We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Heller and no-knock raids

So the Supreme Court’s opinion in Heller really has me wondering. Will this have any effect on the practice of so many police departments, especially big city ones with bright shiny SWAT teams, to use middle of the night no-knock raids when a less dramatic approach might have been a better choice? Will it encourage better investigations of exactly who’s home they are breaking into before they begin battering down doors?

I suspect but haven’t checked that most of these raids occur in jurisdictions that do, quite likely to soon be ‘did’, not permit armed self defense in one’s home. I further suspect the unspoken reasoning was too often, ‘Don’t worry about it. If they’re not bad guys, they won’t be armed’.

22 comments to Heller and no-knock raids

  • Alex

    While that may be unspoken reasoning, it would have to sit pretty far in the background, with the more explicit reasoning being: “Since SWAT was called in, they’re almost certainly bad guys are are probably armed.”

    Indeeed, it would seem to me that , should something along the lines of what you suggest be said during a pre-raid briefing, there is likely sufficient cause to wonder whether SWAT should be involved at all.

    You raise an interesting point, however. Will the effect of Heller be to make the ever-increasing use of SWAT raids as a routine tactic more deadly, or will it cause an overdue evaluation, at higher echelons, of the proper use of SWAT?

    I suspect the answer may depend on whom my “more deadly,” above, applies to.

    Cheers…

  • Pa Annoyed

    Why would it? They’re already expecting to get shot at – they don’t join SWAT teams if that possibility bothers them. And they won’t accept any blame for innocent householders getting shot. I doubt ROEs will ever require them not to respond if shot at, and they will just say that this is exactly the sort of thing that will happen if you let people keep guns, and this is why they wanted them banned. It’s the same as when you’re stopped on the street. You can claim all you want that you had reason to think they might not be a real policeman – if you pull out a gun when stopped by a cop, they’ll have no sympathy. None at all.

    But I’ll be interested to see what Sunfish thinks.

  • llamas

    Pa Annoyed wrote:

    ‘But I’ll be interested to see what Sunfish thinks.’

    Me, too.

    There’s far-too-many wrong doors being kicked down, wrong families being terrorised, and (worst of all) officers acting in good faith but on bad information either shooting innocent people or being shot by innocent people.

    And – on the darker side, – there is a very nasty double-standard evolving, where officers who use deadly force against civilians, often innocent civilians, get a free pass from any consequences – as do the commanders who sent them – but civilians who use deadly force against invading officers in the reasonable belief that they were being attacked by armed criminals are invariably aggressively, overwhelmingly prosecuted and savagely over-charged. Apparently the ‘benefit of the doubt’ does not go both ways.

    Google ‘Cory Maye’ for an example, or ‘Ryan Frederick’.

    It’s also instructive to note that almost-all of these tragic cases of warrant services that go horribly-bad generally have absolutely nothing to do with violent crime. All of the violent and tumultuous entry, the kicking down of doors at 3.00 am, the paramilitary uniforms, the flash-bang grenades, the MP5′s – all of this is done in the name of securing evidence. Not to prevent violence or injury, not to apprehend a violent murderer or a serial rapist – but to improve the chances of obtaining a conviction, most-often for a non-violent crime.

    I’m generally pretty pro-police – imagine that, given my background – but this is an area in which I have very-serious reservations about current police practice. I blame a lot of it on the explosion of SWAT and similar highly-dynamic ‘special forces’. Radley Balko tells the story of a police chief who reluctantly decided to form a SWAT team, asked for volunteers, and immediately disqualified everyone who volunteered – the reasoning being that he didn’t want a SWAT team made up of the sort of people who are eager to be on a SWAT team. There’s a deal too much militarization of police in the US, and the excessive problems we see with no-knock and wrong-door raids are just a visible symptom.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Laird

    I agree with llamas 100%.

    The proliferation of SWAT teams across the US is, I think, a function of the flood of money available from the federal government (thanks to the Department of Homeland Security) and the para-military mindset inherent in too many of the people who are attracted to police work in the first place. There is rarely a real need to to use SWAT teams and tactics. The numbers of such teams should be sharply reduced, and their use strictly limited. As it stands now, every backwater police chief wants his own SWAT team, and once he has it he wants to use his new “toy.” It’s bad policy on so many levels.

  • msb

    A few weeks ago in Quebec, Canada, a homeowner was found not guilty of murdering a police office he shot during a no-knock raid. He claimed self-defense as he thought a home invasion was taking place. Now the police are reviewing their policy of such raids.

