(courtesy kbtx.com)

“A Burleson County Grand Jury declined to indict the man who shot and killed Burleson County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Sowders who was serving a search warrant in December,” kbtx.com reports. “Investigators were executing a search warrant at Henry McGee’s mobile home near Snook when the shooting happened.” The shooting didn’t just “happen.” “Henry McGee admitted to shooting Deputy Sowders before sunrise on December 19th while the deputy and other investigators were serving a no knock search warrant for drugs at McGee’s mobile home near Snook. Magee’s Defense Attorney Dick DeGuerin says his client thought someone was breaking into his home and fired to protect his pregnant girlfriend and himself.” Will Texas follow Indiana’s lead and . . .

pass a law specifically allowing force against officers who enter a home without the owner’s consent? No. But you can bet TX SWAT teams will think twice before executing their next all-flash-bangs-banging raid on a low-level dope dealer – hopefully thinking about it in a good way. Then again, culture eats jurisprudence for lunch:

The District Attorney’s office released a statement saying,

“The Burleson County Sheriff’s Office would not have been there that day if Mr. Magee had not decided to live a lifestyle of doing and producing illegal drugs in his home. Therefore, we will fully prosecute the drug charges against him.”

If I were McGee I’d make sure my tail lamps were fully functional before I went for a drive, if you know what I mean. Meanwhile, for those who hope that this case signals the beginning of the end of rubber-stamped no-knock raids and the nadir of America’s militarized police, note that Happy Days continued for seven years after Fonzie jumped the shark.

239 Responses to TX Cop Killer Skates. Have No-Knock Raids Jumped the Shark?

    • In these cases it’s surprising how often prosecutors claim that the defendants “should have known” that the intruders were police, while the police maintain the need for “surprise.” You can’t “surprise” someone who knows you are coming, and you can’t know who is bursting in if you’re being “surprised.” Sometimes I think police tactics are meant to intentionally frighten people in order to get a reflexive action from them, so that they may charge with “resisting arrest,” if nothing else.

      • I have decided we need to create a company that produces what I refer to as “SWAT SIGNS”…I think we should develop a very simple, inexpensive sign available online…perhaps yellow, gold and black…in the shape of a Stop Sign…

        The sign could read:

        ATTENTION:

        This property has been retrofitted with
        lethal & non-lethal Anti-SWAT, Illegal
        Forced Entry Devices or Methods.
        ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK
        ———————————–
        For peaceful Entry,
        please call
        555-555-5555

        I think if we can sell this for $3.00 and have them posted on the doors of houses, apartments and property around country…it doesn’t even matter if it is true in any way…I wouldn’t want to be the “First Man Through the Door”…so to say..eh?
        And we could make a fortune…ha!

        RJ O’Guillory
        Author-
        Webster Groves – The Life of an Insane Family

    • You are perhaps correct, but still, this is just totally awesome that the Grand Jury no-billed in this case. Think about just how huge this is.

      • Agreed. Besides, the cops may not be quite that stupid. Nothing pisses of a population more than cops taking the law into their own hands. Hell, look at Rodney King.

        • You are about as misinformed as it comes.

          Evidence is presented to a judge who signs the warrant. A judge is an elected official. It’s not the cops just kicking in doors for the hell of it.

          Secretly, no one wants police to do their jobs anymore. Criminals get a free ride with everything, like supervised probation for a robbery conviction.

          The next time you or anyone bitches about the police “not doing their jobs”, just remember you advocated by voice or indifference the perpetuation of crime by turning your back on the only people who go looking for criminals BEFORE they come knocking at your door.

        • How, pray tell, is the public misinformed? A warrant for a no knock raid does not grant it magical powers making it an appropriate measure. While a tragic loss of life, no knock raids were never intended to be the common occurrence they are today.

        • Jason? Talk about misinformed. Present evidence to a judge? Well, a cop shows up and tells a judge that an informant told him that somebody else had illegal drugs and a gun stolen from the Sheriff’s department. Nevermind that that’s hearsay and would be not be admitted as evidence at trial. Nevermind that the informant is himself a druggie who was in jail and making a deal for himself. In seeking a warrant, there’s no right of the target to confront the witness. Also a violation of the rules of evidence, were this a trial. Hell, cops have been known to invent confidential informants to justify warrants. With police already playing fast and loose with the facts, let’s not abet them by throwing around and watering down words like “evidence.”

