So-called “no-knock” warrants need to end. And the shooting of Amir Locke in Minneapolis yesterday is only the latest example of why. When police burst unannounced into a home, they can’t know for sure who or what they will encounter, and their actions could end in tragedy — as it did for Locke. The young man was a guest in that home, asleep on the couch, and not the person sought by police; his gun was legal and he had a concealed carry permit. Nevertheless, he was shot dead where he lay by intruders he never even saw.
If mistakes are going to happen — and they will — they should err on the side of the innocent. Better that criminals escape or evidence be lost than innocents be killed — by the very people sworn to protect them.
Furthermore, castle laws give civilians the right to defend their homes by any means. They should not be killed by police for trying to do so.
Among the rationales for no-knock entries is that they protect the police who are making entry. (By not giving occupants a chance to defend themselves?) Isn’t that backward? Shouldn’t the law first protect the innocent from armed strangers who break into their homes?