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CDH
September 5, 2006, 09:35 AM
A sort-of similar thread was closed earlier because it was heading in the wrong direction but I am interested in this subject so I would like to try it again.

Here's the thing; at a recent CCW class I went through recently, there was an LE present (not just an LE, but a field supervisor Sargent) who gave us some tips about home invasions.

What he told us is that a night time home invasion is the most dangerous situation of all because the BG's KNOW you're at home and are thus prepared and expecting to have an encounter with you (and your wife and kids).
The Sargent told us simply that if you hear the window crash or the door kicked in, you should EXPECT that you are going to die and that your wife will be raped and then killed, and your kids killed so they can't be witnesses.

This is pretty heady stuff coming directly from a ranking Police Officer who knows about this kind of thing. It is understood that not every home invasion ends up that badly, but he states simply that you should ASSUME that it will end that way and act accordingly.

To cut to the punch line, what he suggests is first, call 911 after acquiring a defensive weapon, secondly, have bedroom doors that are solid wood and will withstand a kick-open, and third, if the doors are kicked open, open fire with all you have until there is no more movement.
To do any less, he suggests, would mean that you and your family would not survive (or at least you should assume so).

Now, this is coming from an LE who might very well be asked at one time to take part in a no-knock entry of a residence.
So what I'm wondering and hoping that perhaps some of the LE's here in TFL might help to explain is how we can reconcile the two different scenarios (home invasion vs. no-knock entry) and expect to survive. And I say that from the standpoint of someone who has never even smoked pot let alone gotten into any sort of criminal activities.

So a no-knock in my case would most definitely be a mistaken address, but am I supposed to ask "Who's there?" when all the noise starts, and if someone actually says "Police!", am I supposed to believe them considering that many home invasions start by BG's identifying themselves as police as they enter?

And considering that a LE Sargent, in his own words, explained how a citizen should act if their home is entered by force in the middle of the night, what are we supposed to think in the (admittedly VERY unlikely) event of a night time no-knock entry?
And I don't think that the answer is to calmly walk out to your living room and ask one of the people standing around with guns for their identification because officers in a no-knock situation are ALSO going to be at a nervously high state of alert where I am confident that I would be a dead man as soon as one of them saw me with a gun in my hand (in my own house!).

As an aside; have there been any departmental re-evaluations about no-knock raids after seeing innocent people die as a result?

Just wondering.

Carter

tBlake08
September 5, 2006, 11:39 AM
The main flaw I can see in this is, what if that's Jimmy running thru the door trying to get to mommy and daddy when you empty a clip at the movement? You shouldn't shoot unless you know exactly what you're shooting at.

BlueTrain
September 5, 2006, 11:55 AM
You know, the people in Waco called the police first thing but a lot of good it did. Anyhow, I still saw we all need stronger doors, if a man's home is to be his castle. Did you know there were wooded castles?

There are well publicized incidents of "home invasions" in the Washington, D.C., area, where I live. A couple of things come to mind. One is how is a "home invasion" different from a plain burglarly? Two is why is it that certain homes are invaded, if we first assume that a home invasion is a defined thing. Are there groups or individuals that target certain other groups, certain kinds of houses or neighborhoods or what? Even though I have never heard of it happening around where I live, and crime is certainly well reported, it still doesn't mean it won't ever happen. After all, there is a first time for everything. I do know that, walking around the neighborhood, one can quickly note the houses that have more cover for getting close to a house, this being the suburbs. Some houses are surrounded by other houses, while others can be approached through the woods without being easily seen by people in other houses. My house fits that description. It isn't hard to break into the house in the first place. So the basic question is, why are some people's houses "invaded" in the first place?

CDH
September 5, 2006, 11:59 AM
The main flaw I can see in this is, what if that's Jimmy running thru the door trying to get to mommy and daddy when you empty a clip at the movement? You shouldn't shoot unless you know exactly what you're shooting at.

No flaw at all because I'm not addressing the importance of a "plan". Family situations and locations of bedrooms etc. all have to be taken into account which is why you MUST have a plan that MUST be followed at first noise.

That's what the plan is all about, and that's what makes it a plan, i.e., making sure that everyone is involved in it and understands it and follows it.

I'm not addressing any of the specifics of what a plan might entail at all.
I'm just addressing the simple notion of how do you survive EITHER a home invasion OR a no-knock entry if you can't tell the difference between the two?

Carter

Capt Charlie
September 5, 2006, 12:40 PM
With all due respect to the good sergeant, his statement was just a bit melodramatic, Carter. Unless BG's have a reason to target you or your family specifically, they usually want to get in and out with as little fuss as possible. Are there exceptions to that? You betcha! There are psychos like Charles Manson out there that would enjoy torturing and killing, but they are the exception, rather than the rule.

I can, however, understand why he said it. It's always best to assume the worst in that situation. But to answer your question...

I'm just addressing the simple notion of how do you survive EITHER a home invasion OR a no-knock entry if you can't tell the difference between the two?
We all want absolute answers to questions, but there are never any guarantees in this situation. That said, there are distinct differences between a tactical entry by LE and a home invasion by a BG.

I've helped plan and execute tactical entries for almost 25 years now, and we rely on speed, coordination, and yes, sheer violence to achieve a safe outcome for everyone. We try to obtain even a rough floor plan of the target building, and team members know ahead of time where they're going. For example, several officers may be assigned to take down the bedrooms upstairs, others secure the first floor, while others sweep the basement. It happens very fast, and it's very noisy. You won't hear one or two yelling "police"; you will hear a lot of guys screaming "Police! Search Warrant!", or something very similar. All of the team members should be doing this, not only to identify themselves, but also to add to the confusion of the occupants, which helps delay any response on their part.

So a police entry involves 1) a lot of people, and 2) a lot of noise. Unless you've been targeted by a gang, a home invader usually acts alone or with one or two accomplices at the most, and initially, at least, they rely on stealth.

So, if that bump in the night is just that, you may well have a burglary in progress, but if the bump sounds like WWIII, it's undoubtedly a police entry team :D .

tony pasley
September 5, 2006, 02:58 PM
I use several electronic devises to alert me when some one comes near my home. I live on a private road with 9 houses on it only 1 past me. Any one coming up the mountian either belongs, lost, or in trouble because that is what they are looking for. I have cameras to get pictures of who and what they are driving and wireless sensors to alert when some one is coming. While I am at home no one gets within 750' without me knowing it. I am not paranoid just careful, I want to keep what I have.

Musketeer
September 5, 2006, 03:41 PM
Capt Charlie said:

I've helped plan and execute tactical entries for almost 25 years now, and we rely on speed, coordination, and yes, sheer violence to achieve a safe outcome for everyone. We try to obtain even a rough floor plan of the target building, and team members know ahead of time where they're going.

...

So, if that bump in the night is just that, you may well have a burglary in progress, but if the bump sounds like WWIII, it's undoubtedly a police entry team .


I am sorry but I have to disagree with this line of logic. If that entry team is so well versed and the assault researched then they would NOT be breaking into an innocent law abiding and armed citizen's home. That though is just what we are discussing and more than once the police have assaulted the wrong home. As soon as they blow through the entry way and find things not as they belong that well rehersed entry is going to run the severe risk of falling to pieces. At the very least it is going to slow down that shoack and awe assault and allow the occupant to react.

