Chief Defends Team, Changes Approach
Burton also said the force would begin using a less aggressive approach to serve most search warrants.
The YouTube video of the Columbia SWAT team raid received more than one million views as of today.In February, Columbia Police got a warrant to enter the home of25-year-old Johnathan Whitworth, whom they suspected of trafficking marijuana.
The video caused controversy because police shot and killed one of Whitworth's two dogs. Today. Police Chief Ken Burton addressed the issue in a press conference at City Hall. He said he did not like the way officers executed the raid and said that changes are being made.
He mentioned considering whether or not children or animals are present in a house as one of those changes.
Burton stated, "What I'm committing to you is is that we're going to use other alternatives. Dynamic entry is going to be a last resort. We can still run search warrants and not run them dynamically. We can run them after the people leave. We can let people leave the home, we can stop them in traffic, arrest them and then go back and run the warrant. We can wait for kids to go to school on the school bus, there's a lot of things that we can do."
Chief Burton says officers waited too long to carry out the warrant. Officers used to have ten days from the time the warrant was issued, but with the new policy changes, all raids must be carried out eight hours after a warrant is issued.