First, we had ‘bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica’; thanks to the fantastic imagination of Emily St. John Mandel – we also now have an incredible book that delivers Shakespeare, Star Trek and the Traveling Symphony.
A fantastic dystopian post-apocalyptic tale that hits almost too close to home for comfort, Station Eleven weaves it’s web around what Vonnegut would consider a Karass, a group of people somehow destined to intertwine their lives.
Between the Georgia Flu and the deterioration of what we’ve deemed normal, and the foreboding feelings of post apocalyptic dystopia – Station Eleven enveloped me in a world that felt similar to mine yet so, uniquely separate. For days, I was interchangeably Kirstin and Miranda; I had two knife tattoos on my wrist and I was slowly uncovering bits of myself, like a backwards puzzle piece through her eyes, or I was discovering myself in Miranda’s evolution, in time with the world around me – delving into the worlds beyond with Dr. Elven and into the depths of myself and the Undersea.
Even with the book over, the words ‘Survival is Insufficient’ weave their way through my brain, leaving a permanent reminder to not only find beauty in this world, but to create and curate that beauty as well.
Without spoiling things, here are a few of the quotes that sat with me.
“At moments when other people could only stare, he wanted to be the one to take step forward.”
“I repent nothing”
“…only the dishonorable leave when things get difficult…can you call the pursuit of happiness dishonorable?”
“…if she reached far enough with her thoughts she might find someone waiting, that if two people were to cast their thoughts outward at the same moment they might somehow meet in the middle.”
“If you are the light, if your enemies are darkness, then there’s nothing that you cannot justify. There’s nothing you can’t survive because there’s nothing that you will not do.”
“What did it mean to seem like yourself, in the course of such unspeakable days? How was anyone supposed to seem?”
“A fragment for my friend — If your soul left this earth I would follow and find you Silent, my starship suspended in night”
“Hell is the absence of people you long for”
“I don’t believe in the perfectibility of the individual”
“- it’s like the corporate world’s full of ghosts. And actually, let me revise that….to say adulthood’s full of ghosts. I’m talking about these people who’ve ended up in one life instead of another and they are just so disappointed. Do you know what I mean? They’ve done what’s expected of them. They want to do something different but it’s impossible now, there’s a mortgage, kids, whatever, they’re trapped. High functioning sleepwalkers.”
Upon finishing the novel, I wanted to rush to the interwebs and demand that someone make a miniseries of this – low and behold, HBO is already in the process of creating an adaptation of Station Eleven, with The HBO adaptation. Directed by Hiro Murai of Childish Gambino’s This is America and Atlanta fame, I have high hopes for the series and am already anxiously awaiting it’s release.
Station Eleven is a timely and instant classic; the perfect read for our current world situation. After the solitude and self sufficiency of Thoreau’s Walden, this is a close second for me.
What’s a book you’ve read during quarantine that hit close to home in a good way? If you have one to add, let me know in the comments below!
If there’s one thing I’ve had a lot of recently – it’s downtime; me time; well, every now and again, the downtime comes with moments of anxiety – others, it turns into a few moments of existential freakout time, but for the most part – these last few months have been exceptional for my mental health, for grounding myself, and for my hobbies.
When I was a wee little one, which at 6’0″ might be hard now for some to imagine, my absolute favorite store trips weren’t to Toys’R’Us or the Disney Store, they weren’t to FAO Schwartz or Macy’s; they were to a little homegrown shops in the Bay Area, Kepler’s Books and McWhorter’s Stationary, both of which I lament are now closed, but both were full of whimsical worlds of wonder to me.
When it comes to writing and sketching notebook’s, admittedly I’m a little picky. When you’re obsessed with using bright, vivid colors – you also end up suffering from color bleeding from page to page, often times ruining a piece of work that you would have preferred to preserve. Enter the fantastic hard cover journal from the esteemed company Paperage. Whether you want a lined, blank or dotted journal – they come in oodles of sizes and colors, each with the same high quality paper. I got one to turn into a ‘bread making journal’, and I love the size and feel of the notebook, and how the paper is silky smooth to the touch.
Raise your hand if you felt a bit dumb for getting a planner in 2020! Okay, let me amend that statement – because I actually got two planners. I wanted to dabble around and see what was good and new with planners, and deviated from my norm to the Law of Attraction planner but soon remembered why I had stuck with the Passion Planner as long as I have.
For starters: the ease of kicking it off, the sleek and sexy design, ways to build out goals, whether you want it dated or undated, Sunday or Monday start; the Passion Planner is simply the best planner around and I can’t imagine straying from it again.
