SWAT

Pre-Dawn No-Knock SWAT Raid for Minor Drug Charge Ruled Unconstitutional

2015 militarized raid resulted in "fifth-degree drug possession." That's the lowest drug charge possible.

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All this for

A Hennepin County (Minn.) drug squad — known as the Emergency Services Unit (ESU) — conducted a pre-dawn no-knock raid on a house in North Minneapolis one morning in November 2015. They were looking for Walter Power, who they suspected of being a marijuana dealer. To search the home they believed Power to be sleeping in, they brought a force of between 28-32 officers, most clad in riot gear and carrying rifles, accompanied by a sniper seated atop a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response (BEAR) vehicle.

Why did law enforcement officials feel they needed to display a show of overwhelming force that would be intense even in a foreign occupied city? Because the primary resident of the house, Michael Delgado, was a registered gun-owner with a license to carry.

Convinced of the potential danger posed to officers when raiding a house with an armed occupant, Hennepin County District Judge Tanya Bransford signed off on the no-knock raid, but later told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that she did not know a platoon of up to 32 officers would be deployed to search the house, or that they'd throw flash bang grenades through the windows in addition to knocking down doors.

The raid resulted in the arrest of Power — the suspected marijuana dealer — for "fifth-degree drug possession," the lowest possible drug charges on the books. Even this modest charge would be dropped after Judge Bransford declared the raid unconstitutional in a ruling last summer, arguing that Delgado and Power had been subject to unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Bransford wrote in her ruling "that the types of militarized actions used in this case seem to be a matter of customary business practice," which she found troubling.

Like most of the U.S., Hennepin County has increasingly relied on SWAT teams to serve warrants. According to the Star-Tribune, its ESU deployed 71 times last year, which is more than double its annual usage from a decade prior. A 2014 study by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found that on a national basis, SWAT teams were only used "for hostage, barricade, or active shooter scenarios" in seven percent of all deployments, while 62 percent of SWAT raids were to search for drugs.

The executive director of the Minnesota Sheriff's Association, Jim Franklin, was quoted by the Star-Tribune as saying of Bransford's ruling, "My question to her is: Are you going to attend the dead cop's funeral?" Franklin's argument is essentially that without the use of such violent and destructive tactics, officers' lives would be at risk. But no-knock raids can and do result in the deaths of officers, because few things will make even reasonable people turn violent like a sudden and shocking attack on their home.

In 2006, former Reasoner Radley Balko wrote about the case of Cory Maye, a Mississippi man who ended up on death row after shooting an officer entering his home during a no-knock raid. Maye would be released from prison on 2011, following a plea agreement to charges of manslaughter.

Watch the Reason TV doc on Maye's case below.

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  1. Rut-ro.

    1. This is why you don’t register any weapons you have. This is why you don’t buy guns, magazines, etc with credit cards. This is why you buy guns with cash at gun shows without backgrounds checks. This is why you don’t tell anyone outside of close confidants that you have weapons. This is why you don’t go to shooting ranges that monitor who comes and goes via government ID. This is why you get on every jury you are allowed to and vote not guilty for government abuse of the Rule of Law.

      1. While I understand the sentiment, you cannot go to a gun show and buy a weapon without a background check. I wish this were true but it is not.

      2. My co-worker’s step-sister makes $97 hourly on the laptop . She has been out of work for six months but last month her paycheck was $14100 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go this website and click to tech tab to start your work… http://tinyurl.com/hhwe4zl

    2. I’m sure your concern is entirely related to the LACK OF A HAT TIP!!!!

      C’mon Tony! I sent this in to the tip line and posted this weekend. I’m a multiple hat tip recipient. You can’t pull a fast one on me.

  2. The executive director of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, Jim Franklin, was quoted by the Star-Tribune as saying of Bransford’s ruling, “My question to her is: Are you going to attend the dead cop’s funeral?”

    That judge needs to take him up on that bet. That judge should absolutely attend the funeral of the first cop who dies serving a search warrant in a drug case where these tactics are not used. Since I am unaware of any officer dying in such circumstances in the past, it is a pretty good bet that the judge will never attend any funerals. But if he does, so be it. Such is the price of Liberty.

    Of course there should be a flip side to that bet. The Sheriffs’ Association director should have to attend the funerals of any innocent person killed in one of these raids. I wish him luck with that.

