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Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

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  • Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

    The Supreme Court just ruled that police officers with a proper warrant who fail to"knock and announce" before entering a home to make an arrest and/or seize evidence do not risk having any evidence seized later suppressed. The case that brought about the ruling involved the Detroit PD entering a residence after 3-5 seconds after calling out their presence. Once inside, drugs and a gun were found.

    In the ruling, Justice Scalia wrote:

    Whether that preliminary misstep had occurred or not, the police would have executed the warrant they had obtained, and would have discovered the gun and drugs inside the house" .
    The rationale being that suppressing the evidence is too great a restriction since the police were going to find the evidence anyway. My interpretation is that unless a non "knock and announce" warrant is obtained (usually only obtained when there is a concern that "knocking and announcing" could risk the officer's or other's lives), the police must STILL "knock and announce", they just won't be penalized for it with suppressed evidence.

    The dissenters argue that if left unchecked, police will just barge in and without inhibition violate the sancity of the owner's home.

    I think this is a positive development. But, before I dive in, I'd like to hear what some of your opinions are. Here is the AP article:

    High Court backs police no-knock searches
    LoyalGuard

  • #2
    Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

    Question--if the police get a proper warrant, break into a house, and find nothing---do they pay the homeowner to replace his broken lock?

    I'm kinda curious. Because it seems like, honestly, the biggest change from this ruling is a greater portion of broken doorlocks because the police didn't wait for a homeowner to voluntarily open up. It doesn't really bother me if it allows the police to find evidence that the homeowner was in the process of hiding, and might have gotten away with if the police had waited longer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

      Originally posted by Kerostasis
      Question--if the police get a proper warrant, break into a house, and find nothing---do they pay the homeowner to replace his broken lock?

      I'm kinda curious. Because it seems like, honestly, the biggest change from this ruling is a greater portion of broken doorlocks because the police didn't wait for a homeowner to voluntarily open up. It doesn't really bother me if it allows the police to find evidence that the homeowner was in the process of hiding, and might have gotten away with if the police had waited longer.
      I think a lot of that may depend on departmental policy and/or local law. In the scenario you describe, I would say normally no. If the magistrate deemed there was sufficient probable cause to issue the warrant regardless of whether any evidence was seized, that the police are not responsible to replace the lock/door, etc. However, it is my department's policy to ensure that the premises is at least temporarily secured before departing in order to prevent further damage, loss, etc. So, If we can avoid knocking down a door, we do. In the twelve or so warrants I have served on private residences, we had to force entry four times.
      LoyalGuard

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

        Originally posted by Kerostasis
        Question--if the police get a proper warrant, break into a house, and find nothing---do they pay the homeowner to replace his broken lock?
        In the US, yes. Well, if the homeowner asks for it... I think that most of the time the owners don't even bother.

        We had a supervisor out with us on a forced entry and he had a big prybar, but no ram, to try to get through the back door which had a security screen door. He banged and pried and bashed and basically shredded that door without making an opening big enough for us to go through. We never had anyone ask for a replacement door, and that entry was WITHOUT a warrant. Another time, we went through the door of a small apartment that was in the backyard of our target's house. Just a nice young couple renting it. They asked and they were sent a check to replace their door frame and door knob/lock.

        Anyway, the Supreme Court did good on this one, IMO.
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        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

          What if they have a warrent and came and took things, only to realize they were completly innocent or the wrong people.. will they hand back the stuff seized or pay them back for the property?


          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

            The police of all people should follow the prescribed procedures. I find this ruling almost offensive.
            A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

            "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

              What if you're serving a warrant on an extremely violent suspect? As in, suicide bomber? The LAST thing the fuzz would want to do is announce themselves. They might have mere seconds in which to beat the perp to the detonator.

              I don't have a problem with the decision, but I do think there ought to be well-documented protocols. In other words, if there isn't an announcement there should be a reason and supporting policy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

                Originally posted by xTYBALTx
                The police of all people should follow the prescribed procedures. I find this ruling almost offensive.
                Huh? You've got to be kidding.

                In MA there are 2 warrants you can get: A no-knock warrant and a regular warrant (maybe it's the same everywhere). No-knock warrants are hard to get and are given in cases where the warrant will be executed in the wee hours for known violent suspects who are known to be armed. It's the safest way to execute the warrant under these circumstances.

                If you've got the warrant, you are going to go in. Why should you announce your presence to someone who is likely to arm themselves and shoot you upon entry?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

                  Originally posted by leejo
                  What if you're serving a warrant on an extremely violent suspect? As in, suicide bomber?
                  Originally posted by JMJ
                  In MA there are 2 warrants you can get: A no-knock warrant and a regular warrant (maybe it's the same everywhere). No-knock warrants are hard to get and are given in cases where the warrant will be executed in the wee hours for known violent suspects who are known to be armed. It's the safest way to execute the warrant under these circumstances.
                  JMJ answered your question, leejo.
                  A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                  "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

                    It was a rhetorical question directed at your comments about the ruling. :)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

                      What was your rhetorical question supposed to shed light on?
                      A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                      "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

                        Your momma!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

                          Derailing the conversation because JMJ blew your line of reasoning away?
                          A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                          "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

                            No, man! You said

                            Originally posted by xTYBALTx
                            The police of all people should follow the prescribed procedures. I find this ruling almost offensive.
                            And I said

                            Originally posted by leejo
                            What if you're serving a warrant on an extremely violent suspect?
                            I was addressing your concern that procedures aren't followed (knock and announce) and your opinion about the opinion.

                            Don't hate. Appreciate.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Supreme Court Ruling on "Knock and Announce"

                              And JMJ said

                              Originally posted by JMJ
                              In MA there are 2 warrants you can get: A no-knock warrant and a regular warrant (maybe it's the same everywhere). No-knock warrants are hard to get and are given in cases where the warrant will be executed in the wee hours for known violent suspects who are known to be armed. It's the safest way to execute the warrant under these circumstances.
                              Which addresses your concern about the police being unduly exposed to violent suspects.

                              So again, I am concerned when the Supreme Court rewards law enforcement officers, of all people, for not following prescribed procedures.
                              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                              Comment

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