          As it turns out, they did find pot plants at the residence, so that’s going to be rough. They founds guns, too, but no stolen guns, let alone any from the Sheriff’s department. So he’s not charged with that.

          As for cops doing their jobs, nobody wants cops to cease their work. Many people, however, object to rights violating storm troopers swarming hither and yon at zero dark thirty putting people’s lives in undue danger. The proof? This cop was killed when they could have easily taken the subject down elsewhere, but what fun would that have been? They’re lucky they didn’t kill the pregnant girlfriend, too, with their macho b.s. incompetence.

        • All I’m asking is for the cops to *knock* on the %&$^ing door first when executing a warrant not involving hostages. A poker game or an ounce of weed don’t warrant killing a family, which is what every one of these no-knock raids have the potential for.

        • Okay Jason , I used to be a deputy , you are talking about a convicted robber getting supervised probation , but what you don’t ubderstand is that it’s the judge that sentenced the robber not the police . Next you say a lot of people say that police don’t do their jobs , well there are Constitutional restraints on how , what and when at times , law enforcement can do things . Most citizens want law enforcement to follow through with their jobs but not in a totalitarian way , “No-Knock ” warrants were brought about decades ago mainly because of organized crime , not wanting to warn the perps that you were coming in so they couldn’t get rid of the evidence , leave the area by a pre planned getaway set up , or fight back against the raid . It appears that in this day and time what is going on is that too much arrogance has gone into planning these raids , this situation could have been totally avoided if the police would have staked out this subjects home and used a traffic stop on him as he left the driveway of his residence , then proceeded back to said residence and performed the search , then the officer would still be alive . I have to say that too many no-knock warrants are being issued by judges who perhaps aren’t looking more into what the warrant entails or asking more questions about the subjects that the warrants are being requested for , it could also be that these officers woke the judge at night and he just signed the warrant just to be able to go back to sleep , in some states an officer can just call a judge and get the O K by phone and not worry about having to see the judge until the next day . I do feel sorry for the officers family but there was a loss of common sense on this one . Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

        • To Jason. ” they see me trollin, they hatin. Trying to catch Bryan ridin dirty. See what I did there. I called you a troll while using a song about cops trying to get away with some BS.

      • They’ll probably just shop this to a different grand jury or use “prosecutorial discretion” like they did with Zimmerman.

        • They may try, but they do have some double jeopardy hurdles to overcome…with me again naively assuming those pesky little amendments mean something (ie, the 4th, with it’s “secure in your home” doctrine being obviously suspended in some minds….)

        • Double jeopardy only means the state can’t try him for the same crime twice. It has nothing to do with grand juries.

        • Ah yes, you are correct. Brain freeze moment. DJ attaches when TRIAL jury empaneled. Got the wires crossed on that.

          Apologies.

        • As we clearly see, some folks still think cops can do no wrong. In my book, they do a great disservice to justice in so believing.

    • Happy Days also didn’t have the same widespread proliferation of drugs, home invasions, nor routine bash in the door swat the house L/E raids so prevalent today.

  1. Hardly skates, he’s been indicted on having 5lbs of marijuana, he’s facing 2-10 years on that one charge alone, and trust me, the DA is going for the higher end, especially if they tack on intent to sell (easy with 5lbs+) which is even longer.

    • Which is still FAR different than how this case was shaping up. When it first happened, there were those that were calling for his execution by lethal injection as a “cop killer.”

      Skates is the wrong term, but this is nonetheless an enormous statement by that Grand Jury.

    • Guns and a quantity of drugs in the same dwelling under control of the same person provides an easy set of federal charges. I don’t know if Texas has a similar statute.

      It is time for SCOTUS and SCOTX to revisit the issue of no-knock raids in the context of self-defense and the right to security in one’s dwelling. There are just enough “wrong house number” no-knocks and home invasions to make a clarification important both for citizens and for citizens working as LEO’s. Without further court guidance ambitious LEO’s will continually find the no-knock a perceived pathway to securing a rewarded collar.

      After WWII and during the height of the Cold War the infamous “knock on the door in the night” was a standard propaganda trope in the USA, invoking the terrifying specter of the Gestapo and NKVD. Now we have “they don’t even knock in the night” and people are good with it? For a little weed or some gambling receipts? Our public schools have utterly failed to teach things much more important that Trigonometry or Understanding Transvestites.

