The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 28, 2009, 01:25 AM   #1
Join Date: April 19, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 86
Random Scenario Question

I was trolling on another board an came upon a very interesting legal quandary:

In Texas or anywhere, if police barge in your home (say, in the mistaken execution of an otherwise valid no-knock entry warrant), and you reasonably believe that (1) they aren't real cops, as you've done nothing to warrant the entry and (2) it is rather a burglar posing a cop, are you justified in firing in defense of your home as though it were an ordinary intruder? I know Texas is a state with pretty far reaching HD allowances, but I've never thought of it in this context.

I've also never heard of it actually happening, but I could see how I might be skeptical of someone attempting to enter my home with force as though they were legally entitled to - I lead a pretty crime-free life Given my already innate fear of situations in which a BG might accomplish criminal objectives by impersonating LE, it made me really wonder what I might do in the situation (besides install a strategically-placed mirror so that I can see my front door an evaluate whether they "look" like cops or BGs before I shoot).

Thoughts? I'd do legal research on the matter but I'm too tired - and wanted to ask before I fell asleep
stilettosixshooter is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 08:18 AM   #2
Al Norris
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,540
If you were "trolling" another board, why should I not believe that is what you are doing here?

Afterall, a simple search of this forum for the term, "home invasion," would have brought up this recent thread, where the matter was discussed in some detail.

I will leave this thread open, on the premise that the discussion involves the laws of the State of Texas, and that the discussion is civil and not devolve into cop bashing.
Al Norris is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 09:31 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: October 31, 2008
Posts: 312
I think you would be justified under the Bill of Rights. Your protected from improper search and seizure. The officers could easily realize their mistake if they knocked on your door to serve the warrant and you point out they're at the wrong house.

Instead they choose to knock your door down and point firearms at you. I'd say your completely justified in returning the favor. Bill of Rights protects you from Govt agencies. Your gun protects you from Govt agencies. Their mistake, and possibly a fatal one. Everyone pays for their mistakes, even police.

That being said, I am not for shooting cops, I despise cop killers. However, you come to my house, kick my door down, and point a gun at me, I'm scared S***less and I'll defend my house and my family. If your a real cop, you have no right to be on my property threatening my life. I do not participate in illegal activity. If your a BG, then you have no right to be on my property threatening my life.
doh_312 is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 09:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 3,276
I think you would be justified under the Bill of Rights. Your protected from improper search and seizure.
In my opinion this is the prime reason as to why "no knock" absolutely MUST cease.
ZeSpectre is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 09:40 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: April 22, 2009
Location: The Volunteer State
Posts: 439
It happened in Lebanon TN ...

Get Active
Support Us

Newshawk: Kkraig
Pubdate: Fri, 6 Oct 2000
Source: Tennessean, The (TN)
Copyright: 2000 The Tennessean
Contact: [email protected]
Address: 1100 Broadway, Nashville TN 37203
Fax: (615) 726-8928
Author: Warren Duzak, Staff Writer


LEBANON -- About 10 p.m. Wednesday, John Adams, 64, settled into his tan recliner to watch television for the last time, his cane within easy reach.

At that moment outside Adams' door, Lebanon police officers Kyle Shedran, 25, and Greg Day, 24, stood armed and prepared for the worst.

In the darkness, five to seven other officers were there for backup.

When the dust settled, Mr. Adams who got up and retreived his shotgun was shot and killed. His family sued the Wilson CO. police dept and won a multi-million dollar settlement with the city of Lebanon.
KingEdward is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 11:10 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: December 9, 2008
Location: Kalamazoo MI
Posts: 177
Yeah my thoughts were that even though you may be justified in firing at them, the probablility of you getting shot up in return would be pretty high being that there will be many officers entering in an event such as that.

Hard to say how a person might react in that situation.
Tophe is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 11:30 AM   #7
Join Date: April 19, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 86
I was trolling on another board...
*gulp* So sorry, I need to stop trying to use the lingo if I don't know what it means. I meant that I was piddling around on other message boards instead of doing what I was supposed to do (go to sleep) - not that I was picking fights or trying to start controversy by baiting people. 100% apologize, had only sincere, legitimate legal interest in the topic and was curious about what others knew about the "rules" in this scenario.

I certainly don't hate on cops, am actually more concerned about figuring out how I need to make sure I don't do them harm while still protecting myself from would-be posers!

Promise, promise, promise to run a search next time. Promise. Thanks for leaving my thread open!
stilettosixshooter is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 11:36 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 3,276
Lurking, lurking is the term you wanted <grin>. (Listening in without participating).
ZeSpectre is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 11:41 AM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Western Colorado, finally.
Posts: 19,118
Just a guess,

the odds of your surviving that situation, should you attempt to engage with a firearm, are similar to that of a snowball in hell. I'd say that the legality of it is a moot point.

Secondarily, the chances of a mistaken address, no-knock warrant, breach of your house are teeny, tiny, infinitesimally small. In my world, I'd be more worried about airplanes crashing into my house or being struck by an asteroid, both of which I'm not worried about AT ALL.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; April 28, 2009 at 11:52 AM.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 11:50 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: March 15, 2009
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 811
I too would never ever want to hurt a cop. I can't believe they do what they do for as little as they get paid. That being said....... I hear a big commotion and loud noises inside my house I better see some blue lights and lots of badges and insignia pretty [email protected] quick or some 00 buck will definitely be in the air.

I don't like the idea of silent entry into my house. Apparently this is a practice at times due to druggies flushing evidence. I would hope that days of surveillance and absolute identity has been established before an entrance like this would be approved. Further at least part of the law enforcement entering an address should have been involved in the above mentioned surveillance so to eliminate any mistakes.
sailing ... A way to spend lots of money and go real S L O W
Dragon55 is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 02:18 PM   #11
Join Date: April 19, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 86
I know if the mistake is objectively reasonable, any evidence obtained in a search pursuant to an otherwise legal warrant (i.e. building schematics show that a second story is a one-unit dwelling, but it turns out there are two - and the police go into the wrong one - as in Maryland v. Garrison, 1987 Supreme Court case). I just wondered if you could be prosecuted for firing on police (supposing you weren't obliterated in the process) in the same type of instance.

For now, I will just do my best to check to see if they are cops - if they are not (i.e. it is a BG yelling that he is a cop in order to get me to drop my defenses), I hope I can tell the difference quickly!
stilettosixshooter is offline  
Old April 28, 2009, 03:08 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 958
How about this one?
Answer a banging door with your gun, and if it's the cops at your house by accident you may still get charged...

I almost wonder if the cops have to charge you with something just to keep themselves from looking bad. The incident of planting marijuana bags in the house of an elderly lady that was shot and killed on a wrong house search comes to mind.,2933,499544,00.html

I do recall one incident where cops entered the wrong house, didn't identify themselves and 1 or 2 were shot and killed by the inhabitants. They (the people defending the house) were arrested, tried, and acquitted of murder. I'll have to see if I can track that story down...
And it's Killer Angel... as in the book
KLRANGL is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:53 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.06747 seconds with 7 queries