Swatting The Rabble: Just How Many SWAT Teams Did Anaheim Deploy to Confront Unarmed Protesters?

SWATTING THE RABBLE: The Orange County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team maintains constant surveillance of “subversive groups” protesting against police brutality on the North side of Ball Road near Cambridge Street in the City of Anaheim.

Ever since I went to last Sunday’s anti-police brutality demonstration at Anaheim Police Department headquarters, I’ve been rather curious to learn just how many Special Weapons and Tactics Teams (SWAT) were mobilized to confront unarmed protesters. The photographs I took of a staging area the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies set up in a parking lot near Glover Stadium, not to mention of cops monitoring the demonstration itself, hinted to me that numerous SWAT teams had been deployed throughout the city.

Earlier this morning, after several days of unsuccessful attempts to reach him via email and telephone, I finally had an opportunity to speak with Anaheim Police Sergeant Robert Dunn, Public Information Officer for that agency. In the brief conversation I had with him, he confirmed what photographic evidence I had already compiled strongly suggested: namely, that members from approximately four different SWAT teams had been called in to handle the protesters.

They are as follows:

* North County SWAT, which serves BreaCal State Fullerton, Fullerton, La HabraLa Palma and Placentia.
* West County SWAT, which serves Cypress, Los Alamitos, Westminster and Fountain Valley.
* Anaheim Police Department SWAT
* Orange County Sheriff’s Department SWAT

When I asked Dunn as to the reason why SWAT teams were deployed, he stated their purpose is to compliment patrol officers on the scene; that they have better equipment to effect arrests, sometimes going directly into a crowd if necessary to pluck out “troublemakers.” Although he wasn’t specific about it, he did confirm these teams were used later on after the demonstration winded down to take some protesters into custody for alleged crimes they committed.

As I alluded to in a previous post, nobody should be the least bit surprised that SWAT teams were deployed in force at this anti-police brutality demonstration given that the intended historical purpose of these highly-militaristic units was to suppress “civil unrest” and wipe out “subversive groups.” During times of crisis, when the rabble begin to rise up, the capitalist state responds with an iron fist, clamping down on all dissent before things get really out of hand.

In a future article, I’m going to shed some light on the not-so-hidden role the federal government has played so far in the recent deployment of SWAT teams in the City of Anaheim. Although I didn’t witness them being used last Sunday, some of the “assets” strategically placed in the parking lot next to Glover Stadium were there thanks to funding that several local police departments were able to secure from, among all places, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

About Duane Roberts