    • Five POUNDS in a TRAILER? Don’t make me laugh! They shouldn’t be allowed to just make up any figure they think sounds “impressive”. Hopefully his attorney will challenge this effectively.

      Probably not, though; that’s work. He’ll probably talking him into accepting a “deal”.

      • The linked news story said, “4 oz to 5 lb.” The cops said “sophisticated grow operation.” I’m picturing 15 scrawny plant and a grow lamp, and some friends who come over once in a while to smoke that crap when they can’t get the real thing.

      • Some jurisdictions assign ludicrous amounts of “weight” to any plant with roots. I remember an episode of Cops with a cop sifting through dirt trying to find saplings that may have sprouted from one pathetic plant because anything with roots is several pounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if all he had was a single plant.

  2. The term “skates” implies that he got away with something criminal, when, in fact, he reacted in a perfectly reasonable manner to a violent invasion of his home.

    Unfortunately, I think this will be a catalyst to making SWAT teams even MORE violent and trigger happy in execution of these no-knock raids.

    Honesty, LEO’s, how many more lives need to be lost because of vegetation?

    • It’s not about the vegetation.

      It’s about the money they make when they seize and sell his house, cars, and other property.

      • The property confiscation rules have absolutely put dangerous incentives in place. Makes me wonder where Bush 41’s speed boat came from.

        From another point of view we might do well to attach such sanctions instead to bank violations of securities fraud and money-laundering statutes. At least we’d get some good downtown property.

        • Bush 41’s Speedboat came from the same people who paid him to supervise the assassination of JFK

          …the same people who paid him to sacrifice that idiot, treasonous son of his to the tainted history of 911 and My Pet Goat…and the supposed new World Order they are trying to bring about…

          I hope the entire Bush family is charged and convicted of treason in my lifetime…I hope their wealth is confiscated and the whole family is hung…all at once…I hope that pig Barbara Bush lives long enough to convict her and hang her and her kids….they are the same animals that shoved Bill & Hillary down our throats and have saddled us with this Traitor-in-Chief….Barry Sotero…aka…Barack H. Obama …convict them all of treason and start hanging them…then go after all the police…Secret Service …FBI…DEA..every illegal federal agency that has been violating our rights for fifty years…don’t forget every member of the treasonous Supreme Court..charge all of them..convict them of treason and hang them…charge every member of those agencies with treason..convict they and their families of generational treason and start hanging all of them…wives, kids..uncles..aunts…everyone who is a Clinton…convict and hang…convict and hang every Bush member..every Cheney Family member ..convict and hang them all..

          RJ O’Guillory
          Author-
          Webster Groves – The Life of an Insane Family

      • +10,000. The civil forfeiture laws are a terrible injustice, and are the root cause of travesties such as this one.

    • I could be wrong, but I seem to remember McGee did not hire him…DeGuerin sought him out right after it happened.

      That DeGuerin was representing him, no matter how it came to be, was a fact that I was quite glad about at the time. I was…. cautiously hopeful.

  3. He’ll do 10 years easy on the drug charges alone. He’s not skating anywhere. They can’t get him on murder, but they’ll throw the book at him for everything else. That man is going to prison for a LONG time.

    • And as a cop-killer, he’ll be prison royalty among the other cons. As for the screws, they hate everybody anyway.

      • Nah, there’s a special place in their hearts for cop-killers, child-molesters, and the like. The latter is one thing the guards and many of the inmates agree on.

        • I’ve been to prison — as a lawyer, not an inmate. The screws hate everybody. Yes, they hate child molesters the most — even the cons can’t tolerate them — but they hate everybody.

          And I’m not saying that I blame them. The COs are in prison, too. It’s just that they get to go home at the end of their shift. Mostly.

  4. They’ll learn the opposite lesson and go in heavier and harder than ever before next time.

    This incident wont be seen as a catastrophic failure of no-knock raids. It’ll be touted as justification for more MRAPS and armor and gas and bangs and rocket launchers and drones and orbital nuke launchers.

    Oh, and pushing civilian disarmament laws for good measure.

    Because the cops never do anything wrong. If it ever looks like they did it’s always your fault.

