Dallas SWAT teams raid local poker rooms

by Lou on November 22, 2006

The Dallas, Texas police department has apparently come up with a unique and innovative way to keep their SWAT teams trained for real combat situations. For the second time in two months, Dallas SWAT teams, in simultaneous raids, busted some local poker rooms.

To keep in practice, the SWAT teams broke windows, kicked down doors, and swept into the poker rooms with assault weapons drawn just as they would if they suspected that the rooms were filled with nests of terrorists cooking up weapons of mass destruction and planning to use them on innocent civilians.

Instead, they busted a bunch of people playing poker — folks like you and me — and no more a danger to anyone else than a bowling league.

Why the overkill? Estimates I’ve read suggest that approximately 60 SWAT team members were used to conduct these raids. If poker is illegal and the Dallas PD’s top brass feel they have to use vital and scarce law enforcement resources on this sort of crap, why not just send two officers there to knock quietly on the door, tell the players that the jig is up, and get on with whatever processing procedures they engage in once the raid is complete.

Did they expect every poker player in the room to come out shooting? Were they thinking they were going to confront Jesse James and the Younger brothers?

Why the need for SWAT teams? Their use should be reserved for really dangerous situations — where suspects are barricaded and have hostages and weapons they intend to use. A SWAT team is not for rousting poker players engaged in what’s at worst a victimless crime that’s the result of a stupid law.

Was this a training exercise? Was it simply a game of “cops and robbers” played with real guns, real cops, but nary a robber in site?

Law enforcement officials look like overbearing, brutish thugs in this situation. But I suppose they can sleep soundly knowing that residents of Dallas are safe from the specter of poker players and the dreaded dangers of a card game.

How incredibly stupid.

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