Police dont need to knock, justices say...
- 06-17-2006, 03:19 PM
- 06-17-2006, 06:07 PM
Every department has their own standard operating procedures. 99% of the time they are going to knock and identify themselves.
06-17-2006, 09:34 PM
I think this ruling is designed to save "busts" more than lives.
I imaging a scenerio where a cop on a routine "failure to appeal" warrant, walks in an open door and discovers a terrorist cell network. The officer in his excitement to apprehend Osamas # 2 guy, forgets to announce that he is a police officer serving a warrant.
Previous to the new ruling this "could" be an illegal entry.
Now, there is a precident ruling on the books.
There will still be illegal entries, especially if the search does not
yield a high profile bust. There will be a few random lower end felons that are released, just to make the system look honest.
06-17-2006, 10:32 PM
This would be wise. In all honesty, my first thought when I heard the ruling was "****, cops and civilians are going to die because of this."Originally Posted by delta314
There are whole swaths of criminals (setting aside innocent people) who would NEVER attack a cop, but they would attack a rival busting into their home looking to steal their stash or settle a score. Cops who bust down a door without identifying themselves are going to get mistaken for bad guys.
If there are exigent circumstances, cops can already enter without identifying themselves. If the cops have reason to fear for their safety, they can already enter without knocking. I just don't see the need for this ruling. It overturns 90 years of precedent. This ruling seems to only protect evidence collected when the police admittedly ignore their own SOP to knock and announce (as was the case in the facts at bar here).
Most cops are professional as can be and don't need the lattitude to have evidence admitted that was collected in violation of their own rules. This is just license for sloppy police work......and when cops are sloppy, people get hurt.
06-18-2006, 10:39 AM
As there are officers who go their whole careers without drawing their weapons. Point being that doesn't negate the very real violence police are involved with on a fairly regular basis.Originally Posted by delta314
Understandable. Why do we have laws that make the SWAT style swarm raid of people's houses so common place that the police need a specific court decision giving them a pass on making themselves known? That is the issue. I don't want a cop having to announce to someone with an automatic weapon that he's coming to arrest him. Point being, and once again this is the issue, is if the government weren't trying to regulate idiotic things like which recreational drugs people used, for the most part such situations would not come up. There's no need to raid Pfizer's manufacturing plants.As far as identifying yourself, that is SOP for 90% of the warrants served. There are special circumstances that you would not want to identify yourself. If that is going to happen, it is going to be the decision of the WC. A patrolman will not make that decision. Think about this scenario; you are serving a warrant on a occupancy that contains multiple suspects that are known to be armed and dangerous. You identify yourself and come through the door after a brief wait. All occupants are now pointing their weapons at the entrance from concealed points in the room. The officer through the door is at a terrible disadvantage. The last thing I want to do is go into a home that I don't know who is in it, and they are not expecting me. It's like that feeling you get when you are 20 miles offshore in the ocean...your feet get that cold, unknown feeling.......you never know where the shark is.
And that is the slippery slope which when drug laws were put in place people like me, those whiners and pricks who constantly blab on about freedom and all that useless ****, warned we'd be heading down. Give the cops that goal, and they're going to need and eventualy get more powers. And those powers are simply not restricted to drug cases but are applicable to everyone. Eventually there will be another decision, another ratcheting up of their power, that will allow entry without announcement under less extreme circumstance, and again and again. What the justices essentially said is if you're not doing anything illegal, you have nothing to worry about. The idea is totally opposed to the idea of a free society, where regardless of what you're doing you have rights are inviolable. Now no one has the right to gun down an officer or to be warned that one is coming so that they can be ready to do so. That's no the issue. The existing laws that make such tactics on the part of law enforcement 'necessary' are the issue.
Far be it for a man whose house has been smashed into, his family terrorized and possibly injured or killed, to be a jerk eh? Those 'mistakes' do happen, they are the result of the drug war, not drugs, and if this country was not hell bent on determining what recreational chemicals people used, such tactics would not be necessary to begin with. There would be no reason to swarm someone's house, like Tommy Chong's for example, Rambo style because when the need to use such tactics came up the target of the raid would make it obvious that such tactics were needed. No one would begrudge the police the obvious need not to announce themselves when the time came if the laws they were enforcing did not target non violent people, or if they did not require the large scale use of such tactics which resulted in these inevitable 'mistakes.'A 911 call is entirely different. It all boils down to the situation. No one wants their rights infringed upon.
