Are "No Knock Warrants" justified and are they worth the risk?

breakingcontact

TGT Addict
Oct 16, 2012
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Indianapolis
I just read about a Texas officer killed during a search warrant execution. Details are sketchy but the shooter claims the officers didnt knock/announce so he shot the people breaking into his home.

My sympathy goes out to the slain officer and his family.

Are no knock warrants good policing? Do they put the officers lives at increased risk or provide them the element of surprise and give them more safety?
 

txinvestigator

TGT Addict
May 28, 2008
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Ft Worth, TX
That is a fair question; one even the people conducting the warrants are asking. They do serve a purpose. Typically they are dynamic, fast and safe. The surprise element allows officers to dominate a structure before weapons can be obtained by occupants and overwhelmingly that prevents injuries and deaths to many suspects and officers. Tragically, not always.

Are there other ways to conduct these warrants? Of course. The effectiveness if those alternative methods is the root question.

Depertments do not conduct these with little thought. Risks vs benefit must be weighed. Without access to raw data it is impossible to make a definitive call on these. I would hope each department weighs the decision on these individually and with the weight deserved.

For this particular incident not enough is known to even make an uneducated guess.....
 

breakingcontact

TGT Addict
Oct 16, 2012
18,315
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Indianapolis
I agree regarding this case, not discussing it but it prompted the question.

You mentioned weapons, i understand that goes hand in hand with drugs but from what ive read the justification is to stop people from destroying the drugs.

Im curious about how much discretion the judges have giving these warrants?

Can you get a flash bang through your window tonight for a warrant for unpaid parking tickets?
 

txinvestigator

TGT Addict
May 28, 2008
14,119
113
Ft Worth, TX
No, since I have no unpaid parking tickets.

Seriously, though, there are judicial guidelines for the issuance of no knocks. I would have to do some research to find that.

And yes, some are issued to prevent the destruction of evidence. I disagree with that for drug evidence ONLY.
 

Mexican_Hippie

TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
Feb 4, 2009
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Fort Worth
I think they're a valuable tool to be used sparingly and with very well reasoned situational judgment (and judicial oversight).

Whether or not that's how they're used is up for debate though. I don't have any data to debate the mis/application one way or the other.
 

breakingcontact

TGT Addict
Oct 16, 2012
18,315
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Indianapolis
I suppose my overarching concern with them as per usual is they start off being used for a legitimate reason then increasingly less so but the tool isnt to blame.
 

mikeofcontex

Active Member
Jul 2, 2010
697
36
Midlothian, TX
I don't know if the OP is referencing the recent one that was for the wrong dwelling. A LEO lost his life and the homeowner is in a lot of trouble and the warrant was executed at the wrong address.
 

1slow01Z71

Well-Known
Jun 24, 2012
2,405
36
Kyle
Are you talking about the one in College Station last week? If so the guy who did the shooting is a friend of a friend. No telling what the real story is but from the account I heard it sounds like the officer got what he deserved if the guy's account of the story is the real one. I wasn't there so Ill withhold judgment. I do not believe no knock warrants for a guy with two marijuana plants and legal guns is cause for the execution of a no knock warrant if youre talking about the same case.

Cop Killed While Serving a ?No-Knock? Warrant to a Man Suspected of Growing a Plant | The Free Thought Project
 
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JSF

Member
Sep 11, 2013
143
16
Lufkin
I can see how they can be very useful but I hate to think how it would go if I was watchin tv and someone kicked in my door......like most here I have a loaded pistol in arms reach at all times......very scary thought

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