This happened some time ago. But the Washington Post has a very detailed story on what happened. If you like dogs bring lots of tissues to soak up some of the tears.
After all the emotion (I’m not saying this is a bad thing) is filtered out here are the nuggets I found interesting:
After the detective left, Cheye studied the document. There was nothing anywhere to indicate that Scarlata had asked the judge who signed it for permission to break his door down for a no-knock search. He hadn’t presented the judge with evidence that anyone in the household was armed and dangerous. He’d basically said that police had intercepted a box of drugs addressed to Trinity, delivered the box and watched as it was taken inside.
Americans have defended their right to privacy and the sanctity of their homes since Revolutionaries denounced British soldiers entering homes and businesses with impunity to search for contraband rum and tea and generate taxes for the British Crown. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable government searches and seizures. But civil libertarians argue that this constitutional protection has been seriously eroded in recent decades, largely as an unintended consequence of the nation’s war on drugs.
He’s read the court’s decision in one 2006 case, Hudson v. Michigan, more than once. In Hudson, the court found that even when police make a clearly illegal no-knock raid, the evidence they seize can still be used against a defendant at trial.
“In other words, police can do what they did to us with impunity” Cheye concluded. “There are no consequences, not for them.”
Thanks to reader Chet for the email pointing to this. He also asks:
Question to ponder: What is the proper defense against this sort of thing (other than getting rid of the war on drugs and the swat teams)?
I expect that if you grab a gun, you will likely be shot by overwhelming force. And you will be presumed guilty especially if they find cash, ammo, or other weapons on your property.
The gun trainers I know give the advice to say nothing, physically cooperate, and ease your anger thinking about what you are going to do with all the money you get from the lawsuit.
There are some people being pro-active by setting up sting operations where they have a house set up with lots of cameras and then turn on lots of lights to generate a abnormally high electric bill. When the cops show up with flash-bangs and guns blazing the cameras are rolling and they find nothing but public humiliation and a lawsuit waiting for them. The only thing I would add to that is that I would make sure the video was streaming to servers in other states and, where jurisdictions allowed it, I might be inclined to add a few of those “bad-guy” paper targets and some flash-bangs of my own to the mix.