CMRJ 101 APUS Unnecessary Dangers Associated with No Knock Warrant Essay

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CMRJ 101

American Public University System



Topic: No Knock Warrants

Discuss the constitutionality of no-knock warrants and the history of how they came to be apart of common police practice. Explore how they unnecessarily increase the threat of danger for both civilian and officer, and finally how no-knock warrants often create a circumstance where officers escalate the situation instead of deescalating-which is a primary tool and goal of policing.

*The paper should be 8-10 pages excluding the title and reference page. Students will be required to use a minimum of 5 peer reviewed, scholarly sources (3 must come from the APUS Library).

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Explanation & Answer

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In theory and practice, the most contentious issue is the search and seizure law detailed in
the Fourth Amendment. The Amendment states law enforcers should identify themselves before
entering a property, inform the occupants of the property that they demand to access the
residence, and detail the authority they have to enter. The officers shall also give the occupants a
reasonable amount of time to allow them to enter the property before forcing their entry to search
or arrest if the occupants fail to oblige (Boswell, 2016). Therefore even if the officers have a
search warrant that justifies their entry into a residence, they need to follow the principles
outlined before intruding. Multiple states enacted this rule. These statues represented a common
rule derived from Semayne's Case in 1603. Hence, employing the knock-and-announce rule was
necessary for officers' and citizens' security since fearful homeowners may mistake them for
burglars. Similarly, the rule also intended to protect a person's right to privacy, provide a chance
for the occupant to comply with the authority, and also avoid unnecessary destruction of property
(Dolan, 2019)
However, through the years, the knock-and-announce law principle underwent various
adjustments allowing specific circumstances in which law enforcers could access a residence
before knocking and announcing their presence because of exigent circumstances. The exigent
circumstances are exceptions to a search warrant's general requirements detailed in the Fourth
Amendment searches and seizures (Berris & Foster, 2020). The exigent circumstances comprise
three conditions: if the officers reasonably believe the occupants face immediate dangers and
need assistance, and if officers are protecting themselves from an individual, they reasonably
believe to be dangerous. Also, if the officers reasonably believe the occupants are engaging in



activities to escape or destroy evidence. The type of search warrants executed without knocking
or making an announcement of the law enforcer's intentions are identified as no-knock warrants.
No-knock warrants
The no-knock search warrants authorization is usually employed upon logical intuition
that giving notice would impose danger or lead to evidence destruction (Dolan, 2019). Hence this
law differs from the common-law "Knock-and-announce' principles. The primary intention of
employing a no-knock search warrant is allowing the officers' advantage or element of surprise,
ensuring the occupants do not escape, minimizing the occupants' ability to access a weapon, and
ensuring no destruction of pertinent evidence. However, a judge is not inclined to allow a noknock warrant entrance based on facts that law enforcement believe there are weapons in the
targeted dwelling. The law enforcement department needs to consider other factors.
While there are multiple search warrants hence impossible to pinpoint when the Court
first executed the practice, scholars trace the origin of no-announcement warrants to the Nixon
administration during the fight against narcotics (Den Heyer, 2014). During this period the
Congress authorized the deferral magistrates to approve the no-knock warrant with their
signature and issue it to the officers. Congress stated strict compliance to the ancient common
law would jeopardize the mission since it would allow the drug dealers to destroy the evidence
and deny the officers the advantage of surprise, hence increasing the danger of executing a
search warrant (Sonnenreich & Pinco, 1970). However, due to the no-knock warrant's
problematic nature, Congress revoked the authorization for some years due to newspaper
reporting that detailed the disadvantages of this rule, such as illegal raids by officers searching
for drugs in private premises.



History of no-knock warrants
In the United States, law enforcers generally followed Semayne's Case's law in making
early decisions. However, a series of court cases between the 1990s and early 2000s fostered the
need to overlook knock-and-announce principles and, consequently, allow both state a...

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