Now that we have your journals all lined up and ready to go, it’s time to discuss something a little closer to my heart – PENS. You might think I’m a bit nuts, and you might be right – but there’s something so soothing, so relaxing, about finding pens that glide like an ice skater over your pages, without leaking through or smudging as you go.
I stumbled across these Paper Mate Ink Joy pens when I was back in school at the beginning of the year, and was beyond thrilled at the rainbow array of colors; it made taking notes not only easy – but incredibly fun!
When it comes to highlighters, there are some colors that always feel more bold than necessary – in a sense, almost drowning out the monochrome text behind it with a dazzling, technicolor display dripping in neon ink. Vibrant and beautiful, yes; but often becoming hard to re-read, as well. Enter Zebra’s line of Mildliners – a one two punch, with either a fine end and a bold end, or super fine on one side with a brush tip on the other.
Be warned, these mildliners are highly addictive; you can ask my husband, and he’ll agree – getting one set of Zebra Mildliners is a gateway drug to more.
Last, but not least – my favorite drawing supplies to just doodle with. I’ve gone back and forth on this, and finally have concluded that sometimes, you can’t pick just one – like me right now, deciding which pens I would take to a desert island if I could only take one brand. So, for the win we have Pentel’s line of fantastic sparkly pens.
Whether they’re the RSVP Krazy Pop, Sparkle Pop or Solar Pop pens, or their incredibly vivid Dual Metallic Hybrid stylings, I’ve always been a fan of the ergonomics of the RSVP pens and the boldness of their colors. Add to it some technicolor sparkle that shimmers in the sun, or on black paper, or acts chameleon-like and I’m SO DOWN.
When it comes to drawing and doodling, what are some of your go to supplies that are in your bag? Share your favorites in the comments below!
With that out of the way, now we need to focus on the matter at hand: what does it mean to defund a public community service, funneled by our tax money? I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure every person who pays their taxes deserves to know where the money is funneled through – regardless of the programs. Schools, hospitals, transportation – all get defunded, all the damn time; but, we still have them as public, societal programs.
We’re not saying eradicate and abolish the police, or decline to fund them entirely – we’re asking that communities, cities and states take a harder look at both where the funding for their police, their training and their equipment come from and the proportional rate of funding compared to other helpful civic functions – public housing and assistance, education reform, child protective services. We’re asking for a reinvestment of Black and BIPOC lives.
Now, we could probably try and chant “re-evaluate and redistribute our tax money through better channels of public service than a racist police forcebecause it’s killing people“, or we could shorten it to “Reform the Police“. But let’s face facts, those slogans simply aren’t as persuasive, powerful or conversation starting as a protest march thousands of vibrant faces deep in a beautiful display of the complexities of the human condition, screaming “DEFUND THE POLICE” in unison.
• In 2019, the police murdered 1098 US citizens
• Black people were 24% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population.
• There were only 27 days in 2019 that the police did NOT kill anyone
👊🏿👊🏾WHY are we asking to defund police departments?👊🏾👊🏿
Our current police system is rigged against Black and minority communities, and needs staunch and inherent reform from all directions. From the salaries of those at the top, to the training – or lack thereof – for new officers, and the vast stockpile of militarized weapons police forces are receiving.
“…we have everything from office equipment, clothing, tools, radios. But then we have some pretty heavy-duty things, things like armored vehicles, assault rifles, grenades and something called a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP), which was invented by the Department of Defense as a counterinsurgency strategy to be able to fight IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
If you’ve watched any of the protests at all, you’ll notice LRAD cannons and tanks, armored vehicles and oodles of tactical gear; a stark contrast to what we’ve seen the medical community supplied with in the wake of COVID-19. Since moving up to Seattle a year and a half ago, this city has become a new home to me – and because of that, I’ve taken a vested interest in how our city has been handling the protests. Statistics provided are from USA Today.
• Population, 2018: 744,949 (20th most populated city in the US)
• Police dept. funding as % of total budget, fiscal year 2020: 27.2% (5th largest out of 50 largest cities)
• Total police budget for fiscal 2020: $409 million (17th largest)
• Total city budget for fiscal 2020: $1.50 billion (19th smallest)
• Law enforcement employees per 100K: 262 (123rd highest out of 634 cities with 65K +)
• Total law enforcement employees: 1,954
• Violent crimes reported per 100K in 2018: 680 (111th highest out of 634 cities of 65K +)”
👊🏿👊🏾HOW does defunding work?👊🏾👊🏿
The actual, literal act of defunding is simple, it’s just not easy: all you have to do is reduce spending to the department while moving that money to social services better suited to assist the entire community. Here’s the rub – to get there you have to go through policy makers and politicians; the same ones who are potentially bankrolled by part of that same budget you’re asking to diminish.
