Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Poor pre-door-bust announcement is one of my pet peeves in modern police practice

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Recently, hidden camera video of a pot shop raid in Santa Ana, California made the national news because it showed the police doing and saying bad things. One thing that did not get criticized was the poor quality of the announcement the police made before breaking down the doors (on external door and one internal door). And now, a different pre-dor-bust announcement case from Hayward , California . . .

Case: Chavez v. City of Hayward, Dist. Court, ND California 2015

What happened: Fact dispute over whether police made decent announcement before busting the door in:

According to Troche, after listening on the landing outside the apartment for at least ten seconds, Troche instructed one of the officers to radio to their sergeants or supervisors that they were going to do a “knock and notice” before kicking in the door. (Troche Dep. 65-67.) Troche knocked on the door and announced, “Hayward Police.” He states that after the officers waited 10-15 seconds, he kicked the door in, simultaneously pulling out his firearm. By contrast, Plaintiff testified that he did not hear a knock on the door, but instead heard “Hayward PD” before the door was kicked in a “split second” later. (Chavez Dep. 156.) Apfeltzweig testified that she and Plaintiff were moving towards the front door to open it for the police but only got a few steps before the officers were inside, and that the police came in “one second” after yelling “Hayward PD.” (Apfeltzweig Dep. 114, 117-18, 120.)

Comment: Reading the whole opinion in the Chavez case, it is pretty easy to see who is telling the truth there.

Written by Burgers Allday

June 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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