  • Michiganny

    It will take a while to know Heller‘s effects.

    However, I recently took an NRA gun safety class that covered police entering a home after being called. It was very useful, but here were two howlers from the “NRA Guide to the Basics of Personal Protection in the Home”:

    *If you call the police during a break-in, they may first send in a dog on its own. “This is particularly important if a police dog has entered the house. The dog will attack anyone in the house, whether an intruder or household member. If you are confronted with a police dog, do not move!”

    *If you call the police during a break-in, “When directed to do so, open the door to the safe room and come out slowly with your empty hands in plain sight. Do exactly what the police tell you to do.” Both Chapter 14, p. 137.

    These are unlikely. If an attack dog enters a gun fight, isn’t there a huge chance he’ll get shot? Or attack the wrong person? Is there a PD in America that would actually do this? And who just walks out unarmed while being attacked because someone says, “Hey, this is Ponch and John. Drop those guns!”

    Context is everything. And I cannot foresee a context that would allow for someone defending one’s home to accept these police-induced risks just because it makes for good copy or seems “cop-friendly” to the NRA.

  • Pa Annoyed

    llamas,

    “There’s far-too-many wrong doors being kicked down,…”

    Of course. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the police knew exactly who everybody was and where we all lived before they had to kick any doors in? ;->

    “all of this is done in the name of securing evidence”

    Which I think is the root of the problem. Politicians promise to reduce crime and then ask the police to deliver on their promise. But the advantage is with the organised criminals, who are not stupid and can easily make arrangements to have evidence destroyed and flushed when they hear the police coming. So if you want to catch them, you have to burst in suddenly, and because there are all these guns about, you have to do it with a SWAT team in case someone takes it the wrong way and starts shooting. It’s an arms race in which the state always wants to be one large step ahead.

    The only answer is to stop the politicians promising to reduce crime, by stopping the public treating it as a good thing for them to try to do. Tell the police that you only want them to catch criminals if there’s no risk of inconvenience to innocent people (besides the inconvenience of high crime levels, that is) and that we’d rather they let them all get away with it than have midnight raids.

    “there is a very nasty double-standard evolving,”

    Of course. The way the police see it, they have to face such threats at a far higher frequency than the average member of the public, so they have to have more fire power than anyone they’re likely to face and be more ready to use it in any potential confrontation if they are to survive for long. If the probability of surviving one event is p, then the probability of surviving n times is p raised to the power n, which for large n gets very small very quickly. To have an equal chance of surviving to you, they have to make their p very much higher.

    So the only way it’s going to work out without innocent blood on the street is if the general public do not resist the police. As far as they are concerned, anyone who does is an idiot who deserves whatever they get. Besides anything else, it’s the sort of psychological justification that any human is going to make to themselves in order to avoid becoming a basket case racked by guilt.

    I’m not arguing that gung-ho police are a good or an inevitable thing; they’re clearly not. But given their usual reaction to traffic cops tasering people who don’t follow their instructions about keeping their hands in sight, for example, and seeing that as an improvement over the alternative of just shooting them that we should all be thankful for, I think (if I understand their thinking right) they will just blame it on the ‘victims of gun culture’. In fact, if they see it as an extra risk that lowers their survival probability p per incident, they will more likely demand more fire power and a more imbalanced double standard to compensate.

    But I somehow doubt that was the effect Mid was thinking of when he asked the question.

  • Pa Annoyed

    Mich,

    I assume they send the dog in before it becomes a gun fight. Shooting the dog will almost certainly start one.

    And yes, the police have a certain warning they have to shout before they’re allowed to start shooting, and yes, criminals could just as easily shout the same thing. But if you don’t want the police to shoot you, that’s what you’re expected to do. Sucks, doesn’t it?

  • Michiganny

    PA states, “But if you don’t want the police to shoot you, that’s what you’re expected to do.”

    Actually, it is not about me. What it is about is this: If someone takes the NRA class I did and disagrees that the life of a policeman is much more precious than one’s own or that of a family member, they’ll do what others have done: Become prepared to handle it all by oneself.

    Having said all that, I have absolutely no expectation I will be in such a situation. Frankly, in the US, the best defense against robbers is to live somewhere nice. And I do.

    And there is more equality in this than the LE advocates admit: My life is important to me. I don’t much care what the NRA or the county mounties say about it being less important than others because some deputy has a brown uniform and maybe 60 credits from a glorified trade school.

    And PA’s quote works both ways. Especially with Heller.

  • michaelv

    In the case of a homeowner who is armed calling 911, he most certainly should state to the 911 operator “… and, warn the responding police that I am legally armed before they enter my house”.

    Doesn’t address the issue of spontaneous no-knock raids, unfortunately, but it certainly addresses the issue where you ask them to come busting in because there’s a potential bad guy in the house.

  • Flash Gordon

    The Founders, who viewed a standing army in peacetime to be menace to liberty, would be horrified and virulently opposed to modern SWAT. If it were limited to hostage rescue and never allowed on drug raids SWAT might be tolerable. No mercy for drug lords, but deadly mistakes are too common.

  • Regarding your point about whether Heller, and the increased prevalence of guns that it might imply, will cause police to rethink no-knock raids, the chances of this are zero. Washington State may have a reputation for progressive thinking, but we already have very gun-friendly laws, and concealed-carry permits are common and easy to get. And our cops stage stupid and poorly-planned no-knock raids just like cops in less gun-friendly places. This one happened in my city, and it’s nowhere near as cut and dried as the memorial page makes it sound.

  • Sunfish

    To be honest, I don’t think Heller will have a great deal of effect on SWAT use (or policing in general[1]) in the near-to-medium term.

    Look at the decision itself: it reaffirmed that the RKBA is an individual right and said that DC’s ordinance violated that right. Scalia, in his majority opinion, made a very big show of saying that we wasn’t touching any other issues[2]. Stevens then made a bigger show of being unable to read English, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Much of the US population lives in areas that do not have laws which will be easily challenged under Heller. Take my own state, for instance. We already have far more permissive gun laws than the average. Denver[4] has its own municpal “assault weapons” ban, which MAY be challenged under the precedent set last week, but I’d want a nice pile of additional precedent going after, say, NYC, Hawaii, Massachusetts, the Daley Crime Family, and New Joisey before going after Denver.

    Meaning: very little will change for most of us. SCOTUS mostly just reaffirmed what most of us already knew. It’s a great big huge good thing, but it’s also not something that it’s not.

    Truth be told, I already work under the assumption that everyone I interact with is armed. Unless there’s some other indicator of criminal activity, I tend to assume that the assumed weapon and its assumed presence are both legal, but I also maintain the caution that I think everyone should when in contact with an armed stranger.

    Lots of stuff to reply to in this thread. I’m not done yet.

    [1] In most of the US, a right to keep weapons and to use them for personal protection is not controversial. For gun-rights advocates, a case against DC or Chicago[3] was the low-hanging fruit.

    [2] Justice Scalia very explicitly said that he was NOT ruling on “prohibited persons” laws, nor on “time, place, and manner” restrictions, nor on licensing. If I had to predict, I’d guess that licensing may or may not survive depending on the case brought, but that some form of ‘prohibited persons” law would, and that local jurisdictions would retain a little power over “time, place, and manner,” just as they do in freedom of speech matters.

    [3] Chicago, not being a Federal enclave, would have also required a ruling on how RKBA interacts with the 14th Amendment. In a case like this, the fewer complications, the better. IIRC, there’s already a 1886 case where the USSC ruled that, at the time, the 14th did not prevent a state from enacting some gun law or another.

    [4] Under our state preemption law, all cities/counties other than Denver are prevented from enacting gun bans and all cities/counties including Denver are prevented from enacting restrictions on concealed carry beyond those contained in state law. For historical reasons, Denver has a special legal status that lets it do things that no other city could get away with.

  • Sunfish

    Pa Annoyed:

    It’s nice to be able to give verbal commands before shooting. We train to do that, when the situation at hand permits. It doesn’t always permit. If you have three seconds to give someone time to drop a weapon before decision time, then commands are good. If you don’t have the time, then (at least in my state) neither police officer nor private citizen is expected to place himself or others in additional danger in order to give commands or warnings.

    Michiganny:

    I’m not a dog handler. I mean, I handle a Golden Retriever on a daily basis but she’s far too lazy and spoiled to be a police working dog. I’m not familiar with dogs being used on building searches, as that’s not something that we do much of: there just never seems to be a dog available when we need one.

    However, I’m not sure I buy a dog being sent in all alone. I’m not going to get into too much detail, but that is a bit of a howler.

    WHAT I WOULD DO, if I were Joe Somebody with a gun who heard someone breaking into my home:

    Gather the family into one room. A window is good. A solid-core door with a good lock is better.

    Call 911. Give location and the fact that someone may have broken in. Answer any other questions the calltaker asks. Tell the calltaker[1] that I’m in that room along with the other people who actually belong in that house. If you’re armed, make damn sure that you give your own physical description. Then, get the badge number (sometimes called a star number or shield number or ID number) or radio call sign of the responding officer..

    When the cops come in, they may order you out of the room after clearing the house. If they do, ask them for the ID number that you asked the calltaker for. That’s the easy way to make sure that it’s not the intruder pretending. Strong suggestion: don’t have a weapon in your hand when you come out of that room. That’s why I tell you to ask for that number.

    If they’re at all competent, they’ll clear most of the house on the way to your safe room. Unless they’re incredibly foolish, they will NOT have you in the house when they finish clearing.

    [1] In most places, the person who answers the phone will not be on the radio. They pass notes back and forth, or do the electronic version of it. If the call is in-progress and is for something violent or with the potential to turn violent, in most places this separation allows the call-taker to stay on the line with the caller all the way up until contact. Some places can’t do that because of staffing limitations, however.

  • Sunfish

    On “militarization” of police:

    I’ve seen three specific complaints.

    1) “They have scary military weapons.”

    There’s very little new about police having access to rifles. Even Sheriff Andy of Mayberry had a wall full of them. And I don’t know how “military” mine is: actually, the only thing that I got that the average member of the public didn’t was a tax write-off for a work expense. That’s pretty common. (That the rifle in the trunk of the squad is no different from the one that Joe Public bought at Sportsman’s Warehouse, that is)

    2) “They have search powers that they didn’t used to.”

    Maybe. The laws, as actually written, have evolved over the years. As for what’s actually happened: I’m a product of the last decade or so, and so there’s a little bit of hearsay here, but I’ve worked with some of the old-fashioned “street monsters.”

    Once upon a time, completely-illegal searches and completely-unjustifiable uses of force were common performed on minorities and people too poor to be interesting to the press. And they were searched by cops with revolvers and ties and 8-point hats. The real change isn’t some vague-but-scary new powers from the War On (insert vague electoral talking point here).

    The real change is that middle class rural/suburban white people[1] are less likely to get a pass based upon that than they were before. And when they complain it becomes a big deal. Nobody (important) cares when we show up in a trailer park, but it’s a military invasion if I arrest some guy for whomping on his wife in some red brick/white trim/neat lawn 2000-sq ft split-level.

    3) “They have military uniforms.”

    Four years of college, nine months of full-time (avg. 60 hours/week including homework) training, a hiring process of three interviews, a psych test, a polygraph, a physical fitness test, and a background investigation that included interviews with high-school classmates three states away, spread over six months, followed by more CE hours each year than your family physician, in order to have the Cato Institute whine about my pants.

    Is that the best they have left?

    [1] speaking as one myself

  • llamas

    Thanks, Sunfish, those are all good points.

    My concerns about para-militarization of police on the US do not revolve about issues so trivial (to me) as your rifle or your pants. Just to drive the point home, following the standoff at Ford’s Wixom assembly plant in November 1996, I spoke up for much-wider issue of high-capacity semi-auto rifles – had one of these been available to the first-responding officers at that scene, good officers would not have had to go up against a lunatic with an AR15 with nothing more than their service pistols. And the citizens would have been spared having to run the gauntlet of .223 slugs zipping across all travel lanes of I96.

    My concerns are about attitude, not equipment. And a lot of my concerns are expressed (among other things) in the growing number of issues we see with warrant service, often for non-violent crimes, often where there is no verifiable or credible threat of violence.

    We are seeing more and more cases of overwhelming, disproportionate force being used to serve a warrant which yields only the most trivial results – two roaches and a warrant for outstanding traffic tickets. If that. Or which end up at the wrong house.

    In many of those cases, the trivial law-enforcement result was obtained at the cost of extensive property damage, much of it unconnected to the actual result and much of which appears to be purely gratuitous. There’s a reason that the term ‘puppycide’ has been coined.

    That would be bad enough. But in more and more of these cases, the connection between the level of violence involved and the level of care taken in planning for it seems to have been lost.

    In this day and age of Google Earth, Mapquest and Garmin, there is less and less excuse (in my mind) for storming the wrong house. If you don’t know enough to positively identify the structure in question, you don’t know enough to send 20 heavily-armed men to storm it.

