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#1 Hurmoth

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 22:25

SWAT officer shot in the face breaking into window during no-knock raid

 
A police officer suffered fatal injuries while performing a pre-dawn no-knock raid on a local residence to  search  for drugs.  Several officers were shot by a resident as they tried to enter an apartment through a ground-level window under the cover of darkness.
 
Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie, an 18-year veteran of the department — died two days after being shot on Friday morning.  Approximately 5:30 a.m. on May 9th, the Killeen Police Department sent its SWAT team to execute a surprise raid on a middle-aged couple because they allegedly possessed substances without government permission.
 
Dinwiddie and several other SWAT agents snuck up to a window and tried to breach it to gain entry.  The commotion caused one of residents to fire on the unidentified intruders, and Dinwiddie was struck in the face.  Three others were shot; 2 were shot in the armor and 1 was shot in the thigh.
 
The warrant was drafted by the Bell County Organized Crime Unit and signed by Judge Mark Kimball, who authorized the “no-knock” entry.
 
Marvin Louis Guy, age 50, is being held in the Killeen City Jail on a $3 million bond.  His charges include 3 counts of attempted capital murder.  He has not yet been charged with Dinwiddie’s death.
 
It is unclear how Mr. Guy could have reasonably made the differentiation, with a split-second’s notice, between police officers and criminal home invaders breaking into his window.
 
Police spent 12 hours combing the house for evidence of drugs.   No drugs were listed on the evidence sheet.  They did seize a laptop, a safe, a pistol, and a glass pipe, according to documents obtained by KWTX.
 
Officer Dinwiddie left behind two children and a devastated community.  He was said to have once recovered a couple’s stolen wedding rings.  Yet the cause that he laid down his life for was to stop people from getting high.  That should give pause to even the most hardened supporters of the War on Drugs.
 
Is it worth risking one’s life to take narcotics out of the hands of eager users?  Is this a cause that decent people can continue to support in light of all the innocents killed in the process?  Furthermore, are these no-knock raids, which pit police officers against drowsy citizens in the most dangerous manner possible, a responsible tactic of law enforcement?
 
If people truly value the lives of police officers, they will stop carelessly throwing their lives away by sending them on misguided missions using irresponsible tactics.   There is no reason Officer Dinwiddie had to die, because there was no reason for police to show up at that home in the first place.
 
 
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution assures and protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. Knocking down someone's door at 5am is an incredibly unreasonable search!
 
Whatever you think about guns, let's leave that out of this discussion. The cops were violating this couple's rights. I am a firm believing that No-Knock Raids are unconstitutional and should be addressed by SCOTUS as such. But regardless of whether that ever happens, if someone is "breaking in" my home at 5am, you better believe I'm shooting first, asking questions later. This guy probably had no clue that these were cops until it was too late.
 
What are your thoughts? He's already been charged with three counts of attempted capital murder; should those charges stand? Should he be charged in the death of the officer?



#2 zeke009

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 22:30

Sad events, but I suspect a decent lawyer can argue he had no other choice as the police did not identify themselves. What is really sad is that he is gone and the family will not have any 'justice' for his death.



#3 OP Hurmoth

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 22:38

Sad events, but I suspect a decent lawyer can argue he had no other choice as the police did not identify themselves. What is really sad is that he is gone and the family will not have any 'justice' for his death.

Does the officer's family deserve justice? What is justice in a situation like this? The family could of course sue the police department for making the decision to break into someone's home at 5am, thereby being a direct link to his death.

 

Unfortunately, the judge is protected by judicial immunity and can't be sued. Hopefully that changes one day and judges will actually require some real evidence before allowing cops to violate citizens' rights.

 

Thankfully there is a precedence of juries acquitting a man for shooting at cops for breaking into the wrong home: http://reason.com/bl...ith-shooting-at



#4 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 22:39

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution assures and protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. Knocking down someone's door at 5am is an incredibly unreasonable search!

 
Whatever you think about guns, let's leave that out of this discussion.

I support restricted gun ownership but that's irrelevant here, as it appears the homeowner acted reasonably to defend themselves from an unknown intruder. The timing of the shots will be crucial in determining the outcome of the case. While not strictly relevant, it's interesting that the raid turned up nothing. To me this seems like a botched police operation. Charging him for murder is clearly an overreaction but not surprising as the police don't want the public thinking they can shoot at officers without consequence.



#5 HoochieMamma

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 22:41

Wait a second, these police didn't notify the residents who they were and tried to break into the house? What did they expect would happen? Especially in America.



#6 zeke009

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 22:43

Does the officer's family deserve justice? What is justice in a situation like this? The family could of course sue the police department for making the decision to break into someone's home at 5am, thereby being a direct link to his death.

As an outsider: I would say no, they don't deserve justice when there is none to be had.

 

But it wasn't my dad or brother or husband who died in this unfortunate series of events.



#7 Dashel

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 23:01

The failed drug war claims another, at least this time the dead person was the tresspasser, and not the home owner or his animals.  The para-military BS has to end so I only hope more residents unload on them when they attempt such 'operations'.  I know I would.



#8 -Razorfold

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 23:10

Does the officer's family deserve justice? What is justice in a situation like this? The family could of course sue the police department for making the decision to break into someone's home at 5am, thereby being a direct link to his death.
 
Unfortunately, the judge is protected by judicial immunity and can't be sued. Hopefully that changes one day and judges will actually require some real evidence before allowing cops to violate citizens' rights.
 
Thankfully there is a precedence of juries acquitting a man for shooting at cops for breaking into the wrong home: http://reason.com/bl...ith-shooting-at

I'm pretty sure there had to be some evidence that would lead to a no-knock raid. Cops don't go around breaking down doors every 2 mins to check houses for drugs. And judges don't hand out warrants like candy either.

Sure maybe the cops and judge were corrupt and had something against the people in this house but that isn't always the case.

The cops, at the end of the day, are just doing their job. Sure there are bad apples that make the entire force look terrible, but most of them do it for the right reasons. At the end of the day the guys breaking into the house didn't make the decision or do the surveillance for it, another department probably did and called in SWAT to carry out the raid. SWAT can't just go "you know what guys, I'm going to pass on this one."

You should also read up on what the fourth amendment actually is. These cops had a warrant and hence (allowed by the fourth amendment) can break into your house without notice. The fourth amendment protects you from cops breaking into your house without a warrant, not when they have one.

#9 Lord Method Man

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 23:14

These no-knock SWAT raids are beyond out of hand. Before even reading the story I knew it would turn out that they didn't even find any drugs.



#10 OP Hurmoth

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 23:36

I'm pretty sure there had to be some evidence that would lead to a no-knock raid. Cops don't go around breaking down doors every 2 mins to check houses for drugs. And judges don't hand out warrants like candy either.

Sure maybe the cops and judge were corrupt and had something against the people in this house but that isn't always the case.

The cops, at the end of the day, are just doing their job. Sure there are bad apples that make the entire force look terrible, but most of them do it for the right reasons. At the end of the day the guys breaking into the house didn't make the decision or do the surveillance for it, another department probably did and called in SWAT to carry out the raid. SWAT can't just go "you know what guys, I'm going to pass on this one."

You should also read up on what the fourth amendment actually is. These cops had a warrant and hence (allowed by the fourth amendment) can break into your house without notice. The fourth amendment protects you from cops breaking into your house without a warrant, not when they have one.

I know what the Fourth Amendment is, thank you very much. And there are plenty of legal scholars who believe No-Knock Raids are unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. I was using hyperbole to drive home the point that I don't agree with them. Of course the judge required some evidence to sign the warrant, but the couple didn't have any drugs in their home, it was 5am and the police literally broke into their home without announcing themselves. That is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.



#11 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 23:41

These no-knock SWAT raids are beyond out of hand. Before even reading the story I knew it would turn out that they didn't even find any drugs.

Even if drugs were found it's an extreme form of policing.

 

I'm pretty sure there had to be some evidence that would lead to a no-knock raid. Cops don't go around breaking down doors every 2 mins to check houses for drugs. And judges don't hand out warrants like candy either.

Sure maybe the cops and judge were corrupt and had something against the people in this house but that isn't always the case.

The cops, at the end of the day, are just doing their job.

A lot of the time the police aren't doing their job but rather abusing their position. The United States' war on drugs is out of control. Don't forget that it wasn't all that long ago that alcohol was a controlled substance and was subject to similar style raids.

 

The police in the US are part of the problem. Saying they're just "doing their jobs" is a cop-out (no pun intended).



#12 -Razorfold

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 23:43

I know what the Fourth Amendment is, thank you very much. And there are plenty of legal scholars who believe No-Knock Raids are unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. I was using hyperbole to drive home the point that I don't agree with them. Of course the judge required some evidence to sign the warrant, but the couple didn't have any drugs in their home, it was 5am and the police literally broke into their home without announcing themselves. That is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The 4th amendment states NOTHING about whether or not a police officer has to announce themselves. It protects the person from unreasonable search and seizures. Since they had a warrant, and they would have had to obtain a no-knock warrant too, it's no longer considered unreasonable.

That said I think no knock entries are stupid but not because of any unconstitutional BS, but because it massively increases the risk of harm / death to both the homeowner and the cops involved too (as this case proves).

A lot of the time the police aren't doing their job but rather abusing their position. The United States' war on drugs is out of control. Don't forget that it wasn't all that long ago that alcohol was a controlled substance and was subject to similar style raids.

The police in the US are part of the problem. Saying they're just "doing their jobs" is a cop-out (no pun intended).

I think the war on drugs is stupid too but guess what, the cops don't make the laws. They also don't get the right to cherry pick which laws they're going to follow and which laws they aren't going to follow.

#13 OP Hurmoth

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 23:48

The 4th amendment states NOTHING about whether or not a police officer has to announce themselves. It protects the person from unreasonable search and seizures. Since they had a warrant, and they would have had to obtain a no-knock warrant too, it's no longer considered unreasonable.

That said I think no knock entries are stupid but not because of any unconstitutional BS, but because it massively increases the risk of harm / death to both the homeowner and the cops involved too (as this case proves).

I think the war on drugs is stupid too but guess what, the cops don't make the laws. They also don't get the right to cherry pick which laws they're going to follow and which laws they aren't going to follow.

Case law says you're wrong: http://en.wikipedia....nce_requirement

 

In 1995, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Wilson v. Arkansas that a knock-and-announce before entry was a factor that must be considered in reviewing the overall constitutionality of a Fourth-Amendment search.



#14 -Razorfold

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 23:52

Case law says you're wrong: http://en.wikipedia....nce_requirement
 
In 1995, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Wilson v. Arkansas that a knock-and-announce before entry was a factor that must be considered in reviewing the overall constitutionality of a Fourth-Amendment search.

And if you read on it still needs to be reviewed by a case by case basis and if the police has reasonable evidence for such an entry. If they do a warranty is granted at that point. If they didn't and they executed a no knock entry then you have a much stronger case against them. Now if the police has reasonable evidence for it, and the judge approves that reasonable evidence it's still constitutional because its no longer unreasonable.

Now is there a problem with the amount of no knock warrants that are issued, yes there is and if in those cases there wasn't reasonable evidence then yes it would be unconstitutional.

Like I already said I'm on the same side of the coin as you, I don't think no knock entries should be allowed because of the problems they cause (especially if an innocent dies).

#15 OP Hurmoth

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 00:04

And if you read on it still needs to be reviewed by a case by case basis and if the police has reasonable evidence for such an entry. If they do a warranty is granted at that point. If they didn't and they executed a no knock entry then you have a much stronger case against them. Now if the police has reasonable evidence for it, and the judge approves that reasonable evidence it's still constitutional because its no longer unreasonable.

Now is there a problem with the amount of no knock warrants that are issued, yes there is and if in those cases there wasn't reasonable evidence then yes it would be unconstitutional.

Like I already said I'm on the same side of the coin as you, I don't think no knock entries should be allowed because of the problems they cause (especially if an innocent dies).

I read the entire thing, and I saw where it stated it has to be done on a case by case basis. I believe that SCOTUS has too broad of circumstances that allow for these types of warrants. But my point was that the Fourth Amendment does have rules under the US Code that require police to announce themselves and you stated it doesn't mention that at all. The text itself may not, but the US Code that governs it does address it. In most cases, police are required to announce themselves, only in very specific cases are they allowed not to.

 

The reason police are required to announce themselves are to protect them as much as it is to protect the citizen. In this case, the No-Knock warrant proves exactly why police should be required to announce themselves.

 

"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." English jurist William Blackstone (Commentaries on the Laws of England)

 

That statement couldn't be more true in a situation like this. The police should always err on the side of caution as not to violate the rights of the innocent in pursuit of someone who is guilty.