A No Knock Editorial
No knock warrants are an interesting animal. In my opinion, they are valid and applicable in only extreme situations where people’s (citizens not responding cops) lives are potentially in danger. Rescuing dope is not a valid use of no knocks. Does this mean all prior no knocks have been good actions free of Constitutional violations? Hell no – but the blanket “ban no knocks” is incredibly short sighted.
In many states, exigency can give the same abilities as a no knock.
The kicker to this – we need smart, logical, and good cops checking and rechecking their Intel before submitting their warrants to the judges.
We need great judges reviewing and analyzing the request for the warrant to ensure proper and needed factors are included.
Negligence in obtaining and conducting no knocks that legitimately violate rights need repercussions to include affecting the judges signing off on them.
Judges and cops willingly/knowingly/negligently violating citizens’ rights should be penalized – I can’t say how because it is a sliding scale of minor violations to downright murder.
This isn’t an easy concept to discuss in two dimensions on social media. This is a heavily nuanced topic that requires actual understanding of the factors involved. Misinformation about it spreads faster and wider than factual information. The good news is we have good cops and judges in a great majority of the positions that ensure the proper tool is used correctly.
Lastly- I am a cop. I definitely see all this quite differently than most because upholding people’s rights are my personal priority and I actively study the law to know my boundaries. The massive amount of cops who feel the same way as I are overshadowed by those few violators. Violating someone’s basic rights as a cop is a failure and the core of the issue needs to be addressed at all levels of the organization. Those “few violators” – that doesn’t mean they are acceptable. We all want to see them removed from the profession and we do act to help that occur.
“Rescuing dope is not a valid use of no knocks.”
“Judges and cops willingly/knowingly/negligently violating citizens’ rights should be penalized – I can’t say how because it is a sliding scale of minor violations to downright murder.”
I applauded you, sir! I wish more police officers felt the same way!