Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    13

    No-knock warrants

    I tried searching for this but never found a thread. I'm not going to attack anyone here but I'd like to know how you guys feel about no-knock warrants. I'd like to discuss the reasons behind them and I'd like to know what safeguards your respective department and government put in place to be sure you don't go into the wrong home/office/etc.

    I certainly understand the officer safety argument but part of me says, the job by it's very nature puts you at risk so suck it up. My dad was a cop for 30+ years and I've still got family and friends with the local PD. Of course I worry about them when I hear of an officer being shot. But at the same time, I almost see no knocks warrants served on the wrong address as asking for it. Thoughts and comments are welcome. PLEASE, lets keep it civil.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    154
    No knock warrants have nothing to do with going to the wrong house...do some research before you come here with your slanted view of a very important tool that saves officers lives every day across this country

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    13
    Badger, that's why I'm posting. I'm asking for you and other LEO's to explain them to me specically because all I have is a slanted view of things and I'm asking for help to clear it up. Right now, it seems that serving warrant on the wrong address is bad to begin with and that's certainly one issue. At the same time, no-knock warrant seems to be even worse when served at the wrong location.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,090
    Knock or no knock, you're still yelling "POLICE" like mad and wearing some sort of identifying jackets and so forth. Wrong house or not, people know who you are. The no knock just gives the cops 20 extra seconds.
    "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

  5. #5
    No Longer Active
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    151
    I have an idea. Let's call them first and say is Mr Badguy there. Ok just checking because we're about to bust through your door and we just wanted to make sure this was the right place..

  6. #6
    No Longer Active
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    151
    You're obviously going to have incidents where officers may raid the wrong house. I don't think you'll find it happening very often. But normally before officers do this, they perform some sort of surveillance on the potential target. I highly doubt officers go around just knocking down doors and saying oops i thought you were someone else.

    The extra 20 seconds the other poster was referring to could be the time it takes for your suspect to become armed with an AK-47 that you get greeted by as you enter the building. I think servicing warrants is extremely dangerous and ANY edge that can be given to an officer should be given! A judge has signed off on the warrant and if you have good info, you act! Better to be over cautious and say sorry then passive and get officers killed!

  7. #7
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    6,418
    Quite frankly I don't like entry warrants at all. It's too risky in my opinion for the results. If it's a bad guy we are looking for, I prefer to wait until he goes out and gets a hamburger, and then we can bust him when we have the advantage. Just my opinion, and the way I had it done when I was working. I approved very few entry warrants.
    Retired

  8. #8
    Hook 'em Horns Styx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lone Star State
    Posts
    3,798
    Originally posted by retired
    Quite frankly I don't like entry warrants at all. It's too risky in my opinion for the results. If it's a bad guy we are looking for, I prefer to wait until he goes out and gets a hamburger, and then we can bust him when we have the advantage. Just my opinion, and the way I had it done when I was working. I approved very few entry warrants.
    What if the guy is home and he steps out to get his mail or newspaper...can you bust him? Or does he have to be off his property totally?
    So someone can just hide out in their house until a warrant for entry is approved. So if I see one of Americas Most Wanted walk in the house next door ..as a guest mind you, you have to get a warrant to enter that home and arrest him or just wait for him to come outside. I am confused now. Sorry.....rough day.

  9. #9
    No Longer Active
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    151
    You are able to chase a fleeing suspect into his residence without obtaining a warrant. But you are running the risk of possibly misidentifying someone just by them sticking their head out their door for their mail and you rushing in! I dont think that would qualify under the prior example. Assuming he leaves his house, by all means you can apprehend him. Even if he is on his porch which is accessible without entering the residence I believe you can apprehend him..

    If someone is in their house or apartment, you will need a warrant to enter the residence. But as was said prior, you're probably better off waiting for the suspect to exit their residence where you can surprise them and limit any chances of the suspect pulling a weapon on you. But each case will be different so it will cary depending on the suspect.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    556
    Most dopers I have met are more afraid of being robbed by the competition than busted by the cops. While I can see a need for a "no knock" warrant under some very unique conditions, I think it is a very poor choice under most circumstances. In North Carolina there is no such thing as a state "no knock" warrant, and I can not recall the last time knocking and yelling "police search warrant" before knocking in the door caused an additional problem, but I have seen cases where suspects surrendered because they knew it was the police.

    I can see using them under some very limited circumstances, but not on the vast majority of search warrants.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    585

    Re: No-knock warrants

    Originally posted by gcmj45acp
    I certainly understand the officer safety argument but part of me says, the job by it's very nature puts you at risk so suck it up.
    You cannot be serious. "Suck it up"?

    So if we have intel that the gangbangers selling dope out of an abandoned house happen to be armed with automatic weapons, we should should just "suck it up" and hope the bad guys are bad shots?

    We accept calculated risk, but we're not suicidal, and we're certainly not stupid.

    But at the same time, I almost see no knocks warrants served on the wrong address as asking for it. Thoughts and comments are welcome. PLEASE, lets keep it civil.
    I'd like to know why you equate a "no-knock" warrant with being served on the wrong address.

    If it's a "must knock", do you think the cops ring the doorbell, and ask the occupants if they're at the right house? Or that the residents would say, "Sorry, officer, you've got the wrong house. You want "Joe the Crack Dealer" on the next block".

    Search warrants of any type are almost always the product of extensive investigation and surveillance, otherwise a judge would never approve them. In the cases of dope houses, there have been CI's used, undercovers have made controlled buys, etc, etc.

