Columbia police alter tactics after video of raid goes online

COLUMBIA, Mo — The Columbia Police Department has modified its guidelines for drug search warrants
after a police video from the department, which included an officer shooting and killing a dog, hit the internet.
The Columbia Daily Tribune obtained the video of the February raid using a Sunshine Law request. It posted the video on its website May 3. The video soon had been viewed by people around the world, and criticism of the police began pouring in.
Police had raided the house on a tip. They suspected a man there was a drug dealer and in possession of “felony quantities” of marijuana. (Possession of 35 grams or less of pot is a misdemeanor in Columbia and is handled in municipal rather than state court.)
Police obtained a search warrant for the man’s house. Eight days after obtaining the warrant, the SWAT team raided the house.
The man, who has a felony drug record, his wife and 7-year-old son were in the house and witnessed the raid.
Officers shot and killed a pit bull and wounded a smaller dog. They found a small amount of marijuana and arrested the man.
As a result of the raid, the man later pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia as part of a plea deal.
Charges of possession of marijuana and second-degree child endangerment were dropped.
Columbia police since have revised policies regarding drug search warrants and procedures for serving warrants.

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