is wrong with this picture. so what if someone sells smokes anything with pot it is not a menace to society like rapists and murderers are why do they focus on this as such a crime

      • painkills2

        They focus on drug crimes because that’s where all the money is — from the federal government, trickling all the way down to your local sheriff’s office, and to the thousands of anti-drug groups going around preaching abstinence. Most (if not all) of the funding goes toward fighting the drug war, nothing else.

        Does law enforcement make money when it solves a murder? No, they make money confiscating and selling loot from drug busts. No wonder Americans are so poor…

        • Dee

          Besides that- who can they go after that is less of a threat to their personal safety than a pot-smoker/grower. Cops are cowards that feel the need to prove themselves at every non-threatening opportunity!

  • wowFAD

    Several days ago, during a raid in Habersham County, GA to arrest a drug dealer on an anonymous tip, a baby was severely burned when a flash-bang grenade was thrown into the baby’s crib.

    The baby has a 50/50 chance to live. He is currently in a medically induced coma while he is treated for the severe burns. Law enforcement made no effort to establish who lived at the address before assaulting the home.

    Bou Phonesavanh is 19 months old, and may not live out the week. All because cops need to feel like big bad men who, instead of engaging in actual POLICE work, want to be paramilitary cowboys who toss grenades first and ask questions later. It’s been suggested that five minutes on Google could have saved this child’s life.

    The very same Sherriff’s department was also responsible for shooting and killing an innocent pastor in 2009. His widow was awarded $2 million for his wrongful death.

    How much death and injury and suffering are we going to swallow before we realize what sort of country we’re living in and DO something about it?

    • Saddened

      may that bastard who actually tossed the device burn in hell

    • patrick star

      Protect and serve yeah more like destroy and kill

    • Doc Deadhead

      Vote out that sheriff, vote out all pot haters, WE ARE THE MAJORITY.

      • Mr. Lucky

        We are not the majority. The majority loves cops and supports them no matter who they kill.

    • Tim hop

      That is such bull shit I feel sorry for the babe an I hope the big it’s gang in blue gets what’s comein to them

  • Uncle Arthur

    The War on Drugs has become a marvelous way for politicians and law enforcement to engage in crimes against humanity.

  • Scott Eaton

    Pot is NOT a narcotic

  • Mr. Lucky

    If you have legally bought a gun in the last few years, you are in the database. Cops access that data base before making a raid. If you are a lawful gun owner, they send SWAT. When SWAT arrives they no knock and use flash bang grenades. Then they are brutal in their raid, and often shoot your dog.

    • mk

      Yes they will l kill anything that is scared when they ram the door yelling UN announced. Poor frightened dogs are shot as they’re running down the hallway to hide. They need to fire their weapons to feel satisfaction. Why do judges even sign warrants without reviewing circumstances? People need to complain to their local congress on their zero-dark-thirty approaches in the middle of night. At citizens homes. A bag of pot or Osama Bin Laden is all the same to them. Such a shame.