    • “No more flash grenades, but that block of Semtex will do the job nicely. Oh, we took out the neighbors’ houses too? Well maybe they should have thought of that before they decided to live next to a drug dealer. Now go back to work citizen so you can pay your taxes.”

      On a serious note, I know there are good cops out there. I have a cousin who is one, but my personal interactions with cops have not been very good in Texas. I am always incredibly polite not because I think the bad ones deserve it, but because I don’t feel like going to jail over their power trip.

    • Because the cops never do anything wrong.

      The cops would have more cred if they just learned to blame everything on George Bush.

  5. I just don’t get it. Why don’t the cops arrest him while he is walking his dog or shopping for groceries? Yes, they have the element of surprise with a no-knock door kicking, but that is going to produce a fight or flight response, and some people are going to fight. Morons.

    • I can tell you right away that they assume there will be an associate who will somehow find out about the arrest, and dispose of evidence before they can do a search. This was one of the prime motivators behind the first pushes for no-knocks.

    • Because that’s not tacti-cool ooh-rah awesome.

      So many in uniform, any uniform, are just adult sized children living out their emotionally stunted fantasies.

    • Unfortunately, some folks just can’t do things the easy way. Or consider what the actual objective is and the best way to achieve it. Sometimes its a matter of folks just wanting to use all the tools/toys they have lying around as a means to justify them or acquiring more.

      Do you remember the Branch Davidians in Waco? ATF went in as a huge raid to get a guy who had previously been arrested for murder. In the previous case, he was arrested by two uniformed officers simply going to his home and knocking. Koresh (the head of the Davidians) didn’t offer any resistance at all, he fully cooperated.

      So, why did the ATF feel it needed to stage this awesome military style raid over possible gun violations?

      • So, why did the ATF feel it needed to stage this awesome military style raid

        Because CNN wouldn’t cover an average, everyday arrest.

        • Guess who’s upcoming budget was being discussed in DC when the Waco raids went down? Also, the ATF had d been taking heat as the subject of a sexual-harassment story on 60-Minutes in December and needed something to make them look good.

        • Well, that raid certainly made them look good, didn’t it? Reno apparently wanted to prove no man could abuse children and get away with it, so she had all the kids incinerated, or so it appears to an outsider like me. The Waco sheriff said in a post-burn interview, “if they’d asked me I could have just picked the guy up.” Being middle-of-the-road myself, I noticed that the free-love bomb-building left cheered the Waco assault weapons fiesta, confident that BATFE would be reluctant to burn down their urban cult homes dripping with cocaine, meth, and neglected hungry children. It’s something about political adrenaline and the ability of people to dehumanize those whose cults they object to. It’s ugly. It infects both the left and the right. We ought to hold interventions when we notice a pol’s got his/her blood up.

  6. This is oustanding.

    Unless law enforcement has real time video on the inside of a home where a pedophile is actively raping children, I cannot see any reason for no-knock home invasions search warrants.

    Do police have a duty to catch criminals, execute search warrants, and protect themselves in the process? Absolutely. And they can effect all three with good old fashioned police work. Stake out the home of a suspect, wait for him to drive to a grocery store, and then arrest him with overwhelming numbers in the grocery store parking lot as he exits unsuspectingly from the store and walks to his car. And then a team knocks on the door of the house in case anyone else is still in the home, enters, and searches. They safely catch the criminal who has no ability to destroy evidence in his home. Everyone wins and no one dies.

    • Yeah, but what’s the fun in that? Particularly when you have all the cool equipment that you’re just dying to use, and the department spokesman has already written the press release. If you get to shoot up some dogs and people, maybe burn down a “complex” or two, that’s just icing on the cake.

    • “Do police have a duty to catch criminals, execute house pets, and protect themselves in the process?”

      Fixed that for you.

  7. Aside from Fonzie and the shark, life imitates art from a different TV show. There was a “Picket Fences” episode in which a man was acquitted of shooting and killing cops that kicked in his door. (Episode 2-18, April 1994 says IMDB).

  8. “Then again, culture eats jurisprudence for lunch:”

    You’re right, and Texas SWAT Culture has just changed for the worse. From now on if an officer is shot at on a no-knock raid, that shooter WILL die.

    • I want to know how he not only lived though that, but was not even shot in the first place, as it is. Just having a firearm in hand you run a high chance of being shot in those types of situations. He has burned two life times worth of luck on that incident.

