What would you do?
On the Denver news last night, they spoke about a case where a person in uniform knocked on the door, said he had a search warrant and the older gentleman opened the door and was assaulted and robbed.
What would you do? If it were a real officer and you didn't open the door, they would (?) kick the door in. The problem is, if it was a "bad guy", he'd kick the door in, as well. So, let's say you're armed and there is someone in uniform standing in the open doorway with a firearm. You don't know if he's legit, or not. The "brain surgeon" newscaster said you should call 911 and ask. Yeah great, but the guy, good or bad, just kicked the door in so there's no time.
Sometimes, law enforcement has a "no knock" and blasts into the wrong house. (I think it was Denver where they got the wrong house and killed a guy lying in bed holding a can of pop.) If they're for real and you put your hands up, you might be OK. If they're bogus and you put your hands up, you're in trouble.
What would you do under these circumstances? There's no easy answer that I can see.
There have been numerous threads about these scenarios lately. You might want to search about no knock etc.
If the police show up at my door with a warrant, something is definately wrong with their info. I would be on the phone and in conversation with the officers outside. Leo's will have to speak to this, but my guess is warrants are not served with a single officer, so this one sounds kinda funny to begin with. The uniformed person would probably not make it past the front door.
A "no-knock" won't be served by a single officer.
Bad situation to start with. If you are like most of us we have nothing to be worried about the police coming in and busting down my door. I also have a glass door that I can open the main door and still have one more barrier between me and the officer/robber. I would certainly ask for ID and a search warrant if this was meet then I would proceed to move forward.
PS. My door is not knocked on in the middle of the night and if it is my 1911 is in hand either under a coat or a magazine.
I did a search and came up with 154 threads that contained "knock" but, after looking at 4 pages didn't come up with anything specific to this topic so I took the "lazy" way out:smile:
Originally Posted by farronwolf
I imagine the older gentleman was a bit flustered and didn't give this a thought. Also, I believe the newscaster said there were two others with the bad buy but I wasn't clear on whether they were "in view" of the victim, or not.
Originally Posted by Randy
Do you have the right to read the warrant before the officers may enter? not a no knock type, but like a paperwork search warrant...
I would think it should be pretty clear when officers serve a warrant. There ought to be a couple of them (at least) and police cars parked in the street, warrant documents, clip boards...if the situation doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
Originally Posted by nutz4utwo
You can read about this particular home invasion here: http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=84762
There were three men.
The article also contains tips on how to make sure it's really the police.
- Ask them if you can call their dispatch center or headquarters to confirm before you let them in.
- If you are uncertain if the person is a police officer, respectfully ask them to call for a uniformed officer.
- Ask to see not just a badge, but a photo ID card and a commission card (NEVER take a business card as ID). Real officers will not mind this.
- Ask them what they need to see you about.
- Be polite but firm; if you suspect something is not right, call 911 immediately.
(re: Can you view the search warrant.)
Originally Posted by SIXTO
I believe this is untrue. In all 50 states you have the right to view the warrant before a search is started.
However, in the case above, it sounds like the "we have a warrant" was just a way to get the guy to open the door, then it became your typical home invasion.
On a "No Knock" They are inside before anything is said, other shouting Police as they tear your door down.
Too many variables. I'd have to play it as the scenario unfolded.
+1. If I had my door kicked in and man/men barading into my house, I'd definitely initially have my firearm/flashlight in my hand immediately,...but how it pans out is a different story.
Originally Posted by walvord
In a legitimate warrant, I seriously doubt that an officer is going to stand and wait for you to "stall him" while you confirm. Likewise a home invasion is not going to let you confirm either.
In a situation where you honestly have nothing to worry about, but some DS at the station transposed a number on the warrant, the officer is going to be worried of the evidence that is not in your house, but across the street, is being disposed of. That and who is to say that officer # 2+ has not gone around back to cover the back door, and then there is the seemingly unmarked police car/detectives car out front (the beat up Honda civic is a dead giveaway, but a Malibu or a Caprice is dicey).
Hard call and I really would rather not go through it.
They actually have to let you read the warrant. You should do the following:
Originally Posted by Sticks
- Make sure it's signed by a judge.
- See what the scope of the warrant is.
- Make sure they have the right address.
- Check the date. Warrants expire!
- Don't help them search! (duh!) You can passively resist by not HELPING, but you can't actively resist by blocking them.
- If they ask you after serving the warrant to do something like open a safe make sure it's on the warrant. If not, make them get another warrant.
- Check ID's of the officers.
If they refuse to let you view the warrant, call 911 and then your attorney. If the warrant doesn't meet the criteria above, tell them, "I do not consent to your search." They may end up searching anyway.
ALL of this goes out the window with a no-knock warrant. No-Knocks can be done if they suspect that you might try to destroy evidence if there's a "normal" search, or if they believe evidence destruction is going on at that time. They're rare.
One attorney recommends that when the cops are at your door, you open the door, step outside and close the door behind you and take all the above mentioned steps before even opening your door for them to come in. Other attorneys recommend going as far as requesting your attorney is present before the search can commence. A regular plain ole warrant isn't an "urgent thing," if it were they would use the no-knock warrant. However, if they hear a papershredder running in the next room or, say, smell smoke that can automatically expand the scope and urgency of their warrant.
I don't think regular warrants are as scary a thing as I first thought... it's the no-knock warrants that are scary. As one of the nice gents on officer.com put it, if you pull your gun during a no-knock warrant -- not getting killed is going to be a matter of "luck".