I try to live by this rule; I always try to treat people the way I would want my wife, children, or parents treated if they involved with a police officer. My other rule is I'm always going to try to be a little nicer or meaner than the person I am dealing with. You treat me with respect, I'll treat you equally or more. If you are being a jerk, I'll be a bigger one. Dealers choice.
06-18-2006, 04:06 PM
The No-Knock State
by C.T. Rossi
"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail its roof may shake the wind may blow through it the storm may enter the rain may enter but the King of England cannot enter all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!"
Have no fear, America! Despite the claims of alarmists, the United States is not coming underneath the type of steely totalitarian gauntlet where we need fear a knock at the door. No, your Supreme Court has eliminated that fearful scenario. Instead, there will be no knock.
In its June 15th ruling in Hudson v Michigan, the Supreme Court has basically eviscerated the requirement that there be a knock on the door by authorities before the execution of a search warrant. While the prohibition essentially remains in form, the penalty for the failure to knock has lost its major deterrent force the exclusionary rule.
Quite simply, what the exclusionary rule did was to exclude from the available evidence at trial any evidence that was obtained from a violation of the standards for execution of a search warrant. One of these search warrant standards is (or more aptly, was) the requirement that police knock and announce themselves. While the court has formerly whittled away at this requirement through the use of certain "exigent circumstances," Hudson effectively lays the practice of knocking in a shallow grave.
While the death of the knock is in itself troubling enough, the Courtís rationale may be even more troubling. The Court, relying on the ever arbitrary and equally dubious "balancing test," weighed the "deterrence benefits" of the use of the exclusionary rule against its "social costs." Such social calculus always provides an interesting insight into the mind of the Court.
For the majority, "social costs" consist of such factors as (1) "a constant flood" of legal challenges for alleged failures to observe the knock and announce rule, (2) the risk that "officers would be inclined to wait longer than the law requires" after knocking (and we all know that SWAT team types truly tend to agonize decisions before springing into action), and (3) that the delay after knocking (in the past, three seconds has been viewed by the Court as adequate wait time) provides time for the destruction of evidence and the arming of dangerous suspects.
Conversely, the "deterrence benefits" of the exclusionary rule as a check on rampant police aggression are viewed as minimal. Rather, an aggrieved party who has been the victim of a knock and announce violation can file a civil rights law suit. But even more surreal is the Courtís contention that such law suits might not even be necessary because of the "increasing professionalism of police forces, including a new emphasis on internal police discipline." Who could argue with that?
One can almost take a perverse pleasure in watching the "originalist" and "textualist" Justice Antonin Scalia hypocritically perform the arbitrary balancing test that girds so many of the Courtís pro-State rulings. It is not explained (if explainable at all) how the supposed "constant flow" of legal challenges to the knock requirement at criminal trial is somehow more onerous to the court system than the constant flow of civil rights law suits which the Court views as a more proper remedy. Of course the real benefit to the aspiring authoritarian state is that those civil rights law suit would most likely be pursued by people in prison. A deterrent to police abuse indeed!
Likewise, the timing issue surrounding a proper knock is bizarrely treated. One is left to ask how much crack cocaine can be flushed down a toilet if the scruple-ridden cops wait 10 seconds (instead of the permissible three seconds) after knocking and is the preservation of such a paltry amount worth calling in the jack-booted thugs? Additionally, isnít it the Łber-ninja style raids that send panicked suspects grabbing for their guns in the first place? What happened to the film noir scenes of the cops telling Mugsy that the jig is up, the joint is surrounded, and he better come out with his hands held high?
As an insulting coup de gr‚ce for this injurious constitutional coup d'ťtat, the Court assures us that law enforcement has had Original Sin exorcised at the new and improved police academy. Justice Scalia writes that concerns about police behavior may have been valid in 1980 but that now "we now have increasing evidence that police forces across the United States take the constitutional rights of citizens seriously." While on one level such a statement is worth a gasp and a chortle, on another level Scalia writes the truth for as constitutional rights are stripped away by the Supreme Court, there are fewer and fewer police behaviors that are violative of the law. By legalizing thuggery, thuggish law enforcement is not only christened but encouraged.