    • Agreed with JSF, amazing he didnt get dusted right there. It seriously blows my mind, I figured if a gunshot went off during a raid it was pretty much go time for kill anything that moves.

    • The pregnant girlfriend saw the whole thing – there was a witness.

      Whatever the situation, I don’t see them shooting a pregnant woman unless it was an accident/negligence.

        • Don’t think so. Wasn’t she standing in a doorway when she was shot?

          Being female and with child or holding child is no immunity from assassination by overzealous “good guys.”

          None of us should forget what happened to Weaver and his family, or how it came about.

        • Sorry…that was a reference to the pregnant girlfriend in the Tx case under present discussion. Point being, the Weaver incident shows that pregnant women or those carrying their babies are not necessarily safe on that basis alone.

      • Oh I doubt the thrugs would have any issue shooting anyone in a panic to “defend’ themselves. SWAT is like a group of berserkers, they don’t have the training to stay frosty. In other raids they had no problem killing old women who made the mistake of moving. So this guy was lucky not having been killed right there and then. But he still could very well end up a victim of the blue wall later on.

  9. Several judges in Texas refuse to sign no-knock warrants… Of course, that just means that in larger jurisdictions, officers go “judge shopping”

  10. Not sure if the result would have been the same elsewhere. Don’t knoe about TX, but some states have statutes that hold those with criminal intent liable for deaths occuring as a result of their crime (two guys rob a store, one gets killed by the clerk, the surviving crook faces manslaughter charges). I can see how those laws could be used to procecute these cases.

    • That’s the claim that has been used to justify cries for McKee’s execution.

      The problem in this case is: do criminals have the right to defend their home?

      Morally, I’d say yes. And, I think there have been court cases to support this, that even in the case of drug rip-offs, with the right circumstances (*), even a felon can defend themselves “legally.”

      Don’t ask me for the case cites, though…don’t recall them offhand.

      (*) Always the rub…what did he “know” at the time?

    • It would be unusual for a state to have a Felony Murder Rule that attaches liability to a non-violent crime. My jurisdictions require some inherent ongoing dangerousness to human life to be involved in the crime. In this case the underlying crime is, presumably, cultivation and possession of cannabis with intent to distribute, not the shooting which is itself likely justified or at least non-felonious.

    • It is called the “felony-murder” rule. Anyone aiding or abetting the commission of a felony can be charged with murder for any death occurring during the commission of the felony. There is one actual case I recall from law school where the get-a-way driver, who never left the vehicle, refused to cop a plea, and was convicted and sentenced to life for the death of one of two cohorts (shot and killed by the clerk) in the armed robbery of a corner liquor store. The surviving armed robber copped a plea and was sentenced to ten years.

      • Yes, but the getaway driver did know that a crime inherently dangerous to life was in the offing. And worse….the guy refused to take a plea.

        • Of course, you are correct. The death must occur during a predicate felony, not just any felony. In my jurisdictions, the predicate felonies were enumerated in the felony murder statutes.

  11. When, not if, this happens to a noncriminal (wrong address), let’s hope the outcome is the same. Seems like no-knock warrants are being used excessively, and mistakes are made and they go into the wrong house. If my door gets kicked in, I’m not going to assume its the cops and i’ll react accordingly.

  12. I’m perfectly okay with the no-bill because the guy acted appropriately for what he knew at the time. No-knocks are stupid and dangerous. I’m also perfectly okay with the DA throwing the book at him on the drug charges. Getting a “pass” on one act doesn’t absolve you of the others.

    • “I’m also perfectly okay with the DA throwing the book at him on the drug charges.”

      Since you think property rights can be selectively applied, how can you argue against gun control?

    • Hmmm, let us count the ways; About one hundred thousands deaths due to alcohol; five hundred thousands deaths due to cigarettes a year; both are legal;
      Deaths due to marijuana- according to the CDC, 1 to 2 deaths a year; the guy deserves ten years at least.

      Yep; we need to keep that demon weed off the streets, it’s for the children.

      • Yes. Smoking tobacco invented by the Nazis just seeing a cig will kill you immediately. Gov’t must act.

        Smoking weed is an positive, noble, and empowering activity that improves our world and the individuals health and wellbeing. Gov’t must ?

