End No Knock Warrants in Georgia
I Will Legislate to End No Knock Warrants
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No knock warrants strip the resident of their second and forth amendment rights. The assumption on the part of the government is that it is the only party that is allowed to possess or use a firearm at the moment of police entry. The right to keep and bear arms is no more sacred than when applied for our self-protection in our homes. The resident’s right to protect themselves in their home is clearly established by the second and fourth amendment. But no-knock warrants negate both of these established rights.
African Americans at Greatest Danger
No knock warrants put the police officers and residents in deadly peril. Governments’ response to that peril is to enter with overwhelming deadly force resulting in the maiming and killing of the “innocent until proven guilty” subject of the warrant. Also at risk are unarmed residents and even children occupying the residence under warrant.
The targets of no-knock warrants often live in more transient neighborhoods and have a higher minority population than more established owner-occupied neighborhoods. The chances of the authorities mistakenly believing that their subject lives at a particular home is compounded by outdated information and poorly marked addresses. Add that those with criminal intent may not provide a good address to the authorities in previous encounters.
The no knock warrant deprives the resident of the ability to be served, to ascertain that the warrant is legitimate, if it even exists, or if the invasion is even by the police department. The police may announce that they are the police but there is nothing preventing criminal home invaders from using the same tactic to break in and have advantage over the victims. There have been multiple incidents of criminals using this very tactic to gain entry and even shoot and kill victims who fear that they will be shot by police if they attempt to protect themselves. The continuation of the no knock warrant encourages criminals to announce as police while breaking in. It is doubtful that many criminal home invaders are deterred by the possibility of being prosecuted for impersonating a police officer.
The most common defense of no-knock warrants is the possibility and probability that whatever evidence is being sought would be flushed down a toilet. If that is a serious concern the police could simply have the water supply interrupted a few hours prior to the warrant service. Clearly not full proof but again what volume of contraband are we talking about for justification of lethal force.
Our privacy is an integral part of our liberty and should only be given second place to the first right of life. No knock warrants are a symptom of expansive government. Those who want ever larger and more powerful government fail to understand that big government requires aggressive policing to carry out its many mandates.
Law enforcement needs to pick its battles and the no knock warrant is a battle that’s not worth fighting; first because it deprives all of us of liberty, and second because it damages the relationships in the communities they serve.