“Defunding the police does not necessarily mean getting rid of the police altogether. Rather, it would mean reducing police budgets and reallocating those funds to crucial and oft-neglected areas like education, public health, housing, and youth services. (Some activists want to abolish the police altogether; defunding is a separate but connected cause.) It’s predicated on the belief that investing in communities would act as a better deterrent to crime by directly addressing societal problems like poverty, mental illness, and homelessness — issues that advocates say police are poorly equipped to handle, and yet are often tasked with. According to some estimates, law enforcement spends 21 percent of its time responding to and transporting people with mental illnesses. Police are also frequently dispatched to deal with people experiencing homelessness, causing them to be incarcerated at a disproportionate rate.”
Our educational system is in disarray, many districts using outdated text books or without enough materials for all students. There isn’t enough job training for the unemployed and homeless communities to get them back on their feet, nor are there enough resources to bring citizens out of homelessness – even though there are thousands of high rent apartments that are empty. Our veterans aren’t taken care of appropriately when they return to the states. Mental illness has run amuck and there could be a vast focus on that for the betterment of society.
Each one of those functions is something that has been defunded over time, and each one of those could use reinvestment – let’s face it, that pseudo-utopian version of the United States would be beautiful, with education, access and housing for all; we could actually make America great again. Not to mention, that providing those social functions would help eradicate the future need FOR MORE law enforcement.
👊🏿👊🏾WHO would step in to... 👊🏾👊🏿
In the US, the police deal with far more than just crimes – they also deal with civil disputes, mental health issues, drug abuse and overdoses, as well as family disputes and domestic violence calls.
In each of these situations, an officers lack of diversity or community training can be costly – when you’re a Black American, they can also be deadly – as we’ve seen with Jacob Blake. One look at the infographic and it’s painfully obvious that many of the reasons behind crime are wound up in mental health; and by in large, that’s something that we do not tackle as a society – drug use included; if we had better funding for programs aimed at curtailing drug additions, as well as an end to the drug war – which by in large targets BIPOC communities as well – our society would get back on the right foot again.
In lieu of police serving more social functions with no psychological or sociological background to assist them, we could send in trained mental health professionals; for non-threatening emergencies, we could simply rely on the same EMT crews that are dispatched for car accidents.
👊🏿👊🏾WHEN? The time is NOW. 👊🏾👊🏿
With the Breonna Taylor verdict, or non-verdict, on all of our minds – I know people are angry, upset, outraged. We’re taking to the streets, we’re demanding change – but what we need to do is demand it from the right people. That isn’t the President, or the Executive branch – it starts with your local officials for your city, for your county – and for your state.
We need to remember to vote not just every four years, but every year for state office and every two years for congress. Register to vote, double check you’re registered and if voting by mail or absentee be sure to turn in your ballot as far ahead of time as possible.
Do your own research on local and state government, and truly try to understand how they’re spending their money. How are you going to be a champion for the people today – how are you going to ensure that Black lives not only matter, but are an equally important and integral part of our gestation as a nation? Which side of history are you going to be on?
“Mathematics is the loom upon which God weaves the fabric of the universe. The fact that reality can be described or approximated by simple mathematical expressions suggests to me that nature has mathematics at its core.”
With quarantine still pushing on, and Summer officially coming to a close without anyone getting a real vacation in – it’s important to me to at the very least, explore those things we can still explore. If we can’t adventure outwards, I firmly believe it’s our duty to venture inwards – with all physical and celestial frontiers conquered, to me this is the last sort of true exploration still out there; a sort of ‘manifest destiny’ of the mind, and a conquering of the ego and self as our final frontiers, if you will.
Growing up, I was all about a good detective story a la Lilian Jackson Braun; as I flowed out of high school and into myself, I started finding strength in characters in Danzy Senna’s coming of age tales, the seductive mysteries of Lauren Henderson, or a twisted dystopian view of reality from the likes of Jerry Stahl or Arthur Nersesian. Maybe it’s a symptom of age, or want of information – but now that I’m firmly in my thirties, I’ve noticed a mental shift – I ebb and flow towards books on science, mathematics, religion and philosophy, and haven’t picked up a work of fiction since powering through Richard K Morgan’s impressive Altered Carbon series. After finally making it through Livio’s impressive read on the ‘The Golden Ratio’, I got turned on to (and by) some of the quips that Livio proposed from Pickover.