If it happens at my house, because of some poor police planning, the sound of the break in will immediately be followed by the sound of gunfire as the police shoot my 110 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback which will probably be in the process of attacking at least one of them. I am also often up late, often in the basement on the computer after the family is in bed and almost always armed. My first concern will be to get to the first floor master bedroom where my wife is and the second floor bedrooms where my children are.

So based on:

1. The sound of breaking doors and windows.
2. Guys in black in a darkenned room with weapons.
3. Shots fired by those invaders and most likely my dead dog.

You are stating I should just assume these are officer friendlies looking for a PBA donation and not a violent assault on my family? That violates all logic.

One of three things will happen:

1. I will be rapidly overwhelmed by the assault without a chance to defend my family. Possibly using flash mangs through the windows or such. ( I actually hope for this since it is the most likely way I will remain alive) THis will be followed by a massive lawsuit filed against every person and entity associate with the raid.

2. I will attempt to defend my family. Possibly I will shoot one or more attackers. Most likely I will wind up dead.

3. I attempt to defend the family and realize that the stormtroopers breaking my doors and killing my doog are just there for a PBA donation and I disarm before one notices me and kills me.

What I will not do is the following:

Turn to my wife or comment to myself, "That sounds very loud and frightful, and I do believe I hear gunfire! No criminal would do that so I better lay down on my face with my arms outstretched and wait for them to find me!"

No-Knocks are complete and utter BS. Unless someone is in there carving up children there is no justification for it beyond the ridiculous "War on Drugs."

TexasCop
September 5, 2006, 04:13 PM
+1 for Capt Charlie, you will not hear 1 or 2 people yelling and screaming, you will hear at least 5 or 6 guys yelling and screaming, "Police" "Search Warrant" on and on, I'm know that this has happened so I'm not going to say it won't happen, but when you consider the number of warrants and raids that are actually conducted, the probablility is quite low, the screw-ups always get the publicity.

We honestly do everything in our power to ensure that we are going to the correct location based on the information provided, if the Detective screwed up the search warrant and transposed a number, that's why the description of the house is also in the warrant, so that when we do a drive-by reconnaissance we can look and see if the house not only matches the description but also the address. If things don't come together we can call of the operation.

I will agree with you in the case that someone comes into MY house I'm going to be defending myself and my family, regardless of if they are screaming "police" or not, this is because I KNOW that there are absolutely ZERO reasons that I would be a target for any law enforcement action.

Don H
September 5, 2006, 06:11 PM
A few years ago, I came home and caught the tail end of an aborted raid by the local cops and the various alphabet agencies. Fortunately, a neighbor on the corner (the LEOs were gearing up just around the corner) stepped out and, after getting the scoop, informed them that the druggie they were looking for had been in prison for a couple of years. Ooops!

Just because there is no reason for the cops to target you for a dynamic entry doesn't mean that they can't screw up. Results are the same.

oldbillthundercheif
September 5, 2006, 06:38 PM
Y'all should check out the Supreme Court Hudson decision. It just came out a few months ago and completely guts the knock and announce rule. This is going to be a hot issue once police departments are trained in the new policy and start breaking down doors unanounced every time they execute a search warrant...

pickpocket
September 5, 2006, 06:52 PM
That could get messy.
All I can say is that when (not if) they bust down the wrong door and the home owner is armed and ready to defend that it's going to be a big mess for everyone. I really hope that they're saying very police-like things while going through the house.

EDIT:
I say when (not if) because I've hit enough houses while .mil to know that you're going to miss the mark eventually. That wasn't a dig at LE.

Don H
September 5, 2006, 08:03 PM
I really hope that they're saying very police-like things while going through the house.

I'm sure the testimony will so indicate.

bacardisteve
September 5, 2006, 09:23 PM
As stated a police raid will be very loud. there will be multiple people shouting and trying to clear rooms as quickly and safely as possible. if you hear several people and you hear them shouting clear and police search warrant then its probably the police. however there is always that possibilty that a group of home invaders may have done their homework and now how to make them selves seem like police. that being said i have never run into a smart criminal

Esquire M Busterbury
September 5, 2006, 09:30 PM
Anyone catch that "Dallas Swat" marathon? Boy, that was nice...I think the advice based on the amount of noise made would be a fair indication.

Question: Instead of busting up inside someone's house, why not just launch some gas on in? Doesn't gas work the majority of the time?

garryc
September 5, 2006, 09:45 PM
Capt Charlie isn't likely to enter the wrong house because he doesn't work for the ATF or DEA

JayP228
September 5, 2006, 09:50 PM
Effective 10/1/06 Michigan stregthened its use of deadly force statute. If a BG breaks into your home you are now allowed to presume that he is up to no good and you no longer have to retreat before firing. Your home is your castle again. Since I neither manufacture nor possess any illegal drugs or contraband and have not committed any felonies that I am aware of, it means I am firing at the first thing through that door or window and I'm not stopping until I'm out of ammo - regardless what they are screaming. If they're the police they would be better off ringing the doorbell.

oldbillthundercheif
September 5, 2006, 10:59 PM
Here's the new law of the land regarding knock-and-announce. It's dry reading, but that is to be expected... it's a Supreme Court decision.

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/05pdf/04-1360.pdf

Capt Charlie
September 5, 2006, 11:02 PM
Question: Instead of busting up inside someone's house, why not just launch some gas on in? Doesn't gas work the majority of the time?

There's several problems with that. It takes a LOT of gas to be effective in an enclosure the size of a house, and most gas dispersing devices burn hot. They will cause a fire.

The only "cold" devices I'm aware of are fired from a 37mm grenade launcher, but a direct hit from one of those projectiles is quite deadly. It would take literally dozens of these rounds to clear a house.

JohnKSa
September 5, 2006, 11:33 PM
With all due respect to the good sergeant, his statement was just a bit melodramatic, Carter. Unless BG's have a reason to target you or your family specifically, they usually want to get in and out with as little fuss as possible. Are there exceptions to that? You betcha! There are psychos like Charles Manson out there that would enjoy torturing and killing, but they are the exception, rather than the rule.People who want to get in and out with as little fuss as possible probably don't make a habit of targeting houses where they either know or have good reason to suspect people are at home.

The big problem is that the possible consequences of being subdued by criminals in your own home are UNTHINKABLE. Being killed isn't so bad, but that isn't the worst thing that can happen to a family--not by far. No, it's not likely, but in the same way that the huge positive payoff makes a lottery attractive even with very poor odds, the huge negative payoff makes preparing to successfully resist a home invasion very attractive.

There is really only one reasonable response to having a your house forcibly entered while you are at home. That is to immediately resist with all force at your disposal and to continue to do so until you repel the attack, you are killed, or you are unable to resist further.

If the home invaders have a good plan and have trained a bit you will almost certainly be killed. But determined resistance may repel them. After all, being killed or caught isn't their intent--even if they kill you, the sound of a pitched gun battle will probably ruin their plans and force them to retreat. In other words, you will almost certainly die, but you may still repel the attack. If the home invaders aren't very good and you have a good plan and stick with it, you have a reasonable chance of surviving.

