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Posted: 1/1/2006 4:25:43 PM EDT
Inspired by the stories and by a re run of "picket fences"


Cops do a no knock on my apartment intending to do my neighbors. 3:00 AM and all I hear is people breaking in, I chunk some lead and kill one or 2 of them and I live through it. What would happen legally, I mean, wouldn't it be the same as if a regular thug broke in my house with a gun and I killed him or what?
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 6:34:34 PM EDT
Well one has a real condumdrum here; the police may have made a good faith mistake which does not help the LEO taking the dirt nap; there are many facotrs that I would think would be considered (1) was the mistake made in good faith; (2) did they properly announce themselves; (3) did you or should you have known they were police officers? (2) and (3) are somewhat related.

What if they proeprly executed the warrant and a police officer was killed? The person having the warrant served on them would not have a defense so why should you? I can think of a good set or arguments on both sides. One thing I can tell you for certain though, some criminal defense attorney would make a great deal of money working the law around those facts.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 5:46:46 AM EDT
On a no knock at say 3 am, can one be reasonably be expected to notice a small badge on all that dark clothing? and is one required to believe someone when they shout "police" and all they see is gun? I hope no one is ever in this situation but it really got me to thinking.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 6:04:32 AM EDT
There is no positive outcome to this scenario. The chance you would actually live through that ordeal is slim in the first place. Second, as mentioned already, it's a matter of good faith. If the warrant said something like, "suspect is believed to be located at 123 Some Place in apt. 34 and in all likelihood armed. Apt. 34 will have a wreath on the door." And when police arrive they find a wreath on apt. 35's door instead, they hit that one. One could reasonably conclude that the apt. # on the warrant was wrong and the description was accurate. In that case, police acted in good faith by following the description of the door and ignoring the number. In that scenario I believe you would be screwed. If police hit apt. 34 (yours) of the building across the street, it's pretty tough to mount a good faith defense. If you did happen to take out an officer in that scenario you might have a better chance of being cleared. If the police did not act in good faith, ask yourself this, "What would a reasonable person do when armed men bust down your front door at 0300?" The jury may see it as a justifiable homicide. Bottom line, you're still going to be prosecuted either way. MJD
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 6:45:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
On a no knock at say 3 am, can one be reasonably be expected to notice a small badge on all that dark clothing? and is one required to believe someone when they shout "police" and all they see is gun? I hope no one is ever in this situation but it really got me to thinking.


Chances are, you would not have a no-knock warrant served on you by officers in standard uniform.

Of course, this may be directly/indirectly proportional to your distance from Little Rock.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 6:49:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By highwayman:
There is no positive outcome to this scenario. The chance you would actually live through that ordeal is slim in the first place. Second, as mentioned already, it's a matter of good faith. If the warrant said something like, "suspect is believed to be located at 123 Some Place in apt. 34 and in all likelihood armed. Apt. 34 will have a wreath on the door." And when police arrive they find a wreath on apt. 35's door instead, they hit that one. One could reasonably conclude that the apt. # on the warrant was wrong and the description was accurate. In that case, police acted in good faith by following the description of the door and ignoring the number. In that scenario I believe you would be screwed. If police hit apt. 34 (yours) of the building across the street, it's pretty tough to mount a good faith defense. If you did happen to take out an officer in that scenario you might have a better chance of being cleared. If the police did not act in good faith, ask yourself this, "What would a reasonable person do when armed men bust down your front door at 0300?" The jury may see it as a justifiable homicide. Bottom line, you're still going to be prosecuted either way. MJD


The frightening thing here is: How is a homeowner/resident expected to know (in the precious 2-3 seconds available) whether the police acted in good faith serving the warrant? Especially when it may take months/years to hash this out in a court of law.

I have long advocated the use of video cameras recording ANY breaching warrant (no-knock or otherwise, day or night). They use them in patrol cars for "routine" () traffic stops, so why not something even more inherently dangerous like this?
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 9:07:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wise_jake:

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
On a no knock at say 3 am, can one be reasonably be expected to notice a small badge on all that dark clothing? and is one required to believe someone when they shout "police" and all they see is gun? I hope no one is ever in this situation but it really got me to thinking.


Chances are, you would not have a no-knock warrant served on you by officers in standard uniform.

Of course, this may be directly/indirectly proportional to your distance from Little Rock.



I'm 5 miles from where the last LRPD officer was Killed in the LOTD. My mom literally sits 15 FEET from where he died. She didn't work there then thank god.
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 9:32:40 AM EDT
If I was on the jury, youd be a free man.
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 10:34:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:

Originally Posted By wise_jake:

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
On a no knock at say 3 am, can one be reasonably be expected to notice a small badge on all that dark clothing? and is one required to believe someone when they shout "police" and all they see is gun? I hope no one is ever in this situation but it really got me to thinking.