    1. Innocent person? No such thing. Everyone is guilty of something.

      1. The baby shouldn’t have allowed its mother to smoke weed.

        1. +1 Bounkham Phonesavah

          1. -1 sleeping toddler’s nose

      2. That family shouldn’t have lived at an apartment that a suspected drug dealer lived in five years ago.

        1. That family shouldn’t have lived in the apartment that was mistaken as the one where a suspected drug dealer who was tipped off by a paid informant with a shoddy track record visited five years ago because it’s where his relatives resided. [did I miss any important facts?]

      3. Not Hillary. She’s never guilty of anything.

        1. That’s just an accusation. You can’t prove that!

    2. Agreed. The director should have to attend in uniform, by himself.

    3. I agree, I am strongly willing to bet that if someone has a concealed carry permit, a police officer knocking on the door peacefully is much less likely to be shot than a massive raid by dozens.

      1. Statistics and history back this one up. Its the flashbangs, crash in the night, twenty seven military commandoes rushing the joint shouting conflicting orders so fast no one can understand a word, that provoke a reflex reaction of “shoot NOW and let the jury sort it out” that results in dead coppers. Kudos to this judge, who has the right of it.

        Wasn’t it Indiana recently enacted a new law that, on the face of it, exonerates lawful occupants of a dwelling or occupied vehicle from charges if the unannounced unwanted intruder busting into his house just “happens” to be a cop…. the homeowner has every right to protect his “castle” until he is certain the intruders are there on official business. In other words, bust into someone’s house like a bunch of mafioso, or invading mozzies, expect to get shot at, and don’t come trying to play the “I was a cop doing my duty” card to charge the guy protecting his family. Read about Jose Guere?o, formerly of New Mexico, who perished in such a raid… wrong address and all. I guess the cops wanted him dead so he cou;ldn’t sue them after they busted in at oh two hundred.

    4. The answer should have been:

      “I will attend the dead cop’s funeral if you attend the funeral of the next unarmed person killed by the police.”

      1. Cops would be tied up attending funerals. Who would protect us?

        1. Wouldn’t the cops being tied up attending funerals BE protecting us?

        2. The dead – by distracting the cops for even longer.

          1. Dammit, you guys are good. I’ll have to pose harder questions in the future. [Alex Tribesques woulda got it wrong theaux]

      2. “attend the funeral”? the cop who did that ought to be going to prison.
        that would make them much more diligent in doing “no-knock” dynamic entries,getting the address right,not blindly taking some crook’s word that the accused is doing the crime,without other verification. etc,etc.

    5. AND pay for the funeral (top tier) of every citizen killed and pay for the full medical and rehab costs for those injured.

      I support Constitutional searches, etc, but a misdemeanor arrest deserves no ‘no knock’ raids. The tipster should be charges with attempted murder, also whoever requested the warrant. Remember the baby in his crib during such a raid in GA? Maybe for each officer as well.

      1. or Jos? Guere?o, formerly of New Mexico. Killed by a bunch of hyper coppers “serving” a no knock warrant/raid at oh two hundred… happened to have the wrong address, even. Seventy rounds HIT him, about as many more fired missed him. His Wife and two young children were in the house, scared out of their wits….. they DENIED his Wife her request to go to his aid as he lay bleeding out in the hallway where he fell. Coppers dragged her outside, refused to lift a finger to help him. And they all got off with…… no consequences.

    6. I am personally disturbed that police don’t use door gunners to serve warrants. Not because I think it’s tactically sound, beaten paths and all, but it sounds like a good way to get a second retirement.

      I’d probably get fired for applying military type ROEs with POO and PID, but whatever.

  3. To search the home they believed Power to be sleeping in, they brought a force of between 28-32 officers, most clad in riot gear and carrying rifles, accompanied by a sniper seated atop a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response (BEAR) vehicle.

    Unfucking real.

    1. Yep…

      When I approach someone who is armed, I find it safer to surprise the hell out of them rather than to knock on the door politely and ask them to let me in.

      1. And of course small time pot dealers are totally going to turn a drug bust into a capital offence by shooting a cop who shows up at their door. That makes total sense.

        What is better for the safety of the officers, a calm situation where the people inside the house know it is the cops at their door and so much as touching them buys them a felony conviction in addition to the drug laws, or kicking in the door and escalating the situation and just hoping that they don’t think they are being robbed and their lives are in danger?

        There are few things more dangerous than going into a building when someone in there is armed and means you harmed. Yet, cops continually do just that and claim doing so is necessary in the name of “safety”.

        1. Yet, cops continually do just that and claim doing so is necessary in the name of “safety”.

          Look at how they got Whitey Bulger. They lured him outside and then surrounded him. Took him down without a fight. That’s what they do when the person they are after is actually dangerous. So they’re full of shit when they say this is in the name of officer safety. It’s a blatant lie. They do it because they enjoy destroying property, instilling terror by assaulting and threatening to kill people and their children, and otherwise acting like the gangsters that they are.

          1. Yes. They want to terrorize people. That is about all there is to it. They didn’t go in shooting with Bulgar because as you point out, Bulger might have shot back.

            1. would have……

          2. +1 Wounded teachers and students bleeding out in Columbine.

            1. Hell, they listened to people bleeding out in the Orlando nightclub and did nothing in the name of “officer safety”.

              Its a crystal clear illustration of the fact that the police, generally, are not heroes putting their lives on the line. When the choice is put to them directly “Put yourself at risk or these people will absolutely die”, the cops refuse.

              1. There is a zero tolerance policy for anything that might harm officer safety. Any cops that went inside would have been fired for putting their safety at risk.

              2. That’s not always correct.

                During the VA tech massacre, the cops rushed towards the gunfire. They were slowed by having to smash their way in past doors chained shut. But they ran towards the gunfire, and Cho committed suicide as they were closing in on him.

                1. of course, the correct answer to that situation is to allow the students who wish to (and faclutly/staff) to be armed. If ten percent of the people inside those buildings had been armed, the perp never could have shot the third victim. Stupid politicians just DON”T GET IT, do they?

                  Well, Texas have finally “got it”.
                  And Oregon, though their stupidity still shines through by allowing the admin of each school to decide whether THEIR campus will be voluntarily armed or remain a Certified Defensless Victim Zone.

                2. It’s usually the case. When I was a correctional officer, if a riot broke out in the chow hall, they locked everybody in so it wouldn’t spread, and let the CERT teams sort it out.

          3. Well, in fairness, who doesn’t enjoy that?

        2. They also say that traffic stops are stressful because of the potential danger. They just never know if the person in the car they pull over is going to kill them. Yet they stop cars all the time for the most trivial reasons. Makes no sense. They are going to risk their lives over a broken tail light ?

          1. And the biggest risk in a traffic stop is other traffic. But instead of mitigating that risk by driving well marked vehicles with reflective striping and uniforms with reflective tape, they drive unmarked vehicles with poor warning lighting and subdued uniforms designed not to show up. Hello Mcfly!

            1. Indeed. The black and tans the staties drive in New Hampshire are practically camouflaged

              1. I’ve seen WSP (Washington) patrol members driving red Vovlo station wagons, bright yellow big pickups with stripes, magwheels, rallye lights on the roof, and plain jane family sedans. On patrol. THOSE are hard to spot…. and illegal, but they do it anyway. Not supposed to do normal patrol in unmarked cars.

            2. For awhile PA troopers were parking their cars on the shoulder at an angle, sticking out into traffic. I saw one with about 2 seconds warning, cars left of me and behind me. It must have been divine intervention that prevented me from plowing into it. I was prepared for impact.

        3. And when the residents are law abiding and armed and shoot your ass up, the Mpls cop shop will still give you a medal for bravery.

          An old story, but a good one. Cops in raid wrong house, owner shoots through door at them, they return fire and luckily no one was killed. The cops still awarded medals due to bravery under fire.

          “We had the right house and right address — according to what the informant told us — but it’s unclear why she gave that address, since the family had no ties whatsoever to the gang,” Garcia explained.

          According to Heffelfinger, the Laotian family has owned and lived in the house for four years and had no knowledge of the female police informant. “Ironically, the house is located across the street from a police precinct,” Heffelfinger said, “so, if [the SWAT team] had simply asked the precinct, they would have learned the family was not gang bangers.”

          “They were acting in good faith on a warrant that was properly drawn up, based off of what appeared to be good information,” Garcia said. “Their bravery under fire should not be negated [because of the misinformation].”

          1. in such cases, the lying informant needs to be charged with the crime of assault with a deadly weapon (the cops) based on her false statements, and add perjury to the list of charges. THEN take away her qualified immunity for turning State’s Rat, and nail her for the crime she’s trying to waltz away from.

            Word about that will quickly spread through the “underworld” and those choosing to turn State’s Rat will be more inclined to be truthful, or silent. NEVER to spew false information.. same goes for “anonymous” citizens turning in reports of things like “man with a gun in the WalMart, waving it about and scaring everyone, get there quick”. Reality: man with TOY gun picked up off shelf in WalMart and was carrying ot to the register to buy it for his kid. Waved at nor menaced no one. Dead by cop when they raided the place and did not approach with due caution. They’d have seen a man, calmly going about his business, no one the least bit concerned….. might as well have had a five pound sack of sugar over his shoulder. False report maker was identified… nothing happened to him.

        4. Did no one learn a thing from Waco?

          I mean Branch Davidian, not the biker shootout.

          1. I learned that freedom of religion isn’t actually a thing that day. How ’bout you?

      2. Show up, in uniform, while the person is awake. If you really think they are a problem, stop them in their car. If they don’t have a car, roll up on them down the block. Its not like they have six paramilitary trained guards walking the perimeter.

        1. You know it is a drug house. How about waiting and serving the warrant when no one is home? Gee what a concept. Or if you have an arrest warrant, arresting them when they are not home and then searching the empty home afterwards.

          1. +1 Randy Weaver.

          2. Well, I would make sure I had enough evidence that it was a drug house before I got a warrant. Given the shoddy way a lot of PDs do business, not everyone is as thorough as me. Besides, what does a drug house really look like? In Houston and Austin in the late 1990s it looked like a normal apartment with a small stash of drugs in it, and maybe the tenant could make change for a thousand and owned one or more guns. But they weren’t going to shoot cops. It was just that if you had a couple grand worth of drugs or a couple grand, and you couldn’t call the cops, you needed something to discourage the consumers with two brain cells to rub together.

        2. These pathetic fucking cowards will never do anything of the sort. They can only act with a coterie of their limp-dick loser friends armed to the teeth wearing body armor in the dead of night. They’re fucking miserable pitiful small-brained small-dicked losers who only gravitated toward legal thuggery because they are too autistic to do anything that requires skill, intelligence, courage, tact, or any other recognizable human trait. They are truly the lowest waste of food, air and water on the face of the planet; a cancer on all societies.

          1. When fascistic governments are stomping the resistance out of their populace, do they normally use army troops or police for the maintenance of terror?

            Well, there you go. Everything you need to know about cops in one simple lesson.

      3. Yep…

        When I approach someone who is armed, I find it safer to surprise the hell out of them rather than to knock on the door politely and ask them to let me in.

        Possibly the most retarded post I’ve seen outside of Dunphy.

        1. He just left the sarc tag off. Lighten up, Francis.

          1. Yep, that’s how I read it , after an initial WTF.

            1. DOH! I should have known tarran better than that. My apologies.

              1. It’s OK. We live in degraded times.

                1. Or, as the Dems and RINOs like to say “We live in comprehensive times.”.

                  1. You have to look at the totality of the circumstances of the times we live in.

                2. That’s a funny way to spell invigorating…

        2. ditnchya recognise the bold sarc font?

      4. When I approach someone who is armed, I greet them and let them pet my dog, chat for a minute, then walk on. But I live where a lot of people go armed and feel safe. About the second fastest way to get shot is to surprise someone who carries.

        1. YOU are far wiser, and likely to live a LOT longer, than the vast majority of cops.

      5. Even if the homeowner is in legal possession of a gun? And what if the homeowner doesn’t know the invaders aren’t criminals? It’s one thing to point a gun at someone, but if you are outside the house, how would you know?

  4. I can’t see how any person would believe that is reasonable.

    1. You haven’t met the executive director of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, Jim Franklin. Liar? Worlds biggest coward? Or both?

  5. 40 years ago, only major cities had swat teams and they were used almost exclusively for hostage situations usually when there were multiple perps as with a bank robbery gone bad. Niw every Mayberry has them and will deploy them for late child support payments.

    1. Well if you don’t use them, they get rusty, like a sword.

      1. Which is a major part of the problem. They never have enough practice. They suck when they do it. Perhaps they should use SWAT teams for routine traffic stops. It definitely would have an impact on respecting authoriteh.

      2. The get rusty, like a nuclear weapon.

  6. Obviously SWAT and no-knock was justified, considering the defendant could’ve flushed that quantity of pot down the toilet.

    1. But if the pot was cut with dog shit and it became a floater, then what?

      1. -1 low flow. I don’t like the sound of that.

  7. I wonder what’s going to happen when the Trumpster starts his war on crime and starts deporting Mexican immigrants.

    1. He wouldn’t. He’d trade the newly-minted Democrat senate majority a SCOTUS nom for a milquetoast border control bill, then take a victory lap speaking circuit around the country lauding his ability to “get things done.”

    2. Besides you getting an erection for the first time in over a decade?

      1. I’ll admit I’m conflicted. Watching the yokels get what they want hard and good might be good for entertainment. I’ve never had much faith in this decrepit tin-pot republic so anything to hasten its demise does have a silver lining.

        1. Maybe Bernie will let you crash at one of his houses while you plot your Bolivarian takeover, comrade.

          1. *Take the lake house.

