Tags: Law Enforcement | no-knock raids | Fourth amendment | debate | quotes

No-Knock Raids vs. Fourth Amendment: 5 Notable Quotes From Heated Debate

By    |   Friday, 19 Jun 2015 09:09 PM

A heated national debate about "militarized" law enforcement has spilled over into no-knock raids – forced entries that don't require police to identify themselves before they burst through the door and which raise questions about the sanctity of the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Here are five most quotable observations and sentiments from that still-raging debate:

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1. "I think it's safe to say that when it comes to serving search warrants for drug crimes, there is no longer a Castle Doctrine, there is no longer a knock-and-announce requirement. There's barely still a Fourth Amendment at all." – Radley Balko, author of "Rise of the Warrior Cop," writing in The Washington Post, March 2015.

2. "The danger is that if you're sitting in your home and it's pitch black outside and your door gets busted in without warning, what the hell are you supposed to do?" – Famed defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin, to The Eagle; he represents a Texas man, Henry Magee, charged with murder for shooting a sheriff's deputy who led an eight-man team assault team into Magee's trailer in 2013.

3. "In any case, if the Fourth Amendment is due to the Founders’ offense at British soldiers forcibly entering homes in daylight hours after knocking and announcing to search for contraband, it seems safe to say that the Founders would be appalled by the fact that today, dozens of times each day, heavily armed government officials break into homes, often at night, without first knocking and announcing, in order to conduct searches for contraband." – Radley Balko for The Washington Post, decrying the fact that the Fourth Amendment was born from pre-Revolutionary War abuses by British soldiers against Americans, and stating that we have fewer rights today. 

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4. "A police officer is not required to knock and announce if doing so would be unreasonable, e.g. if there is a risk of injury to the police officer executing the search warrant or a risk of the occupants destroying the sought-after evidence between the police officer's knock and his or her entry." – Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute.

5. "Of the cases we studied, in 36 percent of SWAT deployments for drug searches, and possibly in as many as 65 percent of such deployments, no contraband of any sort was found." – American Civil Liberties Union, from a 2014 study, "War Comes Home," of more than 800 SWAT team deployments in 2011-2012.

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A heated national debate about militarized law enforcement has spilled over into no-knock raids - forced entries that don't require police to identify themselves before they burst through the door and which raise questions about the sanctity of the Fourth Amendment's ban.
no-knock raids, Fourth amendment, debate, quotes
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2015-09-19
Friday, 19 Jun 2015 09:09 PM
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