But the heralding of contemporary law enforcement as the new Soviet man is instructive as to how the Court sees itself. There is no thought of "inalienable rights" or the 9th Amendment. The much-feared "natural law" of Clarence Thomas is not to be found. Instead, with the Hudson decision, the Supreme Court has not only laid a firm foundation for a police state, they have reminded us that we the people are the ruled and they are the rulers. They are the wise balancers of scales. They are the sole guardians of justice. They are the ultimate guarantors of our rights. So help us God.
As an aside, while I agree with most of this article, as far as deterence on the part of cops goes I say use whatever evidence there is no matter what, but fire the cop who collected it wrongly and take his pension away. When the consequences are personal, then there will be fewer violations. After a simplifying of the standards of course so no cop has to find his way through a maze of regulations before he's sure of what is legal and what is not.
And as one more edit, for anyone who likes wine, Rosemount Estate who makes that nice Shiraz makes a shiraz cabernet mix that's DAMN good. I've already been through one bottle of that and half a bottle of pinot grigio in the last 12 hours or so. As I had nothing to do on this fine Sunday afternoon, I decided to alternate between reading an old book I love and watching movies I love while getting piss ass drunk and trying, occasionally, to fold laundry. As I had to give up Jaegermeister because of the violent tendencies I had while drinking, I've found wine much more an amiable companion for the amiably sloshed. Drop some fruit in for an ad hoc sangria and it gets even better, and you get some fiber.
06-19-2006, 03:46 PM
CDB, I now see what your problem is. You should be drinking a nice red zinfandel instead of that shiraz. Try the Bonney Doon Cardinal Zin, or Consentino Cigar Zin....leave the pinot grigio's alone.
06-19-2006, 04:20 PM
Not to into the zinfandels, way too sweet. It's like drinking sugar water, at least the ones I've tried. I like a little bite to my wine, just a little crispness. The zinfandels, well I can only say this: you shouldn't be able to or enticed to funnel wine, and that stuff just goes down like Gatorade. The shiraz is and the shiraz cab mix is pretty good, and when it's on sale at 6 or 7 bucks a bottle well, I bought a few bottles...Originally Posted by delta314
06-19-2006, 07:52 PM
Not even close to that simple.Originally Posted by yeahright
In most states, you cannot shoot someone simply because they are in your home or on your property. They have to pose a threat to your life or the life of someone else in your presence. Deadly force cannot be used to protect property alone. There must be a threat to human life. I think Texas and maybe another state or two allow more of a shoot first response. Obviously if the home intruder is armed, feel free to open fire.
It is true, though, that a person in their own dwelling or place of business usually has no duty to retreat.
06-19-2006, 07:54 PM
You're thinking about white zinfandels. Red zinfandels are an entirely different animal. Dry and rich, not sweet at all.Originally Posted by CDB
My parents drink a red zin, I believe it's made by St. Francis, and it's called "Old Vine Zinfandel." It's made with (surprise) grapes from old vines, so it is a very deep, rich, dry flavor.
06-19-2006, 07:57 PM
06-19-2006, 07:59 PM
I know this is my fourth post in a row in this thread, and I apologize, but how many here have actually read the opinion itself, and not just incomplete and biased reports about it?
06-19-2006, 10:53 PM
Of course it's not that simple but I simplified it for folks who aren't lawyers.Originally Posted by jrkarp
What you didn't mention is that homeowners are entitled to assume that anyone breaking into their dwelling means them bodily harm and is not just there to steal the DVD player. The homeowner doesn't have to wait around to see whether the intruder into the home is there to hurt them. Under this assumption, the homeowner is entitled to use deadly force to repel the attack. Only if it's obvious that the intruder doesn't mean harm, does the scale of proportional response shift downward to prohibit deadly force.
The after action analysis will determine whether the homeowner acted reasonably (Ex. was the assailant shot in the chest or in the back?, Did it happen quickly or did the homeowner have time to sort out his/her options?, Did the intruder appear to be armed or act in any threatening way?).
1000 years of common law gives the homeowner a lot of leeway to use force against an instruder in the home. As long as the homeowner acted reasonably under the circumstances, they're not going to be charged.
