[After writing this, I found this video interview. Warning: violent sequence.]
Here is an excellent article by Radley Balko on a very disturbing trend: More and more, police forces across the US are using military-style weapons, tactics, and body armor in raids on the homes and businesses of citizens suspected of breaking the law. To some extent, this trend is powered by the "war" (note the word choice) on drugs, but ...
[P]aramilitary creep has also spread well beyond the drug war. In recent years, SWAT teams have been used to break up neighborhood poker games, including one at an American Legion Hall in Dallas. In 2006, Virginia optometrist Sal Culosi was killed when the Fairfax County Police Department sent a SWAT team to arrest him for gambling on football games. SWAT teams are also now used to arrest people suspected of downloading child pornography. Last year, an Austin, Texas, SWAT team broke down a man's door because he was suspected of stealing koi fish from a botanical garden.
I grew up thinking that the degree of force used by the police is proportional to the threat posed by the suspect. The cops only "come on like Gang Busters" if they are busting an actual gang. But that, Radley explains, was then, and this as now: