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Just more proof that no-knock warrants are a bad idea

9241 Views 66 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Aether
ksl.com said:
Robbers break into Salt Lake City home and terrorize family

Click picture for video:

A man was beaten during a robbery. It happened around 4 a.m. The victim's wife said she didn't know who the robbers were.

She didn't want to go on camera, but she shared with Eyewitness News the scary details. She said her 8-year-old daughter awoke to screaming and witnessed her stepfather being beaten by two masked men.

"I'm scared for their safety," said Anthony Romero, the victim's son. "They just barely moved into the house. It's a nice house, nice area, nice people."

Anthony Romero said his family moved into the house near 1500 South and 1000 West two months ago. That has police wondering if the violent home invasion was a case of mistaken identity. Salt Lake City Police Detective Shawn Smart said, "There's a possibility that these people could have had the wrong house."

It was 4 o'clock in the morning. The family was asleep when two men dressed in black and wearing ski masks ripped the screen and broke through a basement window in the back of the house.

Romero, who was at another relative's home this morning, said the men went into his 10-year-old brother's room first. He said, "My little brother, they pointed a shotgun at him and said, ‘Where's your mom and dad?'"

Inside the master bedroom, the men yelled at Romero's mother and stepfather, demanding money and drugs.

The woman said the men wore what looked like police SWAT uniforms. She said they identified themselves as police officers and wore badges around their necks.

When the robbers didn't get what they wanted, the men put a pillowcase over her husband's head and beat him. "They just beat him up with a gun a couple of times, tried to choke him for some money. I don't know why," Romero said.

The men left with some cash and the victims' car keys. Police haven't been able to find them. Smart said, "Anybody that does this type of thing, they're dangerous."

The men wore masks, so police don't have a good description of the suspects. If you have any information, call Salt Lake City police at 799-3000.
So how are we supposed to know who's a LEO and who isn't when there is no warning and no warrant? If we shoot, we could be killed by the real LEOs. This is messed up.
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Thomas said:
Most no-knock warrants are executed in narcotics cases. Usually in a case where they have information that there are guns in the home. A good way to know whether it is cops or not is the number of people. I guarantee that if the police perform a no-knock warrant there will be a large number of officers coming through your door. They should also announce "Police or Sheriffs dept search warrant." as they are knocking down your door. I am not saying a criminal could not do the same however they are not going to want to make a whole lot of noise before they get inside.
Thomas is right. Most no-knock search warrants are for served for narcotic offenses. And they happen A LOT more often than you would think, knock and no-knock. When a search warrant is served, you will have many officers on the SWAT Team making entry, hopefully 10 or more. When a no-knock is served, SWAT must still announce their presence, they just don't knock, instead they just breach the door and enter. You will also have many officers outside the target. One will be on a bull horn, announcing their presence to the entire neighborhood (no I'm not kidding) and telling the neighbor's to stay inside their homes. No-knocks are safer for the SWAT team. Knock search warrants allow suspects inside to secure firearms. The difference between an knock search warrant and a no-knock is less than 10 seconds. But that 10 seconds matters to the Entry team.

Swilden, destruction of evidence is important, but not to the SWAT Team. SWAT is there to secure the target so the Investigators and Detectives can secure evidence. Surrounding the house and calling the suspects out creates a problem the SWAT Team is trying to avoid: A Barricade Situation. The only thing worse than a barricade situation a hostage situation, which a barricade can easily turn into. Turning every search warrant into a barricade situation is asinine. Not only is it more time consuming, it is A LOT more dangerous to the SWAT Team members. Most barricades take 5 to 8 hours to resolve, where most search warrants and finished in under 60 seconds.

Not every search warrant is served by the SWAT Team either. Search warrants are rated on a danger scale. Some warrants are served with only one or two officers. Other require more, including a SWAT Team. Bottom line, No-knocks are safer for the good guys.
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swillden said:
More time-consuming, obviously. More dangerous? Have anything to support that, or even to explain why/how it's more dangerous to police? And is it truly enough more dangerous to justify the innocent lives that erroneous no-knock executions take?

Note that I've already agreed that no-knocks make sense in cases where there's a potential hostage. It's not a good solution, but it appears to be the best one available -- IF the suspect can't be taken outside the home.
Having done some SWAT Training, I can tell you that barricade situations are more dangerous than no-knock search warrants. I would much rather surprise the threat than have him know I was there. One of the purposes for the no-knock is to avoid a barricade. Barricades are obviously more dangerous because you now have a known threat that now has time to prepare for you to enter, and you no longer have the element of surprise. The threat is now waiting for you, not surprised that you are there and scrambling.

What innocent lives are in danger? Granted, you have seen one case recently where the SWAT Team had bad info. No civilians were harmed, and a couple officers were injured. That was bad, but it could have been worse. Can you tell me the last time an innocent civilian's life was "erroneously" taken? Do you have any experience or statistics to support that claim? Lumping all no-knock search warrants as bad, dangerous and unnecessary is just like others saying civilians should not carry concealed weapons because one CFP holder unnecessarily draws his sidearm because he is mad.
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Thanks for the links, I really appreciate it.

It's not dangerous if you don't try to go in. Stay outside, pump in CS gas. Even if the guy has equipment, there's a serious limit to how long you can stay at MOPP 4.
There are situations where suspects are barricaded in such a way that even the munitions don't affect them. Going in on a barricade is one of the final options, but there are times when it is necessary. I'm not saying that every situation calls for no-knocks. With the minimal, and I do admit minimal, SWAT training I have had, no-knocks are safer for SWAT Teams. The only difference with knocks vs. no-knocks is the 10 seconds I talked about. The entry team is still going in, it's whether or not they announce their presence prior to entering. The innocent civilians that unfortunately have search warrants served, would probably still try to defend their house.
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