Jacob Sullum on the Hazards of No-Knock Drug Raids



The last time the Georgia legislature considered a bill aimed at restricting no-knock search warrants, it was prompted by a 2006 drug raid in which Atlanta police killed Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old woman who grabbed a revolver to defend herself against the armed men crashing into her home. This time around, the precipitating event was a 2014 drug raid in which a Habersham County SWAT team burned and mutilated a 19-month-old boy, Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh, by tossing a flash-bang grenade into his crib.

While any reform that makes such horrifying incidents less likely is welcome, says Jacob Sullum, the proposed changes deal with just one aspect of the aggressive paramilitary tactics that needlessly endanger police, their targets, and innocent bystanders.