Police Abuse

Orlando Cops' Fatal 'Knock and Talk' Tactic Leads to Lawsuit

19-year-old shot and killed after cops respond to tip about sale of marijuana



Orlando police take the alleged sale of marijuana in their city very seriously. They use a tactic called "knock and talk," where cops try to get residents to open their doors voluntarily so they can snoop around for evidence of wrongdoing. Sounds kind of skeevy, right?

Now a knock and talk that involved eight officers and ended with a fatal police shootings is yielding a lawsuit for the Orlando Police Department. Last January, cops responded to a tip about marijuana being sold by attempting a "knock and talk" that involved them peering through a porch window. Police say they saw a gun through the window, and that when 19-year-old Karvas Gamble Jr. reached for it, a cop fatally shot him in the abdomen. It was the second fatal police shooting for Orlando cops in 24 hours. Eventually, an appeals court ruled that cops can't enter porches, or backyards or patios for that matter, without permission or a warrant, but while a grand jury found the "knock and talk" poorly planned, it declined to charge cops with any crime.

Now a lawsuit over the incident is being planned by the Florida Civil Rights Association, which has already notified the city of its intent, as required by law. The association's argument, via the Orlando Sentinel:

"During the 'Knock and Talk' event, OPD officers did not simply walk up to the front door, knock, and speak with whomever answered the door. They instead surrounded the structure, hid in the backyard, looked inside windows, and were in places they had no lawful right to be," the Florida Civil Rights Association stated in a news release.

More evidence of the destructiveness of the war on drugs, and the need for stricter police standards.