A happy crowd is a silent crowd.
That meaning, you don’t hear about the times that it goes right and everything is fine. And all that gets recorded and shared is the stuff that goes wrong.
No Knock Warrants are legal because they protect people and officers alike. If they knocked whenever they entered, there would be many more cases of people being held hostage, killed in surprise gun fights, etc.
Of course there are downsides to no known warrants, such as the toddler that was injured by the flashbang, or people who are injured because they don’t understand what’s happening.
But in the majority of cases, no knock warrants are quick, clean and prevent any major damage.
What do police officer think about no-knock warrants?
Generally, when I would apply for a no-knock search warrant, I would have to show that the persons inside were likely armed. Had used firearms in the past in the commission of a crime, or if I had specific intelligence, contraband would likely be destroyed.
I had one no-knock warrant, which was almost a disaster. We were hitting a drug house late at night. Our eight-man raid team quietly exited our van and silently approached the residence. It was a single-story, older home.
As I approached the front door, I was always in the habit of peeking into a window if there was one adjacent to the door. I did this so I would know what we were walking into.
I look into the window and immediately say Abort, Abort. The team froze and then quickly returned to the raid van, and everyone is looking at me like, “What the hell is going on?”
I told them that within a couple of inches just on the other side of the door was an infant sleeping on a blanket on the floor. The infant’s head was almost touching the door. Had we smashed the door in with our steel ram, we probably would have killed that infant child.
We regrouped and hit the side kitchen door. I don’t even recall what we found that night. But I can still picture that infant child lying asleep right next to the door with total clarity. Considering what almost happened gave me chills that night, and when I think about it many years later—it still does.
– James Filippello , Retired Police lieutenant