IMO, any response from the home defender must come IMMEDIATELY at the first evidence of forcible entry. ANY delay will assure defeat. Anyone who has worked on a police entry team knows that this is a cold hard fact.

Jason607
September 5, 2006, 11:55 PM
There have been a few incidences of "trained" buglers who are ex-military or ex-police gone wrong, but they are far and inbetween. A burgler breaking into a occupied home and causing a battle is not profitalbe. 99% of burglers are desparate, usually drug influenced. Yes, bank robberies have been organized before, but that's a bank, most homes are not profitable enough for such a planned assult by professional robbers. So, I don't think you will be worried about such organization by pro-robbers unless you have some very expensive assets that is well known.

These raids are extreme, and the police do a lot of servailance before the raid. A mistake like that, I hope someone gets fired.

Some of us, because we own, trade, buy, sell, firearms we might feel we are on the radar screen with red flags sticking up at the ATF office. Well, if you get regular shippments of firearms, (such as many of the same gun) with no records of sales or such, especially with no FFL, you might.

rhino
September 5, 2006, 11:56 PM
For what it's worth ...

I had the misfortune of being very close to a dynamic entry that may not have been technically "no knock," but it was close to it. It was my last day living in Alameda, CA back in 1991.

I lived in a house that was divided into three rental residences. I was on the ground floor, and apparently my upstairs neighbors had sold over $50K worth of a controlled substance to an undercover DEA agent (this is what I learned later, of course). The people doing it were a combination of DEA and the Oakland police dept. guys who served the high risk warrants.

I was semi-sleeping in bed when I heard a vehicle in the driveway. Then I felt a very hard "thump" (from when they hit the doorknob with their ram) followed by a lot of scambling and yelling of "Police! Search Warrant!" I don't know if that qualifies as a no-knock or not, as they definitely knocked!

Anyway, the important part of this was the amount of time that elapsed between when they came through the door and started yelling and when they made first contact with the people upstairs. It was not some instantaneous thing where the people inside had no time to react. In fact, I'd wager that most people who participate in any of the classes I've taken would have had time to do some damage to the people entering the home (before they were overwhelmed and killed).

This was long before I ever considered owning a gun and I was naive about personal security in general. I distinctly recall having waking up when the house shook and wondering what the hell it was and having time become full awake and "curious" before the melee commenced.

Sometimes the people inside really do have time to react. Obviously not always, but I don't think it's a safe or even logical assumption that every police SWAT team can swoop into any house and completely dominate the situation immediately every time. Mistake will happen, unforseen circumstances will arise, the occupants may be already awake and armed, etc.

In terms of any home invasions, regardless of who it is, it just makes good sense to make unauthorized entry as difficult as is practical and do something to provide warning as early as possible (like the sensors mentioned in a previous message). Anything you can do to give yourself more time to react is a good thing. It also makes sense to be armed when you're at home (as in on your person), not just have something stashed here and there. You may not have time to take the three steps to reach behind the sofa cushion.

CDH
September 6, 2006, 05:55 AM
Here's the new law of the land regarding knock-and-announce. It's dry reading, but that is to be expected... it's a Supreme Court decision.

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinio...df/04-1360.pdf

I confess that I didn't have the time to go through the entire document, but you only have to go through the first 3 pages to see that this particular incident doesn't really apply to my original question.

You see, as an American citizen, I have NO problem with a no-knock entry that has been verified and re-verified and double-checked and cross-checked etc., etc., etc., to absolutely, totally CONFIRM that the residence involved actually IS the location for serious felonious activity.
(As an aside; and yes, I am also wary of the future when things we all do legally today are "declared" a crime, such as simply owning guns. That's scary because when Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer become Pres/Vice Pres., then we would have been "declared" to be felonious criminals worthy of a no-knock entry for the purpose of seizing our guns. I'm waiting for the first no-knock case to happen in California where the seizure of guns owned by an otherwise law abiding citizen is the purpose of the no-knock.)

In the case cited and linked above, Hudson WAS a bonified bad guy, and in that case, the police DID knock (albeit a few seconds before entering) and they didn't even have to crash his door; it was open.
That entire case was about a real BG trying to get away with his crime by claiming a "technical foul" by the police in that he wanted the REAL AND EXISTING EVIDENCE OF HIS CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES to be suppressed.

My question totally focuses on the (very rare) time when a crash-the-door, no-knock entry is made into a home with a family where it is a TOTAL mistake, and the people inside are just people living their lives like the rest of us, but may now be forced to "defend" themselves in a way that will almost for sure get them killed.
I wonder how THAT decision will read when the Supreme Court has to write it up.

The critical difference here is that if I personally had been arrested outside my home because I was suspected of being a BG (say, exactly like Hudson), I would be ******, but I would be facing an obvious police arrest in which I would go quietly and let the facts of my innocence be sorted out later. Then after the mistake was discovered, I'd go home and call the Mayor and give 'em hell, but I'd still be alive. (And better yet, my family would have never been put in danger thereby forcing me to act with a lethal defense.)

This might sound like a terrible thing to say, but it may take a couple of really high profile no-knock mistakes where innocent people get killed to make the ATF and other agencies re-think their policies. I mean, if they already have people under surveillance, it seems to me that arrests could be made away from the home and the home could be entered later in daylight hours and hopefully even empty.
Of course, that's Monday night quarter-backing, but there has got to be a better way for law-enforcement to make sure that "the people" they are supposedly trying to protect don't end up being their victims instead.

Carter

invention_45
September 6, 2006, 07:38 AM
Let me give you a lesson, folks, in just exactly how variable this sort of event can be, knock or no-knock. The variability in what can take place is where the danger lies.

I recently had a visit (with a knock) from the FBI. I'll spare the details (which I've discussed a little elsewhere), but here's the relevant part.

I was asked to sit at my dining room table. I sat there for maybe 3-5 minutes while the agent asked how my computer network was configured.

During this 3-5 minutes, at least 8 LEOs of various flavors moved past me at least twice each. I have a sofa that's too big for my house, so to get by me in the chair they were forced into a narrow passageway withing one foot of me.

During this 3-5 minutes, sitting in plain view on the very same table the FBI agent was using to take notes on, within three (3) feet of him and withing two (2) feet of me was my black, loaded though not chambered, USP45. Being as how my arms are longer than two feet long, it was within my easy reach.

It's a black gun. It's a light brown table with little else on it.

The gun sat there within my reach for the better part of 5 minutes.

Does anyone see anything wrong with this?

My neighbor, a jailer for BSO, said she thought they were "seeing whether I would pick it up". Give me a break. At the risk to their safety?

Finally, one of them saw it, picked it up, and asked "what's this?". I thought for a split second of saying "it's a gun", but I bit my tongue.

The point I'm making is that it looks like someone needs some training. At the front door, some 16 guns were drawn. Inside, every single one was holstered and there was that .45 on the table.

Therefore, if and when you are subject to an unexpected police visit, don't bet on what to expect.