        • Smoking weed is an positive, noble, and empowering activity

          Based on my observations in college during the ’60s, it also lead to mass consumption of Mallomars.

      • “Deaths due to marijuana- according to the CDC, 1 to 2 deaths a year”

        That’s preposterous on its face: there are exactly ZERO document fatalities due to using weed.

        ZERO. There is no toxic level of marijuana. NONE.

        • …I just read an article about a study these researchers completed..and they have discovered that the reason there is no “lethal dose” of THC is that once you fire up a bowl…(and inhale)…your body produces a chemical (glondodine..(?)…)..and this chemical counteracts the THC..rendering an overdose impossible…

          RJ

        • First time I’ve ever heard this explanation, if indeed it is one. Thanks, will check ‘er out.

  13. Drug laws are based on the premiss that they are being used by “man or other animals”. If his lawyer is skilled enough there could be an arguement that he is not an animal and thus the unconstitutional drug laws don’t apply to him. (Remember that alcohol prohibition required a constitutional amendment. The drug war doesn’t apply to people protected by the constitution.) Read more here:
    http://adask.wordpress.com/category/man-or-other-animals/

  14. I thinkits interesting that many people dont realize if marijuana and cocaine were legal we would begin having the ame problem with the cartels that mexico and south america have. If you want to be honest then youd realize the cartels already have a foothold alomg the border and in colorado.

    • Yeah, because we have Coors and Busch employees shooting it out in the streets over distribution routes and territorial feuds.

      • Outlaw beer once again and you damned well will have shootouts over distribution territories. It was an experiment. We tried it. We know the answer.

      • Your statement reveals a lack of knowledge about how the US liquor business operates. Producers do not directly sell their products to retailers. They move it through independent distributors. Fifty years after prohibition ended organized crime still controlled the wholesale liquor trade. When Prohibition ended all they did wad hang a sign out in front the wharehouse that said Guido’s booze distribution. The mob had a distribution network already in place and methods to discourage competition.

        You are seeing thing at work in Colorado right now. The Cartels are establishing legal operations which they use as cover to deal still illegal drugs like heroin and meth. They conduct other illegal activities like money laundering and gun running. Since full legalization pot shops have been hit by gangs probably aligned with cartels to create the conditions for them to go and offer “protection.” This is exactly what happened nationwide after prohibition ended.

        Besides by the time Prohibition ended the mob had long since settled their territorial disputes. Violence was about control of organizations not street corners.

        • Your statement reveals a lack of knowledge about how the US liquor business operates. Producers do not directly sell their products to retailers. They move it through independent distributors.

          Except for the state of Washington.

        • ..and those distributors will have war if the beer trade is re-criminalized. And yes, an illegal business, when legalized, becomes a legal business. The largest illegal distribution network in New Jersey was legitimized, sold to Seagrams, and produced one of Philladelphia’s richest families.

          Yes, we all followed “The Pizza Connection.” Neither booze nor cartels invented the ‘front’ operation.

        • The point is that legalizstion does not do away with organized crime. The mafia was stronger and more influencial after prohibition then it was during prohibition. In large part because they had a solid base of front businesses in the now legal liquor trade and later with legalized gambling in Nevada. Conversely, just because something is illegal doesn’t mean that there will be criminal violence surrounding the product. Drugs were just as illegal in the 50s, 60s, and 70s yet there wasn’t a huge violence issue surrounding the mafia run drug trade. The violence started when the Feds broke the Italian-Jewish mob in the early 80s. The Columbians and the street gangs moved in to fill the vacuum setting off a series of wars for control of the trade. Contrary to opinions expressed by some, those wars are over and victors identified. That is probably the major reason that the murder rate has fallen to postwar lows.

          One the biggest pieces of nonsense you hear is how legalization “takes the profit out of the drug trade.” If that were true then who would go into the legal business. Legal trade is probably more profitable than illegal trade.

      • How many states did Joe Kennedy have a presence in when he was a bootlegger?

        When pot and coke are legalized, the best real businessmen in the drug trade will have children or grandchildren in national politics.

    • huh? those Mexican cartels exist to sell their stuff to el norteamericanos.

      they would be economic middlemen if drugs were legalized, and so would be bypassed.

