Another SWAT Team Outrage

On Tuesday, the Wharton Police Department in Texas shot a 17-year old boy, Daniel Castillo Jr. to death. The SWAT team was serving a search warrant looking for drugs after the police allegedly witnessed a drug deal take place at the residence. According to the family, Castillo was unarmed and asleep when the SWAT team burst into his bedroom door and killed him. Radley Balko has the details

According to [Rick] Dovalina [head of the local LULAC chapter], police say they found what appear to be stems and seeds of marijuana, either in the Castillo home or in the yard behind it. Contrary to earlier reports, the victim’s father, Daniel Castillo, Sr. was not arrested or charged with a crime.

Police did arrest a man in a white pick-up truck outside the house. The man was apparently dating one of the victim’s sisters, and police claim they found crack cocaine in the vehicle.

Dovalina says Daniel Castillo, Jr. was unarmed, had no criminal record, and according to his father, was not involved in the drug trade. The police affidavit for the search warrant claims an unidentified informant saw crack being sold from the house. It names “David Castillo” as a possible suspect, then later, “Daniel Castillo.” That tip and police observations of “traffic” at the Castillo home formed the basis of the forced-entry SWAT raid. No one but the police knows the identity of the informant.

According to his sister, Castillo was shot just below the eye as he rose up from his bed after hearing her scream. She was holding a 1-year-old child just a few feet from the shooting.

So here we have a SWAT team, in search of Demon Crack, that shoots a kid in the face after they wake him up. The kid was unarmed, there was no reason to shoot him. Sadly, these incidents are becoming all too common as a result of the War on (some) Drugs and use of no-knock raids and SWAT teams. Sadly also, there won’t be as much outrage to this incident as there was over the Kathryn Johnson and Sean Bell shootings because people have become desensitized over these killings.

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