Jackboots Policing: No-Knock Raids Rip A Hole In The Fourth Amendment

It’s the middle of the night.

Your neighborhood is in darkness. Your household is asleep.

Suddenly, you’re awakened by a loud noise.

Someone or an army of someones has crashed through your front door.

The intruders are in your home.

Your heart begins racing. Your stomach is tied in knots. The adrenaline is pumping through you.

You’re not just afraid. You’re terrified.

Desperate to protect yourself and your loved ones from whatever threat has invaded your home, you scramble to lay hold of something—anything—that you might use in self-defense. It might be a flashlight, a baseball bat, or that licensed and registered gun you thought you’d never need.

You brace for the confrontation.

Shadowy figures appear at the doorway, screaming orders, threatening violence.

Chaos reigns.

You stand frozen, your hands gripping whatever means of self-defense you could find.

Just that simple act—of standing frozen in fear and self-defense—is enough to spell your doom.

The assailants open fire, sending a hail of bullets in your direction.

You die without ever raising a weapon or firing a gun in self-defense.

In your final moments, you get a good look at your assassins: it’s the police.

Brace yourself, because this hair-raising, heart-pounding, jarring account of a no-knock, no-announce SWAT team raid is what passes for court-sanctioned policing in America today, and it could happen to any one of us.

Nationwide, SWAT teams routinely invade homes, break down doors, kill family pets (they always shoot the dogs first), damage furnishings, terrorize families, and wound or kill those unlucky enough to be present during a raid.

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Police Are Lying About “No-Knock” Warrants

Police claim they need “no-knock” warrants to pursue murderers and violent criminals. But, this rarely seems to be the case. In reality, no-knock warrants are a tool that law enforcement used to beef up the war on drugs in the 1980s, and cops have continued to use them mainly for that purpose ever since.

No-knock warrants allow police to enter a building without knocking or announcing themselves. This creates an element of surprise. Law enforcement apologists claim boosts officer safety and keeps criminals from destroying evidence. But oftentimes, the reaction of surprised occupants, often awakened from a dead sleep, leads to a violent police response.

That’s what happened to Breonna Taylor.

The 26-year-old woman was in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker in the early-morning hours of March 13 when Louisville police broke into her home executing a no-knock warrant issued earlier that day. Walker claims he heard banging on the door but never hear anybody say “police.” When the officers broke down the door, Walker fired a shot, hitting an officer in the leg. Police returned fire, killing Taylor. She suffered at least eight gunshot wounds.

Taylors death sparked a movement to do away with no-knock warrants. Police insist they need them to catch dangerous criminals. But more often than not, they are employed in run-of-the-mill drug raids, not in pursuit of murders and rapists as police claim.

Let’s take for example the case of Lexington, Kentucky. Currently, the City Council is embroiled in a legal battle with a police union after passing a ban on “no-knock” warrants earlier this year. Fraternal Order of Police attorney Scott Crosbie said police believe the no-knock warrants will keep them safe and that they should remain on the table as a bargaining tool. According to the FOP, Lexington is experiencing a 67 percent increase in homicides, combined with staffing shortages. But what does this have to do with “no-knock” warrants?

The implication seems to be that without the “no-knock” warrants, police will be put in danger as they try to apprehend violent and dangerous criminals such as murderers and rapists. But the Lexington Herald-Leader obtained copies of past no-knock warrants in 2020.  All of the cases were drug-related – no murderers were apprehended.

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Death of Maryland man shows continued out-of-control nature of SWAT, no-knock raids

One of the most positive developments from last year’s political strife was a stronger focus on police abuses and no-knock raids. Some states and cities have imposed new restrictions, others are working toward greater transparency when it comes to police shootings. Unfortunately, Maryland, a state that has wrestled with some of the most egregious SWAT and no-knock cases in the country, remains mired in controversy.

The state has a long record of SWAT debacles. After police wrongfully raided a mayor’s house and killed his dogs in 2008, Maryland required police to report every SWAT raid. Between 2010 and 2014, police in Maryland conducted more than 8,000 raids, killing nine people and injuring almost a hundred civilians.

Despite controversies, statistics were no longer collected after 2014. Strong police unions have blocked numerous efforts at legislative reform. As a result, Marylanders continue to be vexed by the same kind of deadly no-knock debacles that killed Breonna Taylor last March in Louisville, Kentucky.

Duncan Lemp is one of Maryland’s latest victims.

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4 Cops Charged, Facing Life in Prison After Innocent Family and Dog Executed In Their Home

The murder of an innocent Houston couple made national headlines in 2019 as police took to smearing their names and threatening those who didn’t believe their official narrative. As the months passed, we learned that the Houston police department’s raid on the home of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas was based on lies and they were murdered for no reason.

The following May, the case had reached a turning point after the family hired a forensics expert to examine the home and found that there is no evidence the officers encountered gunfire. Then, in a major move in August of 2019, the cop who lied to obtain the warrant for the raid—was charged with murder in the first degree, with several others charged shortly after. Now, a half dozen more officers have been charged, with four of them facing life in prison.

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