Your home is no longer your castle.


Is it too early to call “police state?” I just want to know. I’d hate to miss it.

I’m going to go hide under my bed now. The [del]FBI[/del] KGB might come a’calling. Dammit, Reeder. I take back 90% of the things I said about you.

Dear Mods: I know, I know. More than one thread on the front page of the Pit is contra-indicated. But c’mon! It’s not like I’m going out of my way to find this stuff.

A reader forming his opinion based on what you’ve posted would, I think, conclude that the Supreme Court has now legitimized warrantless searches.

But what actually happened?

The Court was addressing the question of what happens when the police, pursuant to a valid search warrant, conduct a search by breaking down the door instead of knocking and announcing, “Police! Search warrant!”

The Court decided that if the police have a valid warrant, but fail to knock first, that doesn’t invalidate the whole search.

It sort of seems like what Bricker is saying. But nowhere does it say it clearly int he article.

I still don’t like it. They can be chasing someone else, barge into your door? And what if they see something fishy then?

Bricker, what I would appreciate in gaining an understanding of police search: Why was the knock first and announcement required in the past? And, what are the advantages to police in not taking that step now?

Yikes, I usually preview before posting, and didn’t here, and see now that Anaamika has elaborated the point. Still, would like to see Bricker’s input.

So what I’m wondering is, if the cops kick someone’s door down without announcing themselves, and the person living there shoots one or more of them dead, can he claim self-defence? Or is he going to get tried as a copkiller?

The advantages are obvious: now people can be caught in the act or will not be able to hide evidence of their crimes in the few moments they have between the warning and the search. I think NPR said that the old standard was 20 seconds, maybe even 30. I can hide a lot of stuff in 30 seconds if I didn’t make the mistake of having it all over the place, and I don’t care who you are, you’ll never find it without disassembling the house.

This was one of my thoughts when I first heard about this.

The same article links to a story along those lines: Cory Maye.

Or in Denver, if you have the audacity to be watching TV in bed drinking a Coke, that will get you shot too.

And there will be no reprecussions for the officer that does it because he had an earnest and well-founed belief that you were going to shoot him with a can of Diet Coke.

In the article there’s a link to another one by the same author, re a guy who shot the cops when they burst into his house.

The cops say they called and yelled police; the guy (who’s now in death row) says he didn’t hear any “police” and was scared, he was trying to protect his baby daughter.

The cop who died was the one who’d asked for and obtained the warrant (which was along the lines of “go search house A and also next door”, the guy in death row was next door); he kept no documentation of any investigation he’d done. He also was the son of the police chief.

If you yell something from the other side of my mother’s door, or even worse, my apartment’s door (which has a sheet of metal inside), all I’ll hear is someone yelling. I’m actually more likely to understand what you say if you wait for me to come to the door and speak loudly and slowly than if you yell your lungs out.

Nava, you forgot to mention the part where town’s mayor threatened to fire the public defender if he represented Maye. The defender went ahead and represented him anyway and was indeed subsequently fired.

Said it before, saying it now, I’ll say it again. Nothing illegal going on here. If some shitbag is running from the cops and decides to dive through my window, I expect the cops to do everything short of cannon fire to follow him in. (Shrapnel, I hear, isn’t fun.)

This is more about personal righteousness, it seems. Sit back and consider the “what if’” and how likely they are to apply to you. Sure, it could affect you, but how likely is it? Yeah, I know we’ll hear of someone that is unfairly nailed because of it. Keep in mind it will be exceedingly rare, and only reported because it will make a great headline.

Hell, you can accuse the Duke lacrosse team of rape and have a guaranteed free ride to the Univeristy. You think this is some sort of abuse of power? Look at the effects of that situation before a trial even was scheduled. Whatever oppression you think is going to come about, it’s already here.

And if a cop chases a shitbag into an apartment with 3 kids sitting in their own waste by chance? Bonus for the kids.

This isn’t the end of the republic, folks. Let’s debate the evils of the ruling when they happen.

I’ve never seen it done in this manner. Mind you, the only search warrant executions I’ve ever seen have been on the reality cop shows. In each case, one cop hammers the door twice while simultaneously yelling, “Search warrant!” As he’s doing this, the cop with the battering ram is already winding up. They must practice this technique often because the timing is perfect. Just as the last syllable of “warrant” is leaving the one cops mouth, the battering ram is coming into contact with the front door and they are in.

You can guarantee that if anyone opens fire on the cops as they charge in, that individual will not be claiming self defense (or anything else) because he/she will be dead in short order. And if there are any witnesses left alive who are willing to testify that the cops did not announce, it is their word against every cop on the scene. They’ll not be likely to admit a mistake, especially if it caused the death of a fellow officer. Rule of thumb…if a cop is killed while on duty, for any reason, someone will pay.

I’m sure they did yell “Police!”, but they were also smashing the door down at the same time. They do not knock and patiently wait for someone to ask, “Who is it?”

“It’s the police sir/madam, we have a search warrant. Please take a few moments to compose yourself, then open the door and allow us to enter okay? We’ll be right out here waiting. Thanks”

I don’t think so.

If a cop wants to enter my home without being shot, he’ll knock.

They’d probably try to call the poor soul who was in fear for their life a cop killer.

Most cops I’ve seen couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn at point blank range. But if someone is crashing through my door or my window, I will consider that they are there to do me serious harm or kill me, and respond accordingly.

Yet another reason that I don’t trust or like cops.

Duffer, there is a difference between entry with a warrant, which is being discussed in this thread, and entry in hot pursuit, which is not being discussed in this thread.

Knockless entry is still illegal.

It’s just that the remedy is no longer necessarily excluding any evidence that the cops find in the search. If the police, warrant in hand, burst in without knocking, the courts don’t have to ignore your severed head collection. However, you can still sue the department for breach of your civil liberties.

The decision is more about covering cops who slip up proper procedure than it is about letting them burst in lest you flush the evidence down the toilet in the ten seconds you have after the knock.

So this decision itself is small potatoes, what should be of interest/concern here is the erosion of the exclusionary principle. I think we’re a hair’s bredth away from losing it altogether.

So knockless entry is now a crime with no penalty.

The exclusionary rule is the only reason police have been so “professional”, to use Scalia’s term. Remove it, and they have no reason to knock, and every reason not to.

Bit by bit, we are undoing all the advances in the protection of civil liberties of the last fifty years.

We aren’t doing it, the people appointed to the Supreme Court by Republican administrations are doing it. The Republican voters who elected those Presidents are to blame here, as they are to blame for the Iraq war and much else that is wrong with America.

Nope, they can get a ‘‘no knock’’ search warrant

CMC fnord!