The Loom of God is part science fiction adventure as you traverse through the history of the world with your partner in curiosities Mr. Plex, part love story as Theano and last but certainly not least – part mathematical and mystical history of the world, and part philosophical conjecture. Throughout, Pickover’s passion for all topics is palpable and oozes through his writing style, as he poetically propels the reader on a journey befit with companions, pesky antagonists in the form of transfinites and a plethora of knowledge on the history of mathematics.
From Mandelbrot Fractals to Vampire Numbers, Logarthimic Spirals to Stonehenge, the history and philosphy of the multiple cultures, and a lovely marriage within the chapters between the science behind the fiction – this is a fantastic read, that’s difficult to put down and easy to digest.
If this Pickover classic piques your interest, take the following books for a spin. Each weaves a unique, and beautifully explained web on the rich and diverse history and culture surrounding mathematics.
Whether you’re remotely into or completely enchanted by either Mathematics, Mysticism or the magical relationships between their two worlds – I couldn’t recommend this book enough. Find the book on Good Reads, snag yourself a copy from Amazon – or simply head down to your local libraries to see if they have a copy to get your mind into. Before I head on my next literary journey, if anyone has any fantastic pieces of fiction to share, please leave some recommendations in the comments below
Not even a week and a half after I saw my OB/GYN to get my Bartholin’s Cyst lanced, my Bartholin’s Cyst procedure not only reversed itself – but became worse. For the record, with this type of issue – a recurrence is more common than you would hope. In my support group, some women have had 30+ lanced, or dozens of surgeries; it is depressing and isolating, and feels hopeless. There are no clear answers for us and there is no common fix; no one understands how they’re caused or how to truly treat them…but pretty sure if we were men someone would have made a one time pill for this shit – ANYWAYS.
Admittedly, I’ve been a bit bummed and borderline depressed every since my Bartholin’s Cyst Abscess came back after getting it lanced the first time. So, I figured it couldn’t hurt to finally go through the gauntlet of the recommended homeopathic remedies.
Hot water bottles CONSTANTLY (but PLZ be careful, I definitely passed out with it one night and got a second degree burn on my leg…)
Apple Cider Vinegar – applied to a warm wash rag; though, I really do NOT prefer how that makes me smell!
PRID – A homeopathic drying salve, this is supposed to assist in relief from the cyst. Thankfully, my husband used to play baseball and said it reminds him of that; so, guess that’s a win? Either way, it made my nether regions officially smell like a farmer’s market.
Though the swelling and constant discomfort went down initially, eventually after a week of the homeopathic treatments the entire Bartholin’s Gland became inflamed and as hard as a rock. I was excited to try the at home methods because I didn’t feel I do not feel nearly as rushed into it as before – however, it wasn’t long after that I came to the conclusion I had to go through a more invasive surgery to get the issue truly handled.
Fast forward to the next Monday, and I’d spent all morning trying to track down a doctor in the Pacific Northwest that not only understood the issues I was dealing with, but was more or less an expert on the Bartholin’s Glands considered with how little is truly known. I scoured the internet for OB/GYN surgeons in the area, and specialty OB/GYN; even trying out of the box ideas, like finding a Urogynecologist in the area and seeing if they could refer me to another clinic.
Being relatively new still to the area, I simply don’t have the bandwidth for that type of medical knowledge up here – but finally realized, that I’ve made friends, colleagues and coworkers with a handful of fantastic fems in the area and decided to hit them up to see if they had a good recommendation; and I’m infinitely grateful they did. When Danny and I moved into our current home last year, I became instant friends with one of the people that used to live here, she still comes around to hang out with our neighbor and the three of us have had some socially distant wine dates over the Summer; being sick of my own body shaming, and my ego, I spilled the beans to both of them and they didn’t skip a beat with recommending an amazing doctor at the University of Washington’s OB/GYN clinic.
Calling last Monday, I was told that the doctor they were pushing wasn’t available for a few months, but -as it turns out – there was a doctor available the day, and she just so happens to be an Associate Professor at UW and she is their resident surgeon on staff, and only comes in on Mondays. After reviewing my files, as well as a thorough examination – we determined we needed to do a more invasive type of surgery, this time – we would be going for a marsupialization.