06-19-2006, 11:03 PM
Umm, yes. Hence it being titled "editorial" and going on to give an opinion on the ruling.Originally Posted by jrkarp
06-19-2006, 11:11 PM
06-19-2006, 11:12 PM
The presumption that you speak of is not available in all states, and I am not sure if I have ever heard of it being available in any state that did not have the "make my day" law.Originally Posted by yeahright
It is of course true that there are many factors, and in all honesty, prosecutions for killing in a home defense situation are few and far between. Believe me, if someone breaks into my home, they are going to be introduced to the shotgun under my bed in a hurry.
I will say that the fact that most states now have statutes dealing with this sort of issue makes the common law somewhat less relevant than it used to be.
06-19-2006, 11:13 PM
06-19-2006, 11:16 PM
The thing is, the title of this article is misleading, as are the headlines from articles about the ruling. The court doesn't say police don't have to knock, it says that in this case, it did not justify excluding the evidence.
I think it's the right ruling here - had the police knocked, and given the requried time before entry, the evidence still would have been discovered. In other words, the illegal action by the police did not produce evidence that would otherwise have not existed.
In the case of an illegal wiretap, for example, of course the evidence should be excluded, since it would not exist but for the illegal actions of the police.
06-19-2006, 11:19 PM
For the benefit of those who will not bother to read the opinion:
Originally Posted by Justice Kennedy, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment
06-19-2006, 11:45 PM
Most people aren't lawyers so I don't expect them to wade through this stuff. I'm not a medical doctor, so I just read abstracts of studies (am I missing important nuances, of course, but it can't really be helped unless I want to go to medical school).Originally Posted by jrkarp
I was most disappointed in the concurrance. Scalia is clearly trying to make new law. Breyer is trying to preserve existing law. Kennedy's concurrence is a weasel. He allows Scalia's vision to move forward but admonishes people not to see this ruling as a diminishment of the knock and announce rule. I call bull**** on that.
One can think this is a good thing. One can think this is a bad thing. But, one cannot treat this as an inconsequential ruling. The holding here says that even if the police admit violating the rule, the defendant's remedy is to file a civil rights claim. This in effect puts the knock and announce rule at the unfettered discretion of the police (nevermind that they ALREADY enjoyed exceptions to it if they thought they were in danger or that the evidence might be destroyed). This is a get out of jail free card for sloppy cops....and it's going to put a lot of people in danger IMO.
06-19-2006, 11:53 PM
I see your point, but at the same time, I doubt that we are going to see a wholesale stoppage of knocking and announcing. Regardless of the laws on self/home defense, police are aware that they are generally going to have problems if they simply start knocking down doors every time they serve a search warrant. I also think that if we do start seeing every search warrant served with a battering ram and no announcement, the court will backpeddle.
People also forget (although I am sure you have not) that there are already many circumstances in which police to not have to knock and announce.
Anyway, I still think that the harmless error and inevitable discovery rules apply here. The evidence would have been discovered pursuant to the warrant regardless of the manner of entry. The Defendant was not really prejudiced, as he would have been convicted even if the entry had been legal.
06-19-2006, 11:56 PM
Agreed, btw, but I get irritated with people commenting on such things without taking the time to find out more than what CNN or FOX News tells them.Originally Posted by yeahright
06-20-2006, 05:24 AM
The ruling does allow for litigation in a civil court to preserve constitutional rights..So, if you are not a major felon hiding behind an illegal search and seizure defense, you can sue for damages(?) in a civil court. This in itself could(will) be a deterrent for overly assertive home searches. This can unbalance the enviroment of order and trust, within which the police need to operate successfully. Ofcourse it will take a few cases to go against the police in question to build enough precident to serve as a deterrent..but the legal pathway does exist.Originally Posted by yeahright
A jury of your peers(non cops) will imagine themselves in the same position
06-20-2006, 04:03 PM
Good post. This is exactly right.Originally Posted by anabolicrhino
Some people are bellyaching as if the SCOTUS ruling amounts to no warrant needed. And even went as far as proclaiming that cops are no longer serving LE purpose. Good grief, the hysteria.
