Flagpole Magazine, p. 7 (September 6, 2006)


At 9:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006, in Fairfax county, Virginia, a police SWAT team, armed to the teeth, decked out in battle fatigues, helmets, flak vests, and other military accouterments, arrived at the townhouse of Dr. Salvatore J. Culosi, Jr., a 37-year old optometrist. Culosi was a suspected bookie who had been making illegal sports bets from his home, and Fairfax police had obtained a warrant for his arrest and a search warrant to search his residence for gambling paraphernalia. Culosi had no history of violent behavior and his alleged crimes were nondangerous, but the practice in Fairfax county is for the local SWAT team to serve almost all search warrants. The unarmed, unresisting Culosi was in front of his residence when they arrived, weapons drawn in accordance with police protocol. As they began encircling Culosi, one of the officers, apparently accidentally, fired his large .45 cal. Heckler & Koch handgun, striking Culosi in the chest and killing him instantly. Predictably, the fearsome, fascistic trend towards militarizing American police by, among other things, transforming the serving of warrants into paramilitary commando operations, had resulted once again in lethal police violence and the unjustified death of an American citizen.