• ↠ Marsupialization ↞ •
What does it mean to get a Marsupialization?
Well, besides being a really neat word that makes you feel like a hybrid human-kangaroo; Marsupializations are performed both if drainage isn’t effective, or the cyst is too large or infected for a Word Catheter to make sense. This can happen either in an OR using general anesthesia, or as I found out – it can also be done within your OB/GYN’s office using local anesthesia like lidocaine shots. Word to the wise – if you have a quick metabolism: you will burn through the anesthesia quickly and need more; let your doctor know! Besides the initial series of shots, I had to get about 15 more during the course of the procedure because my body ate through each shot within minutes.
So, what exactly is the Marsupialization Procedure?
After the lidocaine shots, your doctor will use a cold knife to open the gland and drain the cyst. Once the cyst is drained, the area is everted, cleansed and stitched back together using 4-6 stitches to form a small pouch – hence, the term marsuipialization. All in all it takes about 30 to 45 minutes either in the OR or in your doctor’s office.
How to you After Care for it?
Very happy to have taken these last few weeks off work to recover from both surgeries. After the first procedure reversed, I’ve been hesitant to get my hopes up – there’s still a 5-15% failure / return rate. But, after 14 days of doing the least, I’m finally feeling on the mend, minus a little discomfort when I sit thanks to the placement of the gland, and residual inflammation from the incisions and the stitches. I took two weeks off of work, and absolutely recommend that for anyone that gets this procedure done. There is a vast amount of initial discomfort, including issues with going to the bathroom, walking and sitting – and stress does not help; so very glad I’ve taken the time for myself to heal properly. work.
I now have a deeper respect and understanding of my body and mind after feeling the rollercoaster of emotions from the past few weeks. I’m lucky to have such an amazing partner to not only handle this with me, but to handle me going through this. Next time someone says “tough as balls” – please remind them it should REALLLLLY be “tough as a pussy”; between periods, childbirth and poorly researched unique OB/GYN issues- the amount of pain, pressure and discomfort women deal with is phenomenally incredible. Massive respect to all my pretty mommas and badass babes; we run the world.
Let’s get awkward for a second, y’all – I’m about to COMPLETELY overshare, and I’m in no way ashamed about it. We’re going to talk about an uncomfortable, yet rarely discussed, medical condition that affects 1 in 5 women. I’m writing this because 20% of women will have to handle living with one at some point, and as we all come from women or know them – it helps having a deeper understanding.
So yeah, spoiler alert: IT’S ABOUT THE FEMALE ANATOMY
Five years ago, I was diagnosed with a Bartholin’s Cyst. Yesterday, I finally had surgery to have it drained. If you don’t know what a BC is – I sincerely hope you NEVER have to find out. For those that have had them, lived with them and removed them: I have the UTMOST respect for you.
So, what IS a Bartholin’s Cyst?
On either side of the labia sit two glands – the Bartholin’s Glands. What do they do? They lubricate! Sometimes, women get a fluid build up behind the gland, causing a cyst – complete with swelling, discomfort, pressure in the area and pain. At the most basic level, it’s painful to sit, drive, walk, be intimate, wear tight clothing or exercise.
How do you fix a BC?
Start with what you can personally live with. The gland itself is about the size of a pea; originally, I was still dealing a cyst the size of a walnut, and felt uncomfortable wearing shorts and swimsuits. I decided to live with it, because my first doctor told me I would have to have surgery to remove the ENTIRE gland, and I felt that was too extreme of an action. Fast forward to this week, and now I’m sitting on a plum, or as I have been fondly referring to it: my one ball.
Homeopathic remedies include the following, but I’ve found very little literature verifying any of the methods are truly effective (except the last one):
Sitz Baths (or regular baths!) – fill the tub up just a few inches to cover your pelvis, and add Epsom salt. If you’re pre surgery, adding essential oils can be lovely – like Lavender and Rose. If you’re post surgery, make sure you use unfragranced materials.
Tea Tree Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Music from Marvin Gaye + Al Green
What happens when you can’t live with it?
It depends on how invasive of a procedure you’re willing to go through, and how bad the area is. All procedures are same day, out patient.
Surgical drainage: after making a small cut in the cyst, your doctor inserts a small rubber tube (catheter) into the opening to allow it to drain. It can stay in place for up to 6 weeks. This can be done in your OB’s office and takes less than 20 minutes.
