Even worse are the cases where an innocent citizen is killed by police because they resist. You say they'd better get you on the floor before you get to your guns -- you realize that if they don't pull it off cleanly, YOU are almost certainly going to get shot. In the case you cite, the homeowner was tremendously lucky. According to the Cato Institute, no-knocks have killed 40 innocents in the last 20 years, and there are at least two people in prison for shooting cops in self-defense. Well, they claim self-defense. It's impossible to know for sure if they really knew the intruders were cops or not.PW said:The cops had better pull off the no-knock cleanly. We saw that situation a few months ago in Minnesota where they did a no-knock on the wrong house and the homeowner shot 2 cops because he didn't know who they were. He did not break the law and did not recieve any type of punishment.
Oh and then there's the gang in LA, breaking into houses exactly like this SLC case. The kicker in the LA case is that the 15 criminals doing it really were LAPD. Their badges, etc., were all real. So even if there were a foolproof way to know if the intruders really are police, that's no guarantee of safety.
No-knocks are just a bad idea. They create a tremendously risky situation and they don't save lives. In fact, making the warrant execution safer isn't even the purpose of no-knock entry. The purpose of no-knock entry is to ensure that the BGs don't have time to dispose of evidence before the police come in to find it. They're a response to the problem that drugs are quite flushable. Drug dealers can easily have one person hold the police at the door for a couple of minutes, carefully verifying the search warrant, while someone else puts all the evidence down the toilet.
No-knock warrants are just one of the ways in which the War on Drugs has seriously eroded our civil rights. They're a bad idea, plain and simple. Bad for officer safety, bad for citizen safety.