    Search warrants of both types being served on the wrong address do happen, but it's relatively rare. It happens most often when the entry team has little or no prior knowledge of the target, and/or the narcs or don't brief them well enough, or don't go in with them.

    The so-called "no-knock" search warrant is used in specific cases, for several possible purposes. One would be officer safety in the case of heavily armed occupants, and/or to prevent any innocent occupants, like kids, from being caught in a crossfire. The principle being, hit 'em before they have a chance to react. Another possible reason would be to prevent the destruction or concealment of evidence, such as being flushed down a toilet, or the bad guys having a bucket of bleach to toss the dope into.

    I'm not trying to flame you, but "no-knock" does not automatically equal "wrong address".

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Montgomery Alabama
    Posts
    16,554

    No knock warrants.

    The stated purpose of "no-knock" warrants is officer safety. A no knock warrant is not issued for misdemeanors or violations,but for felonies,and not all felonies will qualify. The standards for no-knock warrants will vary from state to state,and as one poster noted,his state does not have them. Your mention (question) concerning the wrong house is well founded,and has happened. The remedies for this can be criminal,and most certainly would be civil.Obviously,care must be taken by an officer/agency in the execution/service of any warrant.Larger agencies have units and personnel that recieve special tactical training in the service of "high risk" warrants. Ideally,the goal is that an arrest be effected without injury to officer(s) or suspects.

  13. #13
    No Longer Active
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    XXX
    Posts
    617
    Suck it up?

    Hey, I did not sign up to get killed. I signed up to protect the citizen of the city. Getting hurt and getting killed may be part of the job, but we should not be expected to suck it up when it happens.

  14. #14
    Deputy757
    Guest
    Originally posted by retired
    Quite frankly I don't like entry warrants at all. It's too risky in my opinion for the results. If it's a bad guy we are looking for, I prefer to wait until he goes out and gets a hamburger, and then we can bust him when we have the advantage. Just my opinion, and the way I had it done when I was working. I approved very few entry warrants.
    While I don't disagree that this is an option, I think you miss a few points about this strategy. First, many small departments wouldn't have the manpower to surveil him for long. Second, by grabbing him outside of the residence, you miss a chance at any contraband he may have had in the room he was in or in plain view throughout the rest of the home (I understand that this may or may not be a consideration, depending on the officer or case).

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    70
    Originally posted by jnhdrac
    In North Carolina there is no such thing as a state "no knock" warrant
    Really? When did they change this? I know there's not a "no knock warrant" to prevent the destruction of evidence in NC but we have obtained a no knock in the past.

    G.S. 15A251 requires an officer, before executing a search warrant and entering private premises without giving notice, to have PROBABLE CAUSE to believe that giving notice would endanger the life or safety of any person.
    Last edited by K9Cop; 07-20-2004 at 12:55 AM.
    go ahead and run...my k-9 partner loves the exercise

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    61
    Originally posted by str8flush
    I have an idea. Let's call them first and say is Mr Badguy there. Ok just checking because we're about to bust through your door and we just wanted to make sure this was the right place..
    You'd be surprised. Some departments do call first. Not in exactly the same way as you describe, but I have been at a neighbors house when a 'no knock warrant' has been served and they did call first. They certainly didn't say we are the police and we're coming after you, but they (the Omaha Police Department) did verify that the person was at home and would be staying there. The person calling used an obviously blocked number, and said he was an 'old friend' from work. Seconds after the phone call ended, armed OPD officers with autos plowed in all three doors to find us kids watching the Disney Channel.

    Basically, they served the wrong warrant to the wrong person. In this family, all the first born boys have the same name, Roman [last name here] and the person they wanted was a cousin by the same name. So they hauled out the dad and left all of us kids scared out of our mind to only later uncuff him and apologize. I moved away less than a week later so I did not get to find out if they pursued the lawsuit they swore they would press ( yeah, I know). I blew it off like it was just an accident, which it was, but some people just have it in for the police.
    Ziggs

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    556
    I was not accurate. An officer in NC can enter without knocking to protect life (basically a police officer can do almost anything to protect life), but can not do a "no knock" warrant to protect evidence. As I understand it, the argument that it was needed to protect life needs to be from a real and clearly articulated danger, such as the kidnapper is holding a gun to the head of the hostage. You will be hard pressed to justify a "no knock" entry on a "routine" drug warrant.

  18. #18
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    6,418
    Originally posted by Deputy757
    While I don't disagree that this is an option, I think you miss a few points about this strategy. First, many small departments wouldn't have the manpower to surveil him for long. Second, by grabbing him outside of the residence, you miss a chance at any contraband he may have had in the room he was in or in plain view throughout the rest of the home (I understand that this may or may not be a consideration, depending on the officer or case).
    Lets say that while I may not be the smartest guy around, I think I do understand the strategy about entry warrants. If you are looking for contraband along with the body, that's simple. In addition to the arrest warrant, you also get a search warrant. So when you pop him outside his house, you then effect an entry into the house to search for contraband, if contraband is indeed a consideration.

    I think I did say in my comments that it was the way I had it done. I didn't suggest it was the way ALL agencies should do it. It is still my oinion that many of the knock or no-knock warrants are not worth the potential harm to the offiers. There was a deputy here where I live that was shot and killed in that same situation for some Marijuana. I don't care how much weed a person might have in their house, the life of that officer wasn't worth it.
    Retired

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •