Here is my take: Don’t abuse the no-knock warrants and get off the SWAT tactics. Get a damn warrant, clearly identify yourself, and do it the right way – even if that is inconvenient or means some criminals may have time to resist. Ever heard of the John Bad Elk case?
Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right. What may be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.
The Jose Guerea case was just the tip of the iceberg. It’s estimated that we have gone from 3,000 no-knocks in the 80’s to over 50,000 a year now. Has our population increased that much? No. Are there that many more of us who are criminals? No.
The increase stems from the drastic militarization of local law enforcement. It’s getting out of control, and of course there are the financial reasons. If the feds make the locals more dependent on them for resources, we are a few steps closer to actually becoming a police state. The only thing that stands between us law-abiding citizens and that cliff is the 2nd Amendment.
The police, who are supposed to maintain the peace, “are the citizens, and the citizens are the police,” according to Chief Walter A. McNeil of Quincy, Fla., the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, citing the words of Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern-day policing.
As the NY Times published recently, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared “I have my own army in the N.Y.P.D.” According to Timothy Lynch, director of the criminal justice project at the Cato Institute, it’s the “militaristic mind-set” that is more disturbing and how they deal with the public.
I couldn’t agree more.
The vast majority of cops that I know (some of them my friends) have an attitude that they are “special citizens.” No, they are not. They are paid to do a job that they chose to do. While I appreciate the job that police officers do (for the most part) and while I completely understand the type of people that cops typically encounter, this does not mean you have any more rights or privileges than the rest of us. Sure, you may have arrest powers and you may be granted certain leeway with respect to normal laws, that’s where it ends.
In short, let me publicly state my policy in regards to no knock warrant executions: IF you attempt to storm my home unannounced and with overwhelming force in a militaristic fashion, then expect the consequences when I get to my firearms. In the end, you may win by sheer force of numbers, but there will be a couple who don’t succeed. Take the chance, but don’t consider yourself a hero.