    Too often, these highly-volatile assaults to secure evidence of non-violent crimes end in tragedy, and someone gets shot over something that started out as being over a baggie of weed or some balls of tar. Or – as at Waco, for example – a violent assault is seen as being a suitable and justifiable approach to a problem which (as the local sheriff later described) might well have been resolved with a phone call. That is an extreme example, of course, but I can’t help but think that an awful lot of the cases we read about that ended in tragedy might well have been resolved if a less-extreme approach had been tried first. The problem when you have a SWAT team seems to be finding things for it to do. And the doctrine of ‘overwhelming force’ comes straight from every handbook of warfighting art that has ever been written, from Sun Tzu on down. It’s a great doctrine – for fighting a war. For policing a civilian population in a free society – not so much, perhaps.

    Bear in mind that I’m not talking about response to a 911 call, where the situation may be highly-fluid and knowledge incomplete – I’m talking about warrant service, which is planned in advance.

    To the wider point of attitude, I get very uncomfortable when I look at a certain proportion of today’s uniformed officers – the high-and-tight haircuts, the bloused boots, the ‘raid gloves’, the Foster-Grants, the clipped paramilitary jargon, the plethora of ‘tactical’ equipment (yes, I get those catalogues, too – who knew you could buy and wear ‘tactical’ underwear?) – all of the cr*p that is deliberately cultivated to make them look like a unit of the military – which is unsurrprising since many were actively recruited from the service. I don’t know whether this is deliberately done to alienate the public and make them fearful/distrustful of the police – but that’s the effect it’s having.

    When the average, middle-class, more-or-less-law-abiding working stiff sees these sorts of things – wrong door kicked down, house trashed, innocent person shot dead, officer shot dead, innocent civilain charged with first-degree murder after understandeable mistake, officer exonerated after identical understandeable mistake, and all this over a baggie of weed – it causes him to have pause. And then he sees the local chief or sheriff on the TV, with Patton’s gold stars on his collar, medal ribbons on his uniform, justifying all this mayhem in the name of a ‘war on crime/drugs/whatever’ and blowing off the death and destruction as unavoidable collateral damage – it makes him wonder just what war is being fought, and against who.

    I know a lot of coppers, and I’m generally strongly pro-police. But even I now realize that I do not automatically trust anyone just because he/she’s a copper, and I pick the coppers that I socialize with with care. There’s far too many out there (for my liking) who live in a world of ‘us vs them’, who do not share my views about the proper way to police a civilian society and who – to be brutally frank – enjoy their work far too much.

    I’ve been on the outside of this for going-on 20 years now. Maybe I have it all wrong. It’s just my opinion. No offence meant.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Laird

    There have been some truly excellent, thoughtful (and thought-provoking) posts in this thread. I especially appreciate Sunfish’s knowledgable comments; clearly, he is one of the “good guys”. But I think his flip response to the objection “they have military uniforms” is very wide of the mark.

    The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that the wearing of military-style uniforms by police is the crux of the problem. Extensive training notwithstanding, the police are not the military. They are civilians, and are supposed to be a part of the community they serve. You may consider “Andy of Mayberry” a joke (and he certainly was from a far simpler time), but that cliche contains the germ of an important truth. A police force which considers itself apart from the community has ceased to be a police force and become instead an occupying army. And I would no more expect them to respect the citizenry than I would the members of such an army.

    The police need to wear uniforms, but only for the reason that UPS drivers and postal workers do: as identification. Those uniforms should have none of the trappings of the military: no ribbons or medals, understated rank insignia, no calf-high patent leather boots. And no police officers should ever be permitted to wear masks or hoods to conceal their faces (as SWAT teams apparently do). Any police officer who thinks of himself in military terms should be off the force very quickly.

    In my opinion llamas has it exactly right.

  • Paul Marks

    “No mercy for the drug lords”.

    I wonder what the Founders would have made of that -”so someone who sells opiates is to be killed – errrr……”

    Of course there were people who thought like this in the late 18th century and early 19th century – Chinese Emperors and their followers.

    They tried to maintain the government monopoly by showing “no mercy” to whole towns of Chinese people where they suspected that there was private trading in opium going on. Sometimes ten thousand people were executed at one time – in “no mercy” punitive raids.

    A stop was not put to such activities by the Chinese government till the 1840s – by a war that is often talked of by our Progressive “education system” and by literature and the media. They talk much and understand little.

    By the way (as we are talking of the Constitution of the United States) on what Amendment is this “war on drugs” based?

    The war on booze was based on the 18th Amendment (negated by 21st Amendment).

    What is the number of the war on drugs Amendment?

  • Midwesterner

    Paul, my best guess is that it is ‘based’ on the preface to the Constitution. Which as any ‘living document’ person knows is the entire meaningful text of the Constitution. The rest was just suggestions for a starting place. /sarc

    We the People of the United States, in Order to [. . .], insure domestic Tranquility, [. . .], promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    I can’t imagine anything else the founders wrote that they intended could be used to outlaw drugs at the federal level, can you? I may be overlooking something important but nothing comes to mind. A case can be made they might have permitted that power to the states but even that is on pretty vague grounds I think. Although the Slaughterhouse cases could be construed to allow states to ‘manage’ the drug trade, I suppose. That’s a precedent that needs to be SC’d and I don’t mean ‘Supreme Courted’. Although I guess it would take the latter to do the former.

  • llamas

    How little due-diligence will some police departments do when it comes to no-knock raids?

    Well, apparently, if you’re being ‘effective’ in the War on Drugs, you don’t even need a warrant to break down people’s doors and hold them at gunpoint. Hell, you don’t even need to actually be a police officer at all!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/us/01imposter.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5070&en=1c96a74ea3cc74c6&ex=1215489600&emc=eta1&adxnnlx=1214924782-I1gNhP0uZsXkuW3i5sItjw

    Just an isolated incident . . an honest mistake, anyone could have made it . . . no reason to review our procedures . . move along, nothing to see here . . .

    llater,

    llamas

  • Sunfish

    The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that the wearing of military-style uniforms by police is the crux of the problem.

    Define “military-style.” I frankly don’t see a whole lot of relevance, but then I’m also not sure what you mean when you string those two words together.

    You may consider “Andy of Mayberry” a joke (and he certainly was from a far simpler time), but that cliche contains the germ of an important truth.

    He was also FICTION.

    He did not have disturbed people on buses take his gun and shoot him. He did not pull over speeders and have them back over him. He did not spend his holidays mediating pork-chop domestics and being assaulted by the victim.

    Whatever world is contained in that show has not existed in anywhere that I’ve been in the three decades and change that I’ve been there. It’s a nice thought that there was a better and simpler time. Maybe it’s even true. If so, those times are gone, at least from the four states where I’ve lived for most of my life.

    Blaming police for being heavy-handed and offering as proof, that they have scary clothes and haircuts, will not bring back that sort of world.

    Those uniforms should have none of the trappings of the military: no ribbons or medals, understated rank insignia, no calf-high patent leather boots. And no police officers should ever be permitted to wear masks or hoods to conceal their faces (as SWAT teams apparently do).

    The military thing was Peel’s idea. Take it up with him.

    Calf-high boots are rare and only trotted out in special cases: horseback and motorcycle duty. Most of the rest of us wear what are closer to hiking boots than anything else.

    And thank you for sticking the word “apparently” in the thing about face coverings. What that is, is where an undercover officer[1] performs some part of an investigation that leads to a search warrant, he will often be brought along. After all, if he knows which house needs to be searched then we wouldn’t want to take a risk of kicking in the wrong door, now would we? However, there’s that word “undercover.” Having him identified would end his usefulness in that role.

    The rest of the team will often wear protective equipment to keep their faces from being carved up by flying glass or whatever, but that has nothing to do with concealing identity.

    [1] NOT an informant, who is highly unlikely to be allowed to come along on a raid at all

  • Sunfish

    Llamas said:

    Just an isolated incident . . an honest mistake, anyone could have made it . . . no reason to review our procedures . . move along, nothing to see here . . .

    The link that Llamas posted said:

    Mr. Jakob, 36, is now the subject of a criminal investigation by federal authorities, and is likely to face charges related to impersonating a law enforcement officer, his lawyer said.

    The strange adventures of Sergeant Bill have led to the firing of three of the town’s five police officers, left the outcome of a string of drug arrests in doubt, prompted multimillion-dollar federal civil rights lawsuits by at least 17 plaintiffs and stirred up a political battle, including a petition seeking the impeachment of Mr. Schulte, over who is to blame for the mess.

    That’s one hell of an episode of “..no reason to review our procedures…nothing to see here…”

    Bearing in mind that it’s illegal to execute people merely for felony stupid, what would you have them do? The impersonator will likely be charged and the idiots who were asleep at the switch have mostly been fired by now.

    Now you’re going for cheap points and you know better than that.