Chances are, you would not have a no-knock warrant served on you by officers in standard uniform.

Of course, this may be directly/indirectly proportional to your distance from Little Rock.


I'm 5 miles from where the last LRPD officer was Killed in the LOTD. My mom literally sits 15 FEET from where he died. She didn't work there then thank god.


Edumacate me: what is LOTD?

Also, you've just stated you're close to LR. You *shouldn't* have to worry about a daily dress officer with merely a badge as "ID". I was just commenting on the further you get from LR, the more likely I'd imagine you'd see that.

Just a jab at all the small towns and the "different way" that many of them work (i.e. on many of the munis/depts that prolly *shouldn't* have tactical teams, but do).
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 11:13:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wise_jake:

The frightening thing here is: How is a homeowner/resident expected to know (in the precious 2-3 seconds available) whether the police acted in good faith serving the warrant? Especially when it may take months/years to hash this out in a court of law. ....



That's why I said there is no positive outcome to this situation. Either: 1) the homeowner is going to go up the river for shooting an armed man who came barging into his house (and just happened to be a LEO serving a warrant) 2) the homeowner will walk because the homicide was justifiable (and in which case a LEO died while doing his job) or 3) the homeowner who just had his door kicked in tries to defend himself and dies while trying to do so.

I agree that video (and audio) of the event would probably help a lot to figure out what happened.


Originally Posted By striker754:
If I was on the jury, youd be a free man.



Unfortunately just because you believe one way, there's 11 other people that may feel differently. Again, there's no positive outcome of this whole situation. MJD
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 11:20:50 AM EDT
yelling police is not enough for me. Give me another form of id. You figure out what will work.


Just a reminder, when you want to rob houses, yell "Police! Search Warrant!"
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 12:33:05 PM EDT
I don't want to be "anti-cop" or "anti public safety," so I don't want to say "take 'em away completely," but IMHO (as a "joe citizen") I think there needs to be a MUCH higher burden for actual no-knocks, and/or a much more stringent definition of "good faith".

A flippant stroke of a pen by a judge should not equal due process.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 6:48:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wise_jake:
I don't want to be "anti-cop" or "anti public safety," so I don't want to say "take 'em away completely," but IMHO (as a "joe citizen") I think there needs to be a MUCH higher burden for actual no-knocks, and/or a much more stringent definition of "good faith".

A flippant stroke of a pen by a judge should not equal due process.



Actually I know a lot of cops that think they have to much freedom here and that it's going to backfire in one way or another.

LOTD was supposed to be LODD. Line of Duty Death.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 8:19:06 AM EDT
Dusty,

Sounds like you know some good officers.

I agree about the potential for backfire, as well. The potential for abuse is perhaps too great.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 12:46:02 PM EDT
"Unfortunately just because you believe one way, there's 11 other people that may feel differently. Again, there's no positive outcome of this whole situation. MJD"

Criminal convictions require a unanimous vote last time I looked. It only takes one…
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:25:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 1:28:09 PM EDT by Joker18]
I really agree that the scenario mentioned is a no win situation. Having been LE and now a citizen, it would simply stink all the way around. LE organizations are usually tight knit and more so the smaller the municipality. If it did happen and one was exonerated by the court, there may be residual bad feeling between you and the LE community. One could easily find oneself under a microscope so to speak for a while. Fortunately I have had the pleasure of never seeing that scenario occur here. The local LE community is very thorough when procuring and executing a warrant. The best/only solution to that scenario is prevention. On a personal level; if that scenario happened and I observed that the subject was indeed surprised, it was the wrong address and the subject had no criminal record and was a respected member of the community; I could not harbor any resentment toward the subject. Any resentment I would/may have would most likely be for those who were irresponsible in setting up the warrant/search.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 1:48:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Joker18:
I really agree that the scenario mentioned is a no win situation. Having been LE and now a citizen, it would simply stink all the way around. LE organizations are usually tight knit and more so the smaller the municipality. If it did happen and one was exonerated by the court, there may be residual bad feeling between you and the LE community. One could easily find oneself under a microscope so to speak for a while. Fortunately I have had the pleasure of never seeing that scenario occur here. The local LE community is very thorough when procuring and executing a warrant. The best/only solution to that scenario is prevention. On a personal level; if that scenario happened and I observed that the subject was indeed surprised, it was the wrong address and the subject had no criminal record and was a respected member of the community; I could not harbor any resentment toward the subject. Any resentment I would/may have would most likely be for those who were irresponsible in setting up the warrant/search.


Great post, except.......... you were a citizen even when you were LE.


(the sound you just heard, was everyone reading this thread, slapping their foreheads in unison and exclaiming "Aw Geez, Not This Shit Again!".......... and then another guy saying "Shit, I can't believe he went there.")
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