Musketeer
September 6, 2006, 07:52 AM
Unless Jeff Dahmer is preparing to carve up his latest victim in the basement I really see no need for a no knock entry. Here are some examples of other fine Dynamic Entries:

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060323/NEWS/60323008

http://www.wbai.org/artman/publish/article_338.php

http://home.pacbell.net/rsdotson/sources/IsmaelMena.htm

Many of our men and women in blue are fine people. In recent years though more and more have been converting to a paramilitary role. You can't dump all that money on toys and training and not expect them to be used. No Knocks are the answer. "Of course we need this stuff, look at the warrants we serve!" is the rallying cry. Of course god forbid they simlpy wait outside and grab the people as they leave. That would not make headlines.

If our domestic law enforcement people are so eager to bust through doors with SMGs then they should enlist and serve in Iraq and other hot spots, they will have plenty of work to do with the Marines or US Army these days. If they do not want to do that then perhaps they should show some patience and injinuity in apprehending criminal and leave the Dynamic Entries to real life threatenning situations.

v8fbird
September 6, 2006, 08:25 AM
There is one thing that Capt. Charlie, et. al. are forgetting. We are supposed to be PRESUMED INNOCENT. Even the so-called "really bad guy" with a bag of pot (oh no, heaven forbid!) is presumed innocent, even when the bag is sitting on his dining room table.

In the early days of this country, a county had ONE sheriff. He had the power to come up to you, put his hand on your shoulder, serve you a subpoena and *suggest* that you show up. If you didn't, and they had to hunt you down, he had to deputize your friends and neighbors to get you. The last thing they wanted to do was break down your door and shoot you or get shot themselves. They had a vested interest in your safety. Today's professional hit squads don't care one way or another.

The ONLY justification for a "no-knock" entry is when someone's life inside is in danger. Other than a hostage situation, that usually isn't the case. Just because people have kids AND guns does not mean the kids need to have tear gas lobbed through the window and MP5s stuck in their faces.

Hey, Capt. What percentage of these entries are to serve warrants to nonviolent drug offenders?

PythonGuy
September 6, 2006, 09:23 AM
Endless rhetoric about an issue that is probably a billion to one never going to happen to anyone one of us. There is so much worry and so much discusion about meaningless issues its comical. I know someone will get all uptight and say How its better to be prepared, but you are preparing for things that will never happen. Or if they do happen you will never in your normal day to day doings ever be ready for it anyway, no matter how you prepare. Must be hell living with your mind trapped in this endless paranoia and worry about things you can't control. Go shoot and have fun, carry if it makes you feel better. Soldiers in Iraq are less paranoid then most of you guys in here. :cool:

v8fbird
September 6, 2006, 09:56 AM
Right, if it's just your neighbor's door and not YOUR door that just got knocked over........WHO CARES!







:barf:

PythonGuy
September 6, 2006, 10:20 AM
In fact, in all my years of life I have never know anyone's door to be kicked in be they in my neighborhood, or of any of my friends or co-workers. Of course you can worry about every little problem in life that can befall you, or you can just live using common sense. And don't go using the excuse you are going to save your neighbors or other poor helpless individuals, if thats the case become a soldier or LEO. Are you going to wear steel plating now that Steve Irwin got inpaled by a stingray? It could happen, have to be prepared ya know. I guess he should have been carrying a gun too.........

Musketeer
September 6, 2006, 10:28 AM
Pythonguy, I usually like your posts but where are you on this one? I posted several links to LEO's busting into the wrong homes and people getting hurt or killed.

As far as the paranoia and troops in Iraq being more sedate, how many have you talked to. The two I know and spoke with said they were pretty damn keyed up everytime they left their zone.

True, this scenario will likely never happen to you. At the same time it already has happenned to others and will again. You could take your attitude of it "not happenning to me" to Home Invasions by criminals as well. Of course you did see there was another in Nassau county last night I hope...

People in New Orleans probably never thought the police would cuff them and take their guns, but it happenned. We should be fighting these types of things BEFORE they become common so as to prevent them from doing so.

Capt Charlie
September 6, 2006, 12:08 PM
Folks, I left this thread open because Carter asked a legitimate question, the answer to which can help keep both you and LE safe, should such an unlikely event occur.

The question was, when a home invasion occurs, how can you tell if it's LE or a BG? The question was not whether or not no-knock search warrants are justified, legal, moral, or any other host of adjectives. That question has been beat to death in the legal & political forum. If you absolutely must go off on that tangent, please take it to L&P in a different thread.

Let's keep this one on topic, please!

PythonGuy
September 6, 2006, 12:20 PM
I don't want to derail the topic any further, my opinion is if you have a police entry of the wrong house, which though rare can happen, best to follow instructions and sue later, then plan on hostile confrontation. I was referring to Police break in's of course, criminal break in of your home warrants defense by any means necessary. On Long Island there are a large enough number of criminal home invasions to make mention and plan to defend. Sorry for straying Capt., I tend to go over the top too, if you haven't noticed. ;)

Musketeer
September 6, 2006, 12:28 PM
Good Point Capt. Charlie.

Back on topic, just because the violent entry into my home is more violent than normal :confused: I should therefor assume it is the police and they will not make any more mistakes like the one that brought them there in the first place.

Sorry, I tried but they really seem related. If they can not be done safely, for both the officers and the innocents then perhaps they should not be done at all.

Aside from general noise and frightfullness WHAT is done by the police to insure that innocents are not harmed during a dynamic entry? Hoping to scare the bejeebus out of the ocupants seems a flawed technique to me as you are counting on them NOT reacting. If that were the case then the entry team would not need ammunition because the occupants would all be to shocked and frightenned to react (Stupid scenario but that is the logic laid out). The fact that they enter with Armor, Shotguns and SMGs though indicates a reasonable expectation of resistance.

Is surveillence conducted, wire taps or other means of gatherring information used besides taking some drug addicts claim to a judge for a warrant? I really do not see how this can be done safely for the officers or the citizens.

Samurai
September 6, 2006, 04:06 PM
Look, guys. It's a simple analysis, here. If you hear breaking glass, and someone sneaking around in the middle of the night, SHOOT THEM. It's not the police. The police will yell loudly when they enter, they will tell everyone that they are the police and they want everyone to surrender, and they most CERTAINLY won't sneak.

Now, if the police, or some random ruffian-bandits dressed like the police, enter your home and tell you, "GET DOWN!!!", then for the love of Pete, DO IT! Just because the cops are mistaken in entering your home does NOT give you the right to gun them down! In fact, NO MATTER HOW STUPID the cops in your area are, you NEVER have the right to gun them down!

So, in review, there are absolutely NO similarities between a sneak-thief in the night and a no-knock entry. You should shoot a sneak-thief. But, do not shoot the cops.

Is everybody clear?

v8fbird
September 6, 2006, 04:09 PM
"In fact, NO MATTER HOW STUPID the cops in your area are, you NEVER have the right to gun them down!"

So, any way you cut it, you're saying that police are outside, above and completely exempt from the law.

Samurai
September 6, 2006, 04:21 PM
No. I'm saying that shooting people is not your god-given right.

If you want to prosecute the police, WITHIN the law, then you do it in COURT! Sue them for unlawful entry. You don't "bust a cap in some pig" and then claim that you had the right to do it because they "made a mistake."

This renegade-vigilante mentality is counterproductive to meaningful, well-reasoned discussion.