Marsupialization: (TOTALLY A FUN WORD…) If drainage isn’t effective, or the cyst is infected – the doctor cuts the cyst to open it, then stitches the skin around the cyst to form a small pouch. This can take 30 minutes, and needs to be in an OR.
Removal of the entire gland: For extreme, or continually recurring cases – this is the only option; and was the original option I was given 5 years ago. Must be done in the OR, and takes around an hour.
I had the simplest procedure, done in the office of my OB – and thank you to Swedish Health in Seattle for making me feel so comfortable and strong enough to see it through; my husband and MIL for taking care of me and reminding me to sit down and heal; and the support groups I’ve found on Facebook with strong, badass women.
Even though I was in physical discomfort with the recovery:
I’m wearing leggings again, and not just dresses and skirts!
I can sit without discomfort of any type
I cannot WAIT for the scar to heal, because I finally feel confident rocking my bikini bottoms
Day 1: I was able to sit soundly on my sit bone; which is monumental considering how much discomfort a simple act was causing. I no longer have to pitch my legs to one side, or sit on a pillow, or sit on the floor to maintain my comfort levels – it’s amazing how little things can be taken so for granted.
Day 2: I could move around easier – though the Word catheter did pinch a bit and cause some slight itching and irritation around the scar, it was so much easier to deal with than having the cyst. I did my best to stay rested, but admittedly – have a hard time sitting still.
Today, Day 3 – I woke up and found my catheter had already been pushed out; there’s no physical discomfort left and I feel better than I have in years.
I’m writing this because there is a stigma about discussing any of this; HELL, I’m even a bit uncomfortable writing it. I simply hope at least 1 person is thinking: OH MY GOODNESS, I’M NOT ALONE; because – you’re not, and you, too, can get through this.
If you have any tips or tricks on living with a BC, or want to lend your story to other women – feel free to leave a comment below; to my female tribe just remember – together, we can get through anything!
On March 19th, police in Louisville, Kentucky incorrectly served a no-knock warrant on the wrong door; 109 days later, and we still have not arrested the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor in her own home, nor have we done away with ‘No-Knock Warrants’ on a national level.
Only one of on duty cops has been removed from active duty, and none of them have been arrested. It is our job to not let her pass in vain, we need to say her name; then call local officials, and make them say it, too – and then make them revoke their laws on “no knock warrants”.
So, what is a “No Knock Warrant”:
According to Cornell’s Law School: “A no-knock warrant is a search warrant authorizing police officers to enter certain premises without first knocking and announcing their presence or purpose prior to entering the premises. Such warrants are issued where an entry pursuant to the knock-and-announce rule (ie. an announcement prior to entry) would lead to the destruction of the objects for which the police are searching or would compromise the safety of the police or another individual.“
Historically, no-knock warrants have been used for drug raids, or situations where the police believe there is a high likelihood of evidence being destroyed if they make themselves announced. On the face of it, the law seems relatively harmless and appropriate – until you begin to factor in how the Drug War in the United States has disproportionately targeted minorities, specifically the Black community; the shackles on our feet are no longer chains, but prison sentences. No knock warrants are disproportionately served in lower income and minority communities than anywhere else in the country.
According to reporting from the New York Times back in 2017: “Thousands of times a year, these “dynamic entry” raids exploit the element of surprise to effect seizures and arrests of neighborhood drug dealers. But they have also led time and again to avoidable deaths, gruesome injuries, demolished property, enduring trauma, blackened reputations and multimillion-dollar legal settlements at taxpayer expense..“
In a six year span, from 2010 through 2016, over 81 civilians as well as 13 officers were killed during SWAT raids; that statistic also includes 31 civilians and eight officers during execution of no-knock warrants. Of the citizens that were the subject of those SWAT warrants: 42% are Black and 12% are Hispanic, where only 18% of the population is Hispanic and 13% is Black.
This brings us back to Breonna Taylor. Miss Taylor wasn’t just the subject of a no-knock warrant, but one that was executed at the wrong address. The police were pursuing drug traffickers, and broke into Taylor’s home unannounced. Her boyfriend, believing they were the subject of a home invasion, fired a shot – and the police responded by emptying round after round into Taylor. Fast forward to now, and the city of Louisville has passed ‘Breonna’s Law‘ – which not only bans no-knock warrants but requires the officers serving out other warrants to have their body cameras on.
But, what about everywhere else?
Out of the 50 states, and 1 district in the USA: no-knock warrants may be issued in every state except Oregon and Florida. 13 states have laws explicitly authorizing no-knock warrants and in twenty additional states no-knock warrants are routinely granted.