Given the price of fuel, vehicles, court time, middle management apparatchiki planning time and police overtime, I would guess that raid cost about a quarter million bucks. What is the purpose of showing up with that much firepower to raid one miserable house in the sticks?
Residents of Livingston, IL., population 850, were shocked to see agents from Homeland Security, the US Customs and Border Patrol and local police agencies swarm a field belonging to a grade school yesterday, with one local telling news channel KTVI, "When all the armored trucks started showing up and everything it made me kind of nervous."
One child said he thought the spectacle was "pretty cool" and that agents invited the local children to check out the choppers up close, despite the presence of weapons inside the helicopters.
The school superintendent said he was not given any information about the operation beforehand, despite authorities using school land as a staging ground. The U.S. Attorney's Office refused to release any information on the purpose behind the operation.
KTVI labeled the presence of the feds a "mystery," although it subsequently emerged that the school was being used as a staging ground for a raid on a house three miles away. Authorities refused to divulge the purpose behind the raid or if anyone was taken into custody.
Reporter Roche Madden said he learned that ten police cars showed up at the house to conduct the raid, suggesting that the Black Hawk and the armored vehicles were merely on standby.
The sheer number of feds present, in addition to multiple armored vehicles, military-style choppers and other vehicles, in order to conduct a raid on a single house clearly suggests overkill and will prompt more concerns as to the increasing militarization of U.S. law enforcement.
Authorities routinely stage unannounced drills, often in the middle of the night, which terrify startled residents. Critics have asserted that Americans are being conditioned to accept military-style policing as a routine occurrence.