Anyone else unclear?

PythonGuy
September 6, 2006, 04:33 PM
Exactly the point I was trying to make Samurai, well said.

bartonkj
September 6, 2006, 05:43 PM
In fact, NO MATTER HOW STUPID the cops in your area are, you NEVER have the right to gun them down!

Please don't misunderstand the point I am about to make. I agree that you should not shoot the police. However, there are legal situations in which shooting a police officer would be "not a crime". Believe me - I don't advocate this - and if this ever arises there is a strong liklihood that you will be dead and not able to effectively argue this point anyway. However, if someone enters your home and you are reasonably in fear of death or serious bodily harm AND if that person entering happens to be a police officer doing his job but who does not properly identify themselves and you shoot him/her - it can be justifiable self-defense. Again, you will likely get shot and won't be able to argue - and there will also be quite a presumption by the courts in favor of the police - but it can happen.

Pell v. State, (1929) 97 Fla. 650 - Florida Supreme Court Case
OVERVIEW: The victim, a police officer, entered defendant's garage and began to search it pursuant to a search warrant that had not been properly executed. Defendant's brother confronted the victim and the victim punched him. Defendant shot the victim. At trial, there was contradicting evidence as to whether the victim had drawn his gun and fired. Following the brother's acquittal, the state did not redraft the indictment, but dropped the language that referred to the brother. Defendant was convicted and sought arrest of the judgment. On appeal, the court held that the indictment was sufficiently clear to inform the jury and defendant of the charges, and satisfied Fla. Rev. Gen. Stat. §§ 6063, 6064; Fla. Comp Gen. Laws §§ 8368, 8369. The trial court had not erred in exercising its discretion by denying defendant's motion to have a substance on the interior of the victim's gun analyzed. Although the defective search warrant may have been admissible, the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury as to the defect. The trial court also erred by refusing the jury instruction on self defense that a defendant is not required to retreat from violence in his own home.

OUTCOME: The court reversed the judgment convicting defendant of second degree murder, holding that he was entitled to an instruction on the illegality of the search warrant executed by the victim and on self-defense in his home.

=====


State v. Eggleston, 2001 Wash. App. LEXIS 2125 (Wash. Ct. App. 2001)
Washington state appellate court
OVERVIEW: A convicted felon informant participated in controlled buys from defendant away from defendant's home. Police got a drug warrant to search the home and executed it at 8:00 a.m. Inside, gunfire erupted. Defendant was shot and an officer killed. Afterwards, a search found weapons, drugs, and ballistics evidence. Defendant claimed self-defense. The appellate court held that the giving of an aggressor instruction was error because the element of provocation was unnecessary to either party's theory and not supported by the evidence. By giving the instruction, the trial court prevented defendant from fully asserting self-defense. The giving of a provocation instruction in the second trial was error in that it suggested defendant knew that it was officers who were entering his home and removed that fact issue from the jury. It did not state that a citizen could respond in self-defense to an officer's use of excessive force if the citizen were in actual danger. Though the trial court properly excused on juror, it failed to inquire concerning others's alleged misconduct in examining extraneous information. Recovered slugs were inadmissible. Hypervigilance testimony was properly excluded.

OUTCOME: The assault and murder convictions were reversed, the drug convictions were affirmed, and defendant's case was remanded for retrial without aggressor jury instructions.

=====

Venegas v. State, 660 S.W.2d 547 (Tex. App. 1983)
OVERVIEW: Appellant was convicted by a jury of attempted capital murder. Appellant challenged his conviction and the court reversed. The court held that the trial court erred when it failed to deliver to the jury a written charge for mistake of fact because appellant's testimony that he mistakenly believed that he was being robbed was sufficient to entitle him to submission of his requested mistake of fact charge under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 36.14 (1982-1983). The court also held that the trial court erred when it did not charge the jury on the issue of defense of property. The court determined that the issue was a matter for the jury to determine based upon appropriate instructions on defense of property. The court did hold that appellant's requested jury charge regarding his right to have a gun on his premises was not in issue, the trial court did not err in failing to charge on the right of self-defense against multiple assailants, the trial court adequately presented appellant's defensive theory and protected his rights, and the trial court correctly denied appellant's motion to suppress the evidence based on an invalid affidavit and search warrant.

OUTCOME: The court reversed appellant's conviction for attempted capital murder and held that the trial court erroneously denied appellant's requested jury instructions regarding mistake of fact and defense of property.

=====

State v. Johnson, 665 So. 2d 1237 (La. Ct. App. 1995)
OVERVIEW: A jury convicted defendant of the first-degree murder of a police officer, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. He appealed raising numerous points of error. Specific intent was a state of mind and needed not to be proved as a fact; it could be inferred from the circumstances of the transaction and the actions of defendant. The court concluded that viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, a reasonable trier of fact could have concluded that the defendant had the specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily injury upon a police officer. The search warrant was based on sufficient information to establish probable cause and therefore the trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress and for a new trial. The officers had probable cause to believe that crack cocaine which was small enough to be disposed of quickly, was present in defendant's residence. The officers also had information from another confidential informant that defendant was violent and known to carry guns. These circumstances justified the "no-knock" entry used by the officers. Finding no error, the court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence.

OUTCOME: Defendant's conviction and sentence for first-degree murder of a police officer were affirmed.

In this case the jury did not believe the self-defense claims of the defendant - however, if they would have believed the self-defense claims then he could have been acquitted

Feel free to contact me should you want more information about any of these cases.

Doubletaptap
September 6, 2006, 05:44 PM
OK, not that the dust has cleared...
I have worked around some door busting and it was sneaky. Sorry, it was.
The place was amply surrounded and they took the "have a nice day" battering ram and stealthily crept up on the porch to the door and BAM!!!!!

Here's where the shouting started!!! "POLICE!!! ON THE FLOOR!!! etc.
But up until then it was sneaky.
Now intention of this is the element of surprise. No one can "be prepared" by arming themselves or heading out the back way,or flushing the stash.
It's not meant to scare people. It's the sneaky element of surprise. Why do you think they wear black.

Needless to say if they didn't sneak around,they be seen and the BG's would be prepared.
Plus there's a good chance they'll catch the BG's in the middle of doing what brought the LEO's there in the first place.

As for the wrong house. We're only human. Someone could write down a wrong address. Could be a bad tip. Could be someone heard wrong. It happens. Just do as you're told and things will go well.

And YES. Criminals use the door kicking tactics too. It's quite popular now days.

SO... when someone kicks down your door,you will be unprepared. No way around it unless you sit at full armed alert all the time. Some folks probably do. They're trying to achieve paranoia records I guess.

My idea on this is, if it's the law, do as they command. Deal with it later.In court if necessary.
If it's BG's, you ain't gonna have time to do anything so do as they say. If you get to a weapon,defend yourself. I like to keep my cell phone close for a quick 911 call with one touch dialing. Just push the button and hope someone arrives. They will check out a 911 with nobody talking. And do not hang up.