          2. ” E pluribus unum is surely an ironic motto to inscribe on the currency of this Utopia gone bust, for every grotesquely rich American represents property, privileges, and pleasures that have been denied the many. An even more instructive motto, in the light of history made by the [rich in America] might be: Grab much too much, or you’ll get nothing at all.
            – Kurt Vonnegut

            1. U mad that the bank insisted you pay your mortgage, bro?

            2. Vonnegut was a competent novelist. Vonnegut is not a compelling sociologist, much less a compelling economist. For a similar reason I go to Rothbard for a competent analysis of the New Deal-fueled Depression, not Steinbeck. Though I do take a certain glee in stories about Soviets’ reaction to screenings of The Grapes of Wrath.

              1. Competent novelist? Well, I only tried Catcher in the Rye, but couldn’t get thru it. It was garbage.

                Don’t know about anything else he’s written.

                1. Why would you read a Salinger novel to assess the competency of Vonnegut?

              2. V was Slauterhouse 5, Steinbeck was GoW.

            3. Grotesquely rich Americans? You mean like the Clintons? George Soros? Bernie Sanders? Elizabeth Warren?

              1. beneficiaries of trust funds are not grotesquely rich.

              2. Warren Buffet? Michael Moore? Barbra Streisand?

              3. Michael BloomingIdiotBurg?

            4. represents property, privileges, and pleasures that have been denied the many.

              these haven’t been DENIED “the many” any more realistically than owning and driving a car is denied the dude who’d rather ride his bike. Most don’t have because they’re unwiling to pay the price to get. Like that Good Book says… “a little folding of the hands, a little nodding of the head, and poverty is upon you”. Or “consider the ant…..”. The ONLY thing stands in the way of most people prospering can be quickly found between their ears.

              This nation was build upon the principle that all men are CREATED equal…. but that principle never declares that all men ARE equal. And that equality is lacking based upon what each man DOES with his equal beginning. I know men, blacks, who were born of single Mums in some “project” in some hellhole city ghetto, and who are now successful men earning a good income, and doing much to benefit humanity in some signficant ways. ALL of them know of the fate of many of their peers from their youth… children who decided the ghetto life was the life for them, and have suffered….. death, imprisonment, permanent maiming from various calamaties, incliding getting shot, car crashes, burned, beat up……

        2. There is a near infinite amount of irony here considering you are supposedly a socialist yet you call the working men and women in the United States ‘yokels’.

          I take it these particular workers would be against the wall in Utopia, yes?

          Thus, we can in fact discern that your disdain for the plebian is indeed your reason for supposedly being a socialist. Control of those you deem to lesser than yourself. How noble.

          Your mask is slipping down around your ankles, friend.

          1. Mebbe he thinks “yokel” is `Murrican for “kulak?”

    3. You know who else has been deporting Mexican immigrants at record levels?

      1. I assume you’re claiming the Obozo admin is?

        1. Which they aren’t, since they changed the reporting of deportations to make him look like he’s tough on immigration.

          Considering how often this lie is repeated even here at Reason, I think this one is now in the ballpark of a ‘fact’ even though it’s anything but. Maybe one of the new writers or an intern will bother to write about it, I won’t be holding my breath.

    4. Hey, still shitting your pants over an acid that isn’t?

        1. american socialist|10.11.16 @ 12:25PM|#
          “I’ve moved on. You?”

          Of course you have.
          Fuck up, claim you haven’t and then finally say ‘it’s old news’. Just like your fave hag.

          1. And just like Trump.

    5. Hi Tulpa, you mendacious piece of shit! Slow day in the chemical engineering lab so decided to shit all over HyR again this morning?

      1. Yeah, it’s pretty slow. My cellulosic ethanol project is just ramping up so I’ll be busy soon. If Trump gets elected I might try to convince the powers that be to work on a hard drive dissolver fluid so he can safely delete his emails. Got to innovate, I say.

      2. There are more cretinous morons in the world than Tulpa. And Tulpa always posts and argues as himself and would be sucking cop dick if it was him.

        This is just another overfed greifer who thinks being an ignorant shit is funny.

        1. Agreed.
          Tulpa’s dumb, but this bar is much lower yet.

        2. I don’t think so. Tulpa likes to play dress up with its socks and pretend to be the smartest person in the room.

  8. Wait…WHAT? Am I missing something here? Judge Bransford issued a “no-knock” search warrant and then ruled that her issuing the “no-knock” was unconstitutional? I understand that she was upset about the way the warrant was executed, but shouldn’t have she found this out when deciding to issue the warrant? Exactly how does she believe “no-knocks” to be performed, if not by breaking windows and doors?

    1. Hey, better late than never!

      How much do you bet they lied on the warrant?

      1. How much do you want to bet her decision was punishment for the police force embarrassing her rather than any sudden insight about no-knock raids?

        1. “You mean to tell me that I am the direct reason a tovarish was treated like shit? Goddamnit! I was part of the Center for Applied Feminism in law school! Now I’m just the patriarchy! God-damn-it!”

      2. I don’t even think they lied to her. My biggest issue is these judges sign off on these “no-knock” warrants with no accountability. Cop says “We need” and judge says “Sure thing”. It should be difficult to get a search warrant, and next to impossible to get a “no-knock”. Law enforcement should have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there is no other alternative before being issued a “no-knock”.

        1. some judges do push back…cops shop for warrants. THAT should be illegal. First try = only try.

          1. Except that they work together enough that the cops would just go directly to the rubber stamp judges and bypass the ones who won’t.

            1. but their record would soon enough get out.. same corrupt judge on ALL the no knock raids and resultant weak cases that get tossed would look VERY bad before long. Word would get out, defense lawyers would make hay out of it, citizen activists would grab hold and deliver payback. It would sort itself out. Petitions to disbar some judges and rotten cops and their paid informants would begin to multiply. And “paid informant” would not ONLY be restricted to paid in dollars.

              1. Cops and DAs should have to spin the Wheel of Judicial Hacks and only be allowed to ask for a warrant from the one the needle points at. The WoJH must have a “lose a turn” slot, but not a “free spin.” Always-on video, backed up to the cloud, with easy FoIA access once the warrant is served is mandatory.

    2. If the police lied or misled the judge, she could rule any evidence obtained by the search inadmissible, and dismiss the case against the arrestee.

  9. They might be partaking in weed. The ‘good stuff’ is very dangerous and is frequently implicated in vast conspiracies to undermine the petrochemical and food services industries.

  10. This is another reason I won’t get a CCW permit. If I feel I need to carry, I’ll just do it. The law is designed to punish the law abiding.

    1. Same here.

  11. Convinced of the potential danger posed to officers when raiding a house with an armed occupant, Hennepin County District Judge Tanya Bransford signed off on the no-knock raid, but later told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that she did not know a platoon of up to 32 officers would be deployed to search the house, or that they’d throw flash bang grenades through the windows in addition to knocking down doors.

    If only there were some way to know what kind of force the cops intend to deploy before the rubber stamp falls on the warrant.

  12. …she did not know a platoon of up to 32 officers would be deployed to search the house, or that they’d throw flash bang grenades through the windows in addition to knocking down doors.

    She learned that her signature has consequences and she should be a little more careful where she puts it?

    1. What consequences? The judge still has her job so it’s all good.

      1. It seems like she has learned the lesson at least (albeit at the expense of someone else’s liberty), which is more than you can say for most rubber stampers.

  13. Cory Maye, a Mississippi man who ended up on death row after shooting an officer entering his home during a no-knock raid

    IIRC correctly, it was one cop without a warrant who decided to try his hand at badassery that day. Am I remembering wrong? Or was that another case?

    1. You are almost correct:

      The cops had a warrant for a residence. They entered it violently and started to toss the joint. They put the resident in handcuffs.

      Afterward, one of the cops decided to go around back and get in through the back door. He started smashing what he thought was the back door. Unfortunately, it was not a door to the unit they had the warrant to raid, but another, adjoining housing unit that Corey Maye was residing in (he was renting from the target of the raid).

      And as he comes through the door, Corey Maye dropped him with a single shot to the gut.

      So no warrant. And a no-knock raid in practice since the cop didn’t say anything before kicking down the door, since he thought the unit had no one in it other than his buddies and a handcuffed suspect.

      1. Just shaking my head. Thank dog for Radley Balko & the others who got him out of prison.

      2. Unfortunately, it was not a door to the unit they had the warrant to raid, but another, adjoining housing unit that Corey Maye was residing in

        So, the cops didn’t have a warrant for Maye’s apartment. I think that makes it a warrantless search.

        Plus, Maye could probably hear what sounded like a B & E next door, so no wonder he was prepared to defend his residence.

        1. Corey Maye used remarkable restraint.

        2. Yep. And it sounds like one cop was bound and determined to play Wyatt Earp Hero of the Day.

        3. warrentless search? No, it was a Home Invasion, with intent to cause sever bodily harm or death. Maye would have been justified killing every single one of them that crossed his threshold. Until the crooks are put behind bars we are stuck with the innocent getting put on death row.

          p.s. I still can’t read the Corey Maye case…my BP is too high as is, and it has been years.

