A recent no-knock drug raid in Houston that left two dead and five police officers injured led the city’s police chief to rethink the use of such tactics during a raucous town hall meeting Monday.
It’s a principle almost as old as common law: police have to give notice before forcibly entering someone’s home. In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court created an exception to that standard: the no-knock raid. Such raids are intended to prevent the destruction of evidence – during drug busts, for example.
The Houston Chronicle’s Keri Blakinger says some of the information used to justify the Jan. 28 raid in Houston may not have been accurate.
“The affidavit relied on the officer saying he had used a confidential informant to do a previous buy there, which is why they thought it was worth raiding,” Blakinger says.
After the raid, police were unable to locate the informant, and other informants said they had not been involved in the previous drug buy at the raid location.
Blakinger says some want charges to be filed against the officers who initiated the raid. Blakinger says Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo “seems to be interested in charges.”
Acevedo announced during the meeting Monday that the Houston Police Department will cut back on no-knock raids, and that high-level approval will be required before any raids can occur.
Blakinger says the crowd at Monday’s town hall meeting was “pretty unhappy.”
Even after Acevedo’s announcement that no-knock raids would be far less frequent, citizens at the meeting were still upset by what had happened.
While there are still unanswered questions about the evidence that led to the January raid, Blakinger says weapons were found, including shotguns and rifles.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.