Don't be shooting at cops. It makes them and the judges very upset. If you live to go to court.
And don't shoot someone sneaking around your house. Again, it could be a neighbor,a friend, a cop or one of your family,one of your kid's friends.
Make very sure who you are shooting and be able to back it up beyond a reasonable doubt in court.
If you can hold them at gunpoint till legal people arrive.
But don't go blasting away. Just because you have guns and maybe a carry license don't mean you are free to blast away at anyone you think may be sneaking around.Or kicking in your door.

Don H
September 6, 2006, 06:30 PM
So, if someone kicks the door in and they enter yelling, wearing black clothing and masks, and waving guns around, we should just ASSUME they are cops making a lawful entry and just throw ourselves on the floor? And hope they really are cops? Is that what you all are saying?

Because the situation I have just laid out pretty much describes how some home invasion robberies have ocurred here. Getting pretty hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys, sometimes.

azurefly
September 6, 2006, 06:47 PM
Aside from general noise and frightfullness WHAT is done by the police to insure that innocents are not harmed during a dynamic entry? Hoping to scare the bejeebus out of the ocupants seems a flawed technique to me as you are counting on them NOT reacting. If that were the case then the entry team would not need ammunition because the occupants would all be to shocked and frightenned to react (Stupid scenario but that is the logic laid out). The fact that they enter with Armor, Shotguns and SMGs though indicates a reasonable expectation of resistance.

The tremendous fallacy of the police thinking on this matter is that
they regard anyone who offers resistance as a dangerous criminal to be neutralized,
and they seem to be dismissive of the possibility of a lawfully armed homeowner defending his home against what he believes to be an unwarranted violent criminal intrusion.


It seems to me that when the police conduct these no-knock warrant entries, they believe:
- anyone innocent will just be shocked (as you said) into inaction, and can be secured quickly and easily once entry has been made
- anyone who is not shocked into inaction is a violent criminal druglord and must be taken out to ensure officer safety

There is no room in the way they conduct these entries for the consideration that a plain old armed homeowner may be in the house, scared that he's under attack by murderous robbers.


It really seems that the police believe that anyone who actually behaves as an invaded homeowner and is collected enough to react to the break-in -- which is what it is, from the perspective of an innocent resident who knows he has done nothing wrong (and therefore should not be expecting a lawful warrant entry) is a violent criminal drug lord and should be immediately shot. They seem to believe that only a criminal operating a meth lab or something sinister would do anything but lie down and sob for mercy.

The police attitude seems to be that anyone who has not accepted the conditioning we are supposed to be programmed with -- that of, "let the police do whatever they wish to and we'll iron out the propriety of it all later, but for now, don't move, don't speak!" -- should not be a cause for concern.

The fact is that responding to a violent break-in is not illegal; defending yourself, your home, and your family is not illegal -- and given that criminals now camouflage themselves as no-knocking police, the innocent homeowner is put in a really really bad position, as evidenced by the original poster's question of "how can you be sure?"

The sad fact seems to be, "You can't. You have to gamble." :(


-azurefly
-

orionengnr
September 6, 2006, 08:09 PM
[quote]Endless rhetoric about an issue that is probably a billion to one never going to happen to anyone one of us. There is so much worry and so much discusion about meaningless issues its comical.[/qoute]

Without even beginning to argue the (dubious) merits of the case, please observe the glaring logical fallacy.

"A billion to one" means that approximately six such cases have occurred...in recorded history...throughout the World.

So, I guess is you are a Math major:) ? With qualifications such as this you will find endless opportunities for employment with the Brady campaign.

azurefly
September 6, 2006, 08:26 PM
As for the wrong house. We're only human. Someone could write down a wrong address. Could be a bad tip. Could be someone heard wrong. It happens. Just do as you're told and things will go well.

All kinds of people are held liable both civilly and criminally when they make a mistake and it harms someone else.

Cops should not be? Not even when their mistakes tend to have the gravest consequences? :barf:

And YES. Criminals use the door kicking tactics too. It's quite popular now days.

All the more reason why people are (rightfully) skeptical, scared, and defensive when anyone claiming to be a cop violently busts into their home.


SO... when someone kicks down your door,you will be unprepared. No way around it unless you sit at full armed alert all the time. Some folks probably do. They're trying to achieve paranoia records I guess.

If a person keeps his CCW weapon nearby in the house (MANY of us avow doing this) and he is upstairs behind a locked bathroom or bedroom door, he may very well have enough time to bring the weapon to bear. You state "you will be unprepared" unequivocally, and that rings false. How can YOU be so sure? And the idea of being prepared, which most times we advocate for, is inconvenient to your argument so you try to paint it as "paranoid." :rolleyes:


My idea on this is, if it's the law, do as they command. Deal with it later.In court if necessary.


THE WHOLE ISSUE HERE IS "IS IT THE LAW that's busting in?!" :mad: Nothing could be more germane to this discussion, and you wrap up by saying flippantly, "If it's the law, do as they command." The outstanding issue here is the ambiguity of whether it IS the law, or maybe criminal IMPOSTORS. :rolleyes:


If it's BG's, you ain't gonna have time to do anything so do as they say. If you get to a weapon,defend yourself.

If I were upstairs and heard a big break-in take place (splintering doorframes and such) I would arm myself: I have no reason to believe or know that the police are coming for me because I am not a criminal. And if they're yelling "Police!", well, they may be and they may not be. That's the whole trouble in this discussion: we are forced to GAMBLE OUR LIVES. As soon as someone says, "Police!", we have to act as though they ARE the police for certain; because if they ARE, and we fight back, we're gonna get killed or imprisoned. If they're not, and we don't fight back because we're afraid of what will happen to us if we fought the actual police, we're screwed, and we just gave up without a fight.

No scenario here is good. They all suck, from the defender's point of view.

It would be best if the police universally disavowed no-knock entries, because now that criminals are imitating them, it leaves homeowners not knowing what to do. You know how eBay and PayPal tell you never to respond to emails "from them" asking for your sensitive information, and they tell you, "We will NEVER request via email that you re-send us your user information"? That's what the cops should do. They should tell us, "Don't ever lie down for someone who busts into your house, because only a criminal will do that; we no longer will ever enter in that manner."


-azurefly

JohnKSa
September 6, 2006, 09:01 PM
Endless rhetoric about an issue that is probably a billion to one never going to happen to anyone one of us.You could say the same thing about the lottery--and yet someone wins every week...

As far as determining who is a BG and who is an LEO in a violent entry to a house, I don't see any practical way to do so. As any LEO who's worked on an entry team will tell you, these things happen VERY rapidly. Delaying your response will virtually eliminate any chance of repelling a coordinated attack. While rare, that type of home invasion does occur.

It sounds bad, and I wish there was another solution, but if someone kicks in my door, I'm going to immediately start shooting and pray that if it's the good guys they get me before I get any of them. Is this shooting without identifying my target? No. When someone kicks in my door, they identify themselves as a target. If they're the good guys, the identification responsibility (and error) is theirs--my responsibility as the primary defender of my family is to do everything in my power to keep anyone from entering my house forcibly unless I am clearly notified and 100% convinced that the entry is legal. (Shouting "police" or "get down" while the door is kicked in is not clear notification--anyone can yell anything they want--it will not convince me of anything nor will black military style duds and masks even if someone's taken the time to stencil lettering on them.)