06-20-2006, 06:44 PM
Damages in such cases are likely to be limited to actual damages (cost to repair the door) and not punitive damages. So, there's no actual restraint. Only if one could prove a pattern of civil rights violations would a police force be looking at a judgment which would have a fiscal impact. Moreover, there are all sorts of complicated issues involving sovereign immunity, venue, good faith defenses, etc. For all practical purposes, the individual citizen really has no recourse to right such a wrong through civil rights litigation.Originally Posted by anabolicrhino
06-20-2006, 08:30 PM
I would agree that the citizen will not be reaping a great windfall.Originally Posted by yeahright
However, the opportunity to seek damages from a loss provided from a non-felonious, but still erronous police entry would be "caus celeb" for a defamation or harassment suit. That a news organization could pick up such a story in an election year could provide some apprehension for any general police department policy concerning "no-Knock" entries.
06-21-2006, 11:16 AM
What bothers me is the progression. The police already had no knock priveleges under certain circumstances where knocking would be obvious idiocy. It's Cato, the special, particular power becomes a general power over time. This works without exception unless something obstructs the forward motion.
11-23-2006, 02:37 AM
Originally Posted by yeahright
Told ya so. 92 year old woman scared out of her mind when her door gets kicked in by plainclothes cops shoots at the cops and gets gunned down. No drugs found (so she wasn't a granny drug dealer).
Woman, 92, dies in shootout with police
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 ∑ Last updated 4:25 a.m. PT
Woman, 92, dies in shootout with police
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ATLANTA -- A police official said narcotics officers were justified in returning fire on a 92-year-old woman they shot to death after she shot them as they tried to serve a warrant at her house.
Neighbors and relatives said it was a case of mistaken identity. But police said the woman, identified as Kathryn Johnston, was the only resident in the house at the time and had lived there for about 17 years.
Assistant Chief Alan Dreher said the officers had a legal warrant and "knocked and announced" before they forced open the door. He said they were justified in shooting once they were fired upon.
As the plainclothes Atlanta police officers approached the house about 7 p.m., a woman inside started shooting, striking each of them, said Officer Joe Cobb, a police spokesman.
One was hit in the arm, another in a thigh and the third in a shoulder. The officers were taken to a hospital for treatment, and all three were conscious and alert, police said.
Sarah Dozier, identified as a niece of the woman, told WAGA-TV that there were never any drugs at the house.
"My aunt was in good health. I'm sure she panicked when they kicked that door down," Dozier said. "There was no reason they had to go in there and shoot her down like a dog."
Rev. Markel Hutchins, a civil rights leader, said Johnston's family deserves an apology.
"Of the police brutality cases we've had, this is the most egregious because of the woman's age," Hutchins said.
Hutchins said he would try to meet with Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington and would also meet with lawyers.
11-23-2006, 02:46 PM
What's one dead granny when compared with the glorious onward march of the War on Some Drugs and the advancement of state power in general? **** her. Maybe she didn't derserve to die. Maybe a family has been destroyed. Maybe people are srill smoking crack, weed, and snortting and injecting everything they feel like. Maybe kids are still getting killed in gang wars. But it's the law. There is no higher moral or ethical goal than to enforce the law, YR. Those officer are heros!, and Kathryn Johnston is at best a tragic but necessary loss. Quite frankly I'd say the **** probably did something in her life she deserved to die for anyway. I mean, this is America. It's not like we have the right as citizens not to have jack booted Rambo wannabes barging into our houses with automatic weapons firing if we're slightly slower in getting to the door to let them in than they figure is necessary.
And so what if you and other people who actually give a **** about freedom and quaint notions like that predicted this kind of thing happening? It's not like you've made a point or anything. Better the ***** died than we lose a couple kilos of coke or something. I mean you don't want the officers to be in danger or the case to be lost, do you? Of course if they weren't enforcing bull**** laws to begin with that wouldn't be a problem, but **** that. It's the law now and that's all that matters.
Originally Posted by yeahright
11-23-2006, 03:14 PM
This is the trajedy of the situation. I'm sure the cops believed they were raiding a drug house.....so they play fast and loose with the knock and announce rule because the Supremes just told them they could. Granny lives alone in what is probably a bad neighborhood (hence the drug bust) so she's got a gun. Plainclothes cops bust down her door, she starts shooting, the cops defend themselves and we end up with one dead granny and three wounded cops....all of which could have been avoided if they'd done a real knock and announce...showing some uniforms and badges to establish their status.
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