No-Knock Police Raid Scores Hole-in-One

Posted on February 14, 2011


Author, Stan Moody:

No Prison Reform or Court Reform until Police State is Brought Under Control:

A February 14, 2011 article in USA TODAY raises the specter of a police state becoming less concerned with protecting the public and more with protecting police officers. Long gone by way of the Patriot Act is the rock-solid American tradition, “A man’s home is his castle.”

It seems that at 9:30 pm, on September 16, 2010, a police unit in South Weber, Utah, broke into a home occupied by 45-year old Todd Blair, shouting “Police! Search Warrant!” In fact, having secured a no-knock warrant issued on allegations that Blair or his roommate were selling meth and heroin from Blair’s home, police were not required to have the paper warrant in their possession.

Blair, apparently in the basement, rushed up the stairs with a golf club in hand. Three shots were fired; Blair fell dead to the floor – a “hole-in-one.” Police found a cash stash of $4 in his pocket, a half ounce of marijuana and an empty vial that had once contained meth.

According to family members, Blair was an addict but not a drug dealer. He had recently paid for a friend’s transportation to Maine to get her out of the drug environment there in Utah.

The officer who shot Blair was cleared on October 20.

The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution reads,

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.

It is patently easy to dig inside our bulging prisons for evidence of human rights violations. It is equally easy to point to callous prosecutions by overbooked local criminal justice systems and their agents, public defenders of the poor. Until we as a nation address the core issues of the ethos of militarism that has consumed our society, however, prison reform and court reform efforts are mere nibbling around the edges of cultural rot.

No-Knock Police Raids Rise 3000 Percent in 20 Years:

This case is but a snapshot of what is happening all across America. The USA TODAY report indicates that in the past 20 years, no-knock police raids have grown from 2,000 – 3,000 a year to 70,000 – 80,000 a year, a growth of 3,000 per cent.

In a nation with 130 Million households, the likelihood of a no-knock police raid, then, is 1 a year for every 1,800 households. There being approximately 2.3 persons in every household, the risks to a citizen of the United States being shot at by police with a no-knock warrant approaches 1 a year for every 800 people, no-knock police raids likely being conducted in the dark of night. That is 6 times higher than the risk of a police officer being killed in the line of duty.

In the interest of protecting the public, therefore, the odds of being shot at by a police officer raiding your home with a no-knock warrant are 1 in 800, while the odds of that same police officer being killed in the line of duty are 1 in 4,800!

Rural Towns like Manchester, ME:

In my little Town of Manchester, Maine, where there is no municipal police force, we can expect one no-knock police raid every 2 years. Thus, the risk of a Manchester citizen being shot at by a police officer averages 1 per year from no-knock raids alone. God only knows the odds of being shot at for other reasons, such as a mentally-challenged person wielding a garden hose or a wooden sword.

The rationale for invading the sacred territory of a person’s home unannounced is the belief that the element of surprise would help police avoid danger or keep people from flushing drugs down the toilet. The questions of why police do not use tasers or rubber bullets or why it is critical to break into someone’s home in the middle of the night go unanswered.

The larger question of why judges would issue such blanket prescriptions of violence and invasion of privacy conjures pictures of texting from the 14th fairway.

Whenever this happens – and it happens all too often – terrified white suburbanites, who dominate the blogs, breathe a collective sigh of relief that their neighborhoods have been cleansed of a “nest” of sex offenders or potheads, oblivious that at the rate we are going, it may not be long before the target is an alleged extremist with too many guns in the house.

There will be no prison reform and no court reform until we, the public, crawl out from under an increasingly-terrified police state, our heritage from 9/11.