Police stormed the wrong house

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Gunstar1, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Imagine what would happen? Nothing.

    Having done this before, the procedure is to come in "early Friday morning" as the AJC story indicated, which is usually about 4:00 a.m., and come in rather quickly. People usually have just about enough time to make some "what?" noise or start screaming (in the case of females). There isn't really time to grab a gun.

    I know it sounds hard to believe, but that is why there aren't mistaken shootings more often. You will recall that the recent one in Florida involved a guy who happened to be still awake at that late hour because he was a DJ (or something like that).
     

  3. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Bodies All Over

    I have my pistol inches from my head, on the nightstand. It has night sights and a big 4-cell Mag Light is right next to it. If I have two seconds to react to a loud noise at night, that gun and that flashlight are going to be aimed at the door. If anybody comes in that is not OBVIOUSLY an entry team with full body armor, helmets and goggles, and professional looking weapons, I'm going to shoot them first and figure out who they are later.

    It troubles me that our local drug task force sometimes raids houses in basically civilian clothes-- jeans and golf shirts or sweaters with some law enforcement logo on them, with only their badges on their belts and sometimes a hat that says "POLICE" on it. Of course anybody can pick up such items of clothing cheaply at any army-navy surplus store, gun shop, pawn shop, or mail-order catalog or web site. Criminals, particularly mobsters and gangs, have been known to wear some of this police-labeled clothing and shout "HAND UP-- POLICE" when doing home invasion robberies.

    The Fourth Amendment requires that search warrants particularly describe the place to be searched, and usually that means BOTH a numerical street address and a physical description. So you can help to prevent such deadly mistakes by local law enforcement by making sure that your full and correct house or apartment number is prominently displayed near each door to your home, but it must ALSO be visible from the road, so officers doing pre-raid surveillance will be able to identify which home is yours BEFORE they come runnning at your door with the battering ram swinging.

    For what it's worth, I also think that too many "no-knock entry" warrants are approved by magistrates, without the cops giving any particular reason in their affidavits other than "this home is the scene of drug activity. Drug dealers are usually armed and can easily destroy the evidence." If THIS PARTICULAR drug house is not reasonably suspected of having guns in it, and if THAT PARTICULAR DRUG DEALER (if identified) has never been known to keep a gun handy for protection or to resist law enforcement in the past, the cops should knock and give a reasonable amount of time, maybe 20 seconds, for the occupants to open the door. Is it riskier to the cops? Sure. But allowing citizens to have certain rights and liberties as found in the Bill of Rights just naturally has some effect on law enforcement. Police work would be much safer, and more efficient, if we didn't have those pesky "search and seizure," "due process of law," and other constitutional rights. But to the greatest extent possible, we should respect those rights and bear the associated risks the best we can.
     
  4. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Court of Appeals Decision

    The Court of Appeals of Georgia recently came down with a decision that says basically that anytime cops get a search warrant for a house where drug activity is reasonably suspected, we can just assume that guns will be present and that the guns present such a danger to the cops, and therefore the search can be of the "no knock" type where the cops just knock the door off the hinges and storm in with guns drawn.

    Other decisions of this Court have indicated that there has to be some evidence to support the allegation that guns may be present or that the suspect is likely to resist arrest, but now apparently anytime drugs are involved, a whole different set of constitutional rules apply.

    The case is Smithson v. State, A05A1379, decided 9-23-2005.
     
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Scary stuff given all the wrong addresses and, more importantly, wrong information. I have personally participated in nightime raids that turned out to be based upon false information.

    I guess you better hope you do not have many enemies out there.
     
  6. thebugman

    thebugman New Member

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    I would really hate for something like that to happen. It would take 3-5 seconds to get to my room from the front door. I will never do anything that would give the Police reason to come through that door. And the idea that I would be at risk of shooting or being shot by police on a raid, while defending my family is problematic. You just don't know who is comming through that door, and I feel an obligation to keep my family safe.
     
  7. john

    john New Member

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    raid

    A no win no mater who wins the shoot out.