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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ind. Decisions - "Indiana justices uphold 'no-knock' warrants"

Updating yesterday's ILB entry on the two Supreme Court opinions, and this NWI Times report, Mark Kiesling, columnist for the NWI Times, writes today: "No-knock rule a step down the wrong road." The column begins:

Further evidence was provided by the Indiana Supreme Court this week that Indiana is going to become a police state.

Police serving warrants, the court ruled in a unanimous 5-0 decision, may knock down your door with no announcement if they have "reasonable" suspicion that you are a rascally wrongdoer.

Previously, police could knock, announce themselves as law enforcement officers and then kick your door to smithereens.

Or they could apply to a court for a "no-knock" order, which said in effect that giving the suspects warning would give them time to dispose of evidence or contraband or jump out a window and drive away.

Tuesday, the state's high court ruled that if circumstances determine, the cops may bust down your door without so much as saying, "Avon calling."

I've got a lot of cop friends, the result of my 25 years of covering cops and courts before becoming a columnist. And I have heard time and time again the frustration they have felt by getting into a house moments too late.

They hear the sound of a flushing toilet. There goes the marijuana, or the coke, or the meth, or the crack -- the sewer systems are stoned from here to Lafayette.

And with it goes the evidence. So a drug dealer beats the rap.

But I've also seen the flip side of this coin.

[Updated May 12, 2011] See also Niki Kelly's story in the FWJG.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 11, 2011 10:15 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions