Battlepanda: No Knocks and "Knock and announce"


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, December 12, 2005

No Knocks and "Knock and announce"

Just so that I get the details straight, it seems that the raid on Cory Maye's house was a "knock and announce" rather than a no-knock raid. Not that those aren't just as bad. From the Agitator:

Unfortunately, this is a pretty common practice, particularly in jurisdictions where no-knock raids have been outlawed or severely restricted. Police get around it by conducting "knock-and-announce" raids at hours when a normal person would be least likely to hear the announcement.

In 1999, for example, cops in El Monte, California raided the home of 64-year-old Mario Paz. Paz thought he was being invaded, and reached for a gun to defend himself (actually, police first say Paz was holding a gun, then they said he was reaching for a gun, then they said he was reaching for a drawer where a gun was stored). Police shot Paz twice in the back, killing him. They found no drugs in Paz's home.

I bring up the Paz case because of what El Monte assistant police cheif Bill Ankeny told the L.A. Times after the shooting:

"We do bang on the door and make an announcement--'It's the police'--but it kind of runs together. If you're sitting on the couch, it would be difficult to get to the door before they knock it down."

And if you're sleeping, you probably wouldn't hear the announcement at all.

That's the thing about the Cory Maye case. It's an injustice on so many levels. It's a race issue. It's a death penalty issue. It's a class and legal representation issue. A drugs issue. And last and not least, it is a civil rights issue.

By the way, the Agitator now have a lot of the primary documents up in PDF form. I can't seem to access them properly for some reason though. I don't know if the problem is on my end.