Police dont need to knock, justices say...

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  1. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    I can't speak for that incident because I honestly didn't even know it happened. As far as speaking up? yeah, I know we do it quite often at my dept. We also do it at the voting booth. Most of which doesn't change anything. You have to remember that in order for the politicians to make the police act that [B]citizens[B] contact their politicians. I bet you'll find cops are the pawns of this...
    To a degree, yes. But you're only a pawn if you allow yourself to be.

    I'll finsih this in a bit. Got to back up an officer
    Stay safe. Somehow though I feel like I'm missing a pun or double meaning. I was never any good at those.

    To whoever sent me the teacher thingy, respect to the profession but I had to remove that part of the post. It was unnecessary rambling that was just waiting to set of a whole bunch of bad vibes.


  2. Not a pun or anything.

    I've done a lot of different work prior to joining the army and then becoming a police officer later on. I've found that everyone is a pawn until they either work for themselves or are the ones making policy.

    I'm working on getting promoted but unfortunately i'm a outspoken individual when it comes to my guys and proper training and equipment. This means i'll probably not make it past sergeant...Still thinking about changing careers but until my kids are out of school I can't do anything that selfish until they are taken care of
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  3. New York Times
    June 16, 2006
    Editorial
    The Don't-Bother-to-Knock Rule

    The Supreme Court yesterday substantially diminished Americans' right to privacy in their own homes. The rule that police officers must "knock and announce" themselves before entering a private home is a venerable one, and a well-established part of Fourth Amendment law. But President Bush's two recent Supreme Court appointments have now provided the votes for a 5-4 decision eviscerating this rule.

    This decision should offend anyone, liberal or conservative, who worries about the privacy rights of ordinary Americans.

    The case arose out of the search of Booker T. Hudson's home in Detroit in 1998. The police announced themselves but did not knock, and after waiting a few seconds, entered his home and seized drugs and a gun. There is no dispute that the search violated the knock-and-announce rule.

    The question in the case was what to do about it. Mr. Hudson wanted the evidence excluded at his trial. That is precisely what should have happened. Since 1914, the Supreme Court has held that, except in rare circumstances, evidence seized in violation of the Constitution cannot be used. The exclusionary rule has sometimes been criticized for allowing criminals to go free just because of police error. But as the court itself recognized in that 1914 case, if this type of evidence were admissible, the Fourth Amendment "might as well be stricken."

    The court ruled yesterday that the evidence could be used against Mr. Hudson. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, argued that even if police officers did not have to fear losing a case if they disobeyed the knock-and-announce rule, the subjects of improper searches could still bring civil lawsuits to challenge them. But as the dissenters rightly pointed out, there is little chance that such suits would keep the police in line. Justice Scalia was also far too dismissive of the important privacy rights at stake, which he essentially reduced to "the right not to be intruded upon in one's nightclothes." Justice Stephen Breyer noted in dissent that even a century ago the court recognized that when the police barge into a house unannounced, it is an assault on "the sanctity of a man's home and the privacies of life."

    If Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had stayed on the court, this case might well have come out the other way. For those who worry that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito will take the court in a radically conservative direction, it is sobering how easily the majority tossed aside a principle that traces back to 13th-century Britain, and a legal doctrine that dates to 1914, to let the government invade people's homes.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by CDB
    Indeed. I think cops have lost their purpose, let it get it hijacked by a bunch of know nothing idiot politicians who have them running around enforcing ridiculous laws. What I don't get is how passively they go along with it. I've heard cops complain in private, but I've never seen one go to some jack off law maker and say, "Excuse me, but we have W number of murders a year, X number of rapes and molestations, Y number of burglaries and Z number of robberies and various other violent crimes and you want me to spend my time and resources doing what?" What would go a long way to restoring my respect for the cops in my area and elsewhere is if perhaps they'd start speaking out against some of these laws which they have to know are bull****. Show me one person with the slightest shred of sense who thought they honestly needed to go in with a fully armed SWAT team to arrest Tommy Chong. I mean for Christ's sake is there no limit to the orders cops will follow without finally turning around and saying "**** this ****!"?
    This would be a tough place for a cop to start making his own desions based upon his personal code of ethics. Tommy Chong is a high profile bust, ultimately the cops have to answer to their superiors, just like anyother job.

    Cops make choices in terms of what violations are important enough to persue all day long. Personally, I have had may interactions with the police, They for the most part have "let me go with a warning" many more times than expected (non-felonies, ofcourse)
    Now doing something because it is your job dosent make it right, but it is hardly fair to admonish someone who respects the chain of command hierchy that is necassary to maintain social order. There is a small percentage of the population that are respocibile enough to police themselves. Most people need help deciding what to eat or what to watch on tv.
    It would be great if more people could be responcible, but until then, we need the police,...and its not their fault we need them.

  5. Hey guys! I haven't been bashed in while, so here's my .02 worth. The amount of times we actually break down a door and enter is very small. There are officers that have been on the force for years that have never been involved in that. 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.
    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.
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by delta314
    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.
    Police officers already have the ability to enter unannounced if it is for their safety. This ruling means that officers never have to knock and announce even on routine matters like failure to appear warrants.

  7. Every department has their own standard operating procedures. 99% of the time they are going to knock and identify themselves.

  8. 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.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by delta314
    Every department has their own standard operating procedures. 99% of the time they are going to knock and identify themselves.
    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."

    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.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by delta314
    Hey guys! I haven't been bashed in while, so here's my .02 worth. The amount of times we actually break down a door and enter is very small. There are officers that have been on the force for years that have never been involved in that.
    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    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.
    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.'

  11. 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!"
    William Pitt


    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by delta314
    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.
    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...

  14. Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    I disagree. This is going to lead to a lot of dead cops and dead civilians. Under the common law, a homowner has the right to use deadly force to repel an intruder into the home (usually without any duty to retreat).
    Not even close to that simple.

    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.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by CDB
    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...
    You're thinking about white zinfandels. Red zinfandels are an entirely different animal. Dry and rich, not sweet at all.

    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.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    New York Times
    June 16, 2006
    Editorial
    The Don't-Bother-to-Knock Rule
    You know that's an editorial, which is opinion, not fact, right?

  17. 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?

  18. Quote Originally Posted by jrkarp
    Not even close to that simple.

    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.
    Of course it's not that simple but I simplified it for folks who aren't lawyers.

    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.

  19. Quote Originally Posted by jrkarp
    You know that's an editorial, which is opinion, not fact, right?
    Umm, yes. Hence it being titled "editorial" and going on to give an opinion on the ruling.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by jrkarp
    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?
    Opinion, concurrence and dissent.

  21. Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    Of course it's not that simple but I simplified it for folks who aren't lawyers.

    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.
    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.

    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.

  22. Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    Opinion, concurrence and dissent.
    I applaud you, since most people do not read them before commenting.

  23. 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.

  24. For the benefit of those who will not bother to read the opinion:

    Quote Originally Posted by Justice Kennedy, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment
    Two points should be underscored with respect to today’s decision. First, the knock-and-announce requirement protects rights and expectations linked to ancient principles in our constitutional order. See Wilson v. Arkansas, 514 U. S. 927, 934 (1995). The Court’s decision should not be interpreted as suggesting that violations of the requirement are trivial or beyond the law’s concern. Second, the continued operation of the exclusionary rule,as settled and defined by our precedents, is not in doubt. Today’s decision determines only that in the specific context of the knock-and-announce requirement, a violation is not sufficiently related to the later discovery of evidence to justify suppression.

  25. Quote Originally Posted by jrkarp
    I applaud you, since most people do not read them before commenting.
    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).

    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.
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