          1. with intent to cause sever bodily harm or death

            At the very least abduction and unlawful detention, which… ironically… is exactly what happened.

          2. Maye would have been justified killing every single one of them that crossed his threshold.

            As far as I’m concerned, anyone getting raided for drugs, even with a legitimate warrant would be justified in killing them all. Of course it’s a terrible idea if you want to live. But morally speaking, it’s no different from any bandits busting into your home to take your property and violently kidnap you.

      3. The Corey Maye case still makes me crazy. What the fuck was wrong with the mental defectives on the jury who actually voted to convict?

        1. well, when the case is presented as “This violent drug pusher who kills kittens and eats babies brutally shot this poor, innocent, hero, police office who was just trying to protect the children.”

          what do you expect.

      4. It was a duplex. They got the wrong side, couldn’t bust down the door after multiple attempts. That noise woke Maye up. One officer decides to try the back door and Maye is on the floor with his baby pushed to the side and armed defending his home.

  14. More police incompetence:

    http://nbc4i.com/2016/10/11/ca…..r-suspect/

    1. If she was so innocent, why did she verbally resist arrest?

  15. I agree that the raid was outrageous given the nature of the crime, But I am having a hard time trying to come up with some concrete objective standard for which 30+ cop no-knock raids would be justified and for which they wouldn’t be. Certainly there would be some criminal behavior where that level of overwhelming force would be justified – a major confirmed terrorist cell, for instance. For a few ounces of pot? Of course not. Where is the line between the two?

    1. Start with “never for a drug raid”. Require evidence that not only are the subjects armed, but are likely to use force against police.

      It’s not easy to know exactly where to draw the line. But you need to start with a pretty high bar to clear.

    2. But I am having a hard time trying to come up with some concrete objective standard for which 30+ cop no-knock raids would be justified and for which they wouldn’t be.

      I think the excellent martial arts actioner The Raid: Redemption posits such a scenario.

    3. Are there hostages? If not then that kind of raid may never be justified.

    4. Can the suspect be arrested on his way to work or the grocery store? If yes, then such a raid is not justified.

      1. What is their response to that one? Seems really obviously the right way to do it.

        1. Public safety! Car chases! Shootouts in front of schools!

    5. I’d like to hear from an Iraq vet on how many guys they used for house sweeps in an active terrorist zone. I bet it’s a third of that at most.

      1. Fair comparison. These police raids are like the DDay Normandy Invasion except no pillboxes and maybe one or two Sgt Schulz types standing guard.

      2. This is a platoon size force doing clearing operations, so probably pretty similar given the mindset. Military would probably have better support than one marksman via machine gun sections providing a base of fire or rotary wing CAS; however, these two are problematic come reflection time.

  16. What’s with this sudden scaling large jpegs in your posts rather than resizing them, Reason? Do you think your readers are made of data minutes? I mean, I am, but others?

  17. but later told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that she did not know a platoon of up to 32 officers would be deployed to search the house, or that they’d throw flash bang grenades through the windows in addition to knocking down doors.

    Clearly, she doesn’t read Reason.

    1. Not many people do read this rag.

      Half the commentariat doesn’t.

      1. I’m only here to abuse trolls.

        1. What’s with all these close-minded assholes that can’t bear to look at someone’s posts without putting on the filters? I’m here to have fun with Trump baggies like you.

          1. I don’t know what a “Trump baggie” is (it sounds like what i use to pick up after my dog on walks), but if your idea of fun is having it repeatedly explained to you why your retarded comments are retarded, then good luck with the rest of your short, pointless life.

          2. am suck-

            Yup. I’m just here to laugh at people like you.

            “Commies” are socialists who liked the whole “Workers of the World” thingie. See also IWW.

            “Fascists” said fuck that stupid shit, and added “Nationality” to their “Socialism”.

            You define yourself by a “nationality” and “Socialism”…

            Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

        2. I come for the Groovy commenters.

      2. In the commentariat’s defense, the area below the fold is occasionally often occasionally more informative.

  18. Reasoner

    Is this canon now?

    1. Reasoner, Reasonoid, Reasonerd. Also Hitter & Runner, or the more annoying Hitandrunner.

      Baseball purists know the play is really the run & hit.

      AmSoc & Tony are reasonistas, I guess.

      Kevin R

      1. Baseball purists know the play is really the run & hit.

        +1 base…

  19. the types of militarized actions used in this case seem to be a matter of customary business practice, which she found troubling.

    So I bet she’ll never again sign off on legalizing armed home invasion in violation of the fourth amendment.

    Don’t you agree? Hello?
    Fine.

  20. “My question to her is: Are you going to attend the dead cop’s funeral?”

    I’ll go. I’ll be the one with blowing the clown kazoo drinking Prosecco and belly laughing at the pain of the widow and children.

    Too dark?

  21. Does this ruling mean the question of military-style no-knock raids will be pushed up to the SCOTUS?

    I mean, if the judge says the *practice* is unconstitutional, and not just this particular instance… wouldn’t that put lawyers in a position all over the country to get anything gained from these types of raids thrown out of court as inadmissable? and that no one can prosecute cases using these sorts of practices until they get a higher-court to make a call?

    Or am i completely misreading this?

    1. I was wondering the same thing. If a low-level judge can wave his wand and declare the use of a no-knock raid “unconstitutional” based on the results– it sounds like this could percolate upwards (and outwards).

    2. In this one jurisdiction. This isn’t controlling anywhere else.

  22. Franklin’s argument is essentially that without the use of such violent and destructive tactics, officers’ lives would be at risk.

    I am unmoved by that argument, since we don’t conscript people to be policemen in this country. I accept that serving a warrant is potentially hazardous, but the officers volunteered for the job and (supposedly) received special training for it and are provided with weapons and body armor all at taxpayers’ expense. The hazard does not justify the extreme measures that departments are taking nowadays.

    1. Not to mention the fact that the danger is multiplied by skulking around in tactical gear, smashing doors down without warning in the middle of the night.

      These tactics should only be used in credible instances of imminent harm or death to an innocent party. Anything short of that is an overreaction and puts everybody at risk.

    2. Not to mention that in many municipalities, they have negotiated accelerated retirement, holiday, overtime, and other benefit accrual because of the supposed risk of their jobs. Although, as we have covered here, it is way more dangerous to work for the municipal garbage or electrical company.

  23. Anybody who has both a registered firearm and a medical marijuana card is just begging for trouble.

  24. If the judge wasnt aware of these tactics, she is incompetent. But I repeat myself

  25. No SWAT TEAM DEA asslicker wannabes – I will NOT hold my nose and waste my vote on your candidate Hillary Clinton, hard core supporter of the racist and un Constitutional war on drugs.

  26. “My question to her is: Are you going to attend the dead cop’s funeral?”

    Jesus Christ.

    For shame.

  27. RE: Pre-Dawn No-Knock SWAT Raid for Minor Drug Charge Ruled Unconstitutional
    2015 militarized raid resulted in “fifth-degree drug possession.” That’s the lowest drug charge possible.

    Now don’t any of your fret none.
    Heil Hitlary or Trump the Grump will continue the drug war for all our benefits and wipe their fat asses with the US Constitution at the same time.
    You have to have faith.

  28. “District Judge Tanya Bransford signed off on the no-knock raid, but later told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that she did not know a platoon of up to 32 officers would be deployed to search the house, or that they’d throw flash bang grenades through the windows in addition to knocking down doors.”

    Go fuck yourself with a maglite, Tanya.

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  30. Fortunately nobody was hurt in what could well be described as a Law Enforcement Fiasco, an ending that has not always been the case. One might note that BOTH the judge and the “FUZZ” here involved here need to redo the basic course in Common Sense and Good Judgement, if not a whole lot more. As to what seems to be an unacceptable chain of “wrong house raids”, the offending parties, it seems that the forces of law and order are unacceptably sloppy and careless, the offending parties really need to stand before the bar of justice,being subject to criminal prosecution. Sad to note,such action seems sadly and long overdue. Where will this crap end, and when will it end?

  31. My question to her is: Are you going to attend the dead cop’s funeral?

    Sure, why not?

  32. The Kristallnacht gun laws were enacted to protect the Reich from armed depredations by the more selfish races. What other reaction could the Protection Squadrons possibly have to such an outrage?

  33. Dead cop vs dead citizen vs dead Constitution. Crummy choice.

  34. IMO,almost ALL “no-knock” dynamic entries are unconstitutional,unless it can be shown that there’s an immediate,credible threat to the public,such as a bomb factory or terrorist group inside.

  35. Every drug raid is unconstitutional. In fact the very idea of government having the right to prohibit the possession of private property flies in the face of every principle the constitution was meant to uphold.

  36. Time for grenade netting on all the windows, and steel reinforced doors? How about a federal tax deduction for these “common sense” upgrades to home security? They are only designed to allow the homeowner to survive until the police respond to the 911 call.

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