I realize that this seems like I'm advocating that people shoot at the cops, but that is not my intent at all. It is unfortunate that the current legal state of affairs has made it possible for cops and citizens to engage in violent confrontations where both sides are legally justifed in using deadly force. (Yes, in my area, my response is clearly legal.) It's a conundrum that can only be resolved by a change in the legal system.

I want to make it absolutely clear that my strategy is specifically designed to repel a criminal home invasion--NOT a no-knock warrant. I've been convinced by several LEOs that there is almost no way for a person to effectively repel a no-knock warrant. Everything I'm saying is about preventing/repelling a home invasion. I find it regrettable (reprehensible? appalling?) that the current laws create the possibility that my reasonable home invasion strategy may result in a situation where I am killed by the police--or worse--end up injuring or killing an LEO.

Ok, now it's time for the accusations of chest-thumping to start. That's missing the mark as well--if someone has an alternative home invasion strategy that is more likely or as likely to be effective as mine and which eliminates or significantly reduces the chances of an LEO-vs Law abiding citizen gunfight, I wish they would post it.

guntotin_fool
September 6, 2006, 09:39 PM
Lets just say, that if it is bad guys coming to pay you a visit, you shoot.

If you shoot and it turns out to be the police, you are going to die. That is the concept of the Swat entry team.

IF YOU HAVE NO REASON to feel that the cops have a right to invade your property, and you shoot then I do feel that your estate will probably settle with the City or County for a large sum. You however will be buried and not aware of this settlement.

One of the funnier pieces of video I have seen is a police "no knock'' team running up a flight of stairs and then just disappearing. Turns out the owner of the home had been visited before and decided to remove most of the nails holding up the stringers that held the front porch to the house. One or two and the porch would stand, 6 or 7 of an entry team, and they fall down go boom. Actually fairly elegant solution. Just like the old castles with only one thin bridge allowing entry or exit. NOT taking the bad guys side, but it does show not just the cops are thinking.


I am a contractor, I have said that before, I have worked on a lot of houses and one pretty constant effort has been hardening doors. With a budget of a couple of hundred dollars, I can make it so nothing short of a back hoe is going to knock that door down.

If you think most of the BG's just sit in normal houses, you have not had to rehab any of them. Many have concrete block against the front wall to provide bullet protection. Some have very strong steel and concrete reinforced doors. One I was asked to bid on had a tripod and a pintle mount in the upstairs bedroom, I have no idea what they had mounted on it. Cops had no idea either. I have seen stair ways pulled apart with only stepping pads to walk up and down the front entry to the house. Front porches stripped down to two or three boards. Cameras and motion detectors covering the whole block.

If you want to slow people on a no knock, or on a home invasion event. There are many ways to slow them down, choke points, early warning, pre- gates, simple door blocks and locks, trip wires tied to warning devices. If you want to get nasty, there are lots of other ways to slow them down.

rdebert
September 6, 2006, 09:54 PM
One point I would like to make is that if law enforcement does in fact enter the wrong residence (in any manner) than listed on a proper legal warrant (or without proper legally defined and legally defensible just cause)....the law enforcement agency and all personnel involved are (in fact) committing a laundry list of crimes. This is important. This can not be glossed over by terms such as "mistake." They are committing illegal acts and are therefore the "criminals." Although this is rare it can not be denied that it does happen. Since the stakes are very high for everyone..the bar must be maintained at the highest possible level. However, there is a complete lack of serious accountability (by not criminally prosecuting law enforcement personnel for these crimes) which leads to some individual LEO's believing in the thought process of...We are the Police (note the capital letters), as long as you do what We tell you to do, everything will work out (because..essentially we will not held accountable and can do no wrong). As you have read in some replies here.

Relax, calm down..I am simply making an important point that some should at least consider..perhaps even discuss..that has not been made so far..and I am not afraid to do so. At least I didn't ask how much one of those cute Ninja costume actually cost. :)

In direct reponse to the question of this thread: First, I agree with many that if someone is a law abiding citizen the chances of being on the receiving end of a no-knock warrant (of any kind) is in most cases is almost completely non-existent (exceptions being high crime neigborhoods/apartments, etc.) The same goes for a home invasion by a large well trained/coordinated group of criminals posing as police. Unfortunately it is a gamble..but the gamble I would have to take is that if a large number of personnel made a dynamic entry into my residence and were in fact loudly and clearly screaming "police"...I would believe they are in fact civilian law enforcement officers and would act accordingly in order to protect them and myself from undue harm. Even though I have absolutely no reason why I should legally be on the receiving end of such action. My individual decision/gamble is that it is even less likely that it would be criminals posing as law enforcement. I agree with those that believe the home invasion they consider/plan/concern themselves with/otherwise prepare for... (and...once again..a gamble) is not going to look, act, or sound like any form of tacticool law enforcement dynamic entry.

oldbillthundercheif
September 6, 2006, 09:58 PM
OK, here's the deal. Hudson WAS a bad guy and the cops did do a marginal announce before they entered, but oddly enough that is not the point at all.
SC decisions are not really about the case being analyzed, they set the standard for future cases.

What's important here is the SC decided that the exclusionary rule does not apply to knock-and-announce violations. This takes away the only thing that would make police stop and think before kicking down doors. No matter what, the evidence gets in.

They also decided to loosen the deciding factors determining when a no-knock entry can be used. They set the standards so broadly that pretty much any cop anywhere, any time can do a no-knock entry even if it was not authorized by the courts or even one of their commanding officers. They can just do it whenever the feel like it...

So, you see, this case DOES have something to do with this conversation as it will increase the amount of no-knock entries exponentially as soon as police are trained in the new procedure. That should be any day now...

This will also increase the probability of mistakes exponentially. You see where I'm going with this or have I lost ya?

azurefly
September 6, 2006, 10:27 PM
When someone kicks in my door, they identify themselves as a target. If they're the good guys, the identification responsibility (and error) is theirs--my responsibility as the primary defender of my family is to do everything in my power to keep anyone from entering my house forcibly unless I am clearly notified and 100% convinced that the entry is legal. (Shouting "police" or "get down" while the door is kicked in is not clear notification--anyone can yell anything they want--it will not convince me of anything nor will black military style duds and masks even if someone's taken the time to stencil lettering on them.)


Very good points.

One can only hope that if one were to fire on home invaders who turned out to be the police
1) everybody misses and the shooting stops and things get straightened out
2) when the homeowner explains just what you did, i.e. "I was not going to bet my life on the idea that these were anything but violent criminals intent on harming me and my family, because anyone can lie and say they are the police, and these days, that's exactly what I've read they do," hopefully the court will recognize the truth of that statement and not press any charges.


-azurefly

Crosshair
September 6, 2006, 10:30 PM
Map of botched Police raids. (http://www.cato.org/raidmap/) Note that in many of the raids, the best they can come up with is a small amount of pot.

The problem I have is why do you even need no-knock search warrants outside of a hostage situation. People give the idiotic, "Well they could flush the drugs" reason to support their argument. Other people have said it in other threads, but I will say it here. If you can destroy ALL the evidence in one flush, then is it really worth it to risk peoples lives in the first place??? Have the city turn off the water before the raid so they ONLY have one flush. (Or just have an officer do it.) Cut the power and phone lines as well. If you really want to get picky you can probably get a cell phone jammer as well.

Then you turn on the bright lights and get on the megaphone and tell them they have 3 minutes to come out before things start to get unpleasant. If they stay inside you just wait until they have had enough to come out. You then get to charge them with obstruction of justice/resisting arrest or something. If the house burns down and they escape, you get to charge them with arson.

Some, like small time offenders, will realize that the gig is up and come out. If they come out and don't resist, then cut them some slack with sentencing. Some will try and destroy all the evidence, they probably won't and you can charge them with obstruction of justice and just make the penalty for that 10 years in prison. If they burn the house down, that's arson and you can just put them away for 20 years. Anyone who is innocent is just inconvienenced instead of having to put their house together or worse.

Of cource the better solution would be to end the war on drugs. Face the facts, it doesn't work. I live in a little town, but could probably find, within a few hours, who I could go to for illegal drugs. (Haven't looked for several years, but I could find out.) I did pot in high school and snorted Ritalin in my first years in college. I then realized that I was going downhill and there where better ways to use my life. (Like become a responsible gun owner.)

Any costs we incur by making drugs legal would be offset by the reduced cost of drug violence. (We will still have some, just as we have some moonshiners.) All the money we spend on incarceration of non-violent drug offenders can now be spent on rehab to anyone who wants it. Make anyone who wants drugs take a class so someone can explain the REAL dangers of drugs, not the made up ones. (Reefer Madness) Then you could buy them at a pharmacy. Since drugs would be legal, we can now ensure purity of the product. If "safer" drugs are available then people won't do some of the more dangerous drugs. (People who do meth would likely switch to "safer" cocaine.) Drugs like Heroin arn't that toxic to the body, it's all the crap that's mixed in with it that does the most damage. Basicly we would let people use drugs and punish the people who commit crimes to support their habbit. We will still have drugies out on the street and some crime related to feeding the drug habit, but we won't have overflowing prisons, old ladies getting patted down because they use pot for their cancer, and a growing police state. Everyone except the people who PROFIT from the drug war win.

This is a post by rdu_voyager from Fark.com. Reading that site is like panning for gold. Most of the stuff is crap, but once and awhile you find a nugget. I don't agree 100% with this persons view, but I think they have some good ideas.

Conducting a No-Knock Raid
I admit that there are rare times when a no-knock raid is justified. However, the bar for a no-knock raid must be set high because the raid itself has the potential to be the punishment for the suspected crime. Because of the heightened risk someone may die in a raid means that some "due process" must take place before the raid is conducted.

Here are my criteria for launching a no-knock raid.

1) Illegal activity must be either observed at the location to be raided or from a reliable witness (not from a paid informant or as part of a plea bargin).

2) The illegal activity must pose an immediate threat of death to the public if no police action is taken.

3) There must be a warrant signed by a judge who has visually verified the evidence of illegal activity (not just heard a summary over the phone).

4) The raid shall be conducted by properly trained personnel who understand they will be held accountable for mistakes.

5) The raid shall be conducted as follows:

a) Surround the location. Cut off water and phone lines. Jam cell phones.
b) If possible, covertly get a visual inspection of the interior of the location (fiber optic camera).
c) Kick in the door while making this announcement over a loud speaker:
"This is the police. Drop everything and put your hands on your head. [Repeat in Spanish]"
d) Tazer/shoot anyone who poses a threat. Exercise restraint as much as practical.

6) Any offical who had a hand in the raid (active participant or authorized it) is personally responsible if the raid proves to be unfounded.

7) If the raid is unfounded, all evidence used to initiate the raid and the names of all participants must be immediately sealed and turned over to the attorney for the victim of the raid. Particpants in the raid must be put on paid administrative duty until the victim either chooses not to persue the matter or any criminal trials or civil lawsuits are resolved.

Conducting a One-Knock Raid
If the above seven criteria cannot be met (most will fail criteria one or two), conduct a "one-knock" raid as follows.

1) Get a warrant from a judge based on evidence that there is substantial, potentially violent illegal activity at the location. (More than just an ounce or two of pot or a rock or two of crack.)

2) Completely surround the location with officers properly trained to conduct these types of raids.

3) Cut off water and phone lines to the location. Jam cell phones in vincinity. They'll only get one flush out of the toilets and won't be able to communicate.

4) Knock (bang) on door and use a loudspeaker to make the following announcement:

This is the police. We are coming in. [Repeat in Spanish]
Drop everything and put your hands on your head or you may be tazered or shot. [Repeat in Spanish]
We are coming in now. [Repeat in Spanish]

5) Kick in door and begin raid.

6) Shoot anyone brandishing a visible, identifiable weapon. Tazer any adult that does not have their hands on their head but otherwise poses no immediate threat. Restrain, remove, and search any children.

7) If the raid is unfounded, all evidence used to initiate the raid must be immediately sealed and turned over to the attorney for the victim of the raid for use in any future civil lawsuit.

Notice with the "one-knock" raid that law enforcement is provided with official immunity since the occupants are provided with notice the raid is about to commence and the rules of engagement will be stricter.

All other searches
If there is no evidence of substantial, potentially violent criminal activity, then contuct a standard "knock-and-wait" search. Surround the premisis if there is a flight risk.

springmom
September 6, 2006, 10:42 PM
...is going to have to negotiate the random occurrences of laundry dumped by the laundry room by my 17 year old son. If that doesn't create a choke point, I don't know what would. Unless it's my bicycle that frequently ends up somehow more or less near the front door... :p

I have to admit that once or twice this issue has cropped up in my mind, because, while we are totally law-abiding, a few of our neighbors have not always been so. Y'all remember, no doubt, the assault on my 17 year old last January that I wrote about. We've had a few more assaults and even a shooting nearby since then. And at least one of our neighbors on this block has had some, um, legal issues.

Could somebody get the wrong address and end up in my dining room instead of one of my nefarious neighbors'? It wouldn't be all that hard, as several have pointed out. One number different in our five-digit address and you're in OUR dining room instead of the NN's living room. I don't know that a billion to one is quite the odds here, although I expect it would still be pretty unlikely.

If somebody busts in to my house in the middle of the night, I would expect to defend against them. That's why I have that 1911 on my bedside table, and why we have a 12-gauge ready if needed. I hope I don't ever have to shoot ANYBODY, but I can't imagine, in the heat of the moment, willingly pausing to accept the proof that the guy yelling "get down" really is a Harris county sheriff or constable and not one of the nastier elements of our area.

I think whoever said it is 100% correct: as long as no-knock warrants are a police tactic, then there does exist the possibility that the home invader you're drawing a bead on is a police officer, and there is just no great way of being sure that it is.

A truly no-win tactic, ISTM, but that's just me.

Springmom

Capt Charlie
September 7, 2006, 12:12 AM
*Sigh*

The question was, when a home invasion occurs, how can you tell if it's LE or a BG? The question was not whether or not no-knock search warrants are justified, legal, moral, or any other host of adjectives. That question has been beat to death in the legal & political forum. If you absolutely must go off on that tangent, please take it to L&P in a different thread.

Let's keep this one on topic, please!

That was from my own post.

Very few listened :( .

Closed.

But thanks to those who tried.