      • Assuming the US doesn’t go to some multi-tier distribution model the way it did with alcohol after Prohibition, presumably the most efficient and honest operators amongst the ‘middlemen’ will become legitimate importers and producers, the lowest-cost providers will end up victorious, various state and federal sin taxes will generate billions of dollars, and all will live as happily ever after as they did after Prohibition ended.

    • Yep, it’s when they legalized the consumption of Alcohol in the 1920’s that the alcohol wars started between the crime gangs of the time; when they realized how bad legal alcohol was after 10 years; . they passed the another constitutional amendment to make it illegal again; it’s been illegal ever sense. That’s when they alcohol wars stopped. Now; if you get caught with a gallon or more of alcohol with the intent to distribute, you can get ten years or more. Ummm; wait a minute! did I get that wrong?; something doesn’t sound right.

  15. No one needs weapons of war, unless you are at war…like we are, so we need them. We know that pot is no worse than beer, courtesy of the idiot in chief, so the cops life was just wasted. Like others here, I can’t imagine big goooberment standing down anytime soon, Randy

  16. That law alone is why I feel Indiana is the freest state. Texas sure is catching up fast though.

    Sidenote: I’m pretty sure no has had to invoke that particular protection yet, so I wonder if it has kept cops from illegal entries or if they weren’t a problem to begin with.

    • TX would be freer with IN-style explicit citizen protections, in-state nullification of federal gun laws, and passing all civil liability for justifiable self-defense gun use onto criminal attackers or their estates.

      Also, counties should have to be forced to buy properties at any higher-assessed prices if the homeowner chooses to sell, homeowners should be compensated for any zoning value changes by reduction or elimination of that value from property tax, and any eminent domain takings should be paid for with like property of at least 2x greater value.

  17. Act like a criminal, get shot like a criminal.

    Perhaps acting like professional law enforcement vice home invaders/mall-ninjas/para-military would be better

    • Sorry, didn’t mean to sound harsh. I do respect LEOs, and feel very badly for the officer who was killed.

      However, I believe he was set-up by the policies of his force which put him in this situation. A no-knock raid to the target is initially indistinguishable from a criminal break-in. I understand not wanting to give time to a suspect to destroy evidence, or a warning allowing a truly violent and desperate criminal allowing them to react/prepare themselves. But the result in this case is a very real possibility that I don’t believe is given sufficient consideration by the leadership before authorizing a no-knock raid.

      • The law regarding no-knock warrants (and ‘hours of darkness’ warrant service, at least outside the state of Alaska in winter) needs to be re-thought for the good of LEOs and suspects (and their families) alike. I would also like to know that I don’t have to wonder whether I can defend my own home and family during hours of darkness or sans knock-and-announce. In stark contrast to worries about ‘stand your ground,’ the proliferation of no-knock and SWAT-style warrant service have indeed led to a wild west atmosphere and too many deaths.

        We used to know better. I can remember ‘as if it was yesterday’ Prof. William Greenhalgh ranting about the erosion of the ‘hours of darkness’ doctrine. He’d be rolling in his grave if he knew the direction no-knock entry had taken in recent years, being expanded into its use for the mere protection of evidence of drug offenses. Evidence got trashed in 1890, too. We didn’t rewrite the law because of it. Neither did we consider that the drug problems of individuals were sufficient justification to turn our homes into war zones. It is all about the money, the money and goods that can be seized, the money a promotion brings after a successful bust, the money the dealers make which is so (rightfully) resented. It isn’t the peace or health of the people that necessitates no-knock warrants and nighttime service.

        Losing the people’s good will towards law-enforcement is much too high a price to pay.

  18. wouldn’t it be ironic if Texas legalized marijuana. What happens to this dude serving his 10 year sentence?

    And the war on drugs is ridiculous. What is so damn important about some pot-head living in a trailer that justifies a dangerous no-knock raid?

    No-knock raids should be saved for serial killers, rescuing kidnapped people, and other crime in which the extreme danger of the criminal activity outweighs the extreme danger of the raid.

    • It used to be that no-knocks were only justified by the need to prevent ongoing physical danger to the public. That was before we made drug sellers the new Communists, so fearsome as to justify ever-expanding levels of government intrusion. Yet, I note, our culture has accepted drug-chic on the part of actors and late night humorists. The public is either schizophrenic on the issue, or just doesn’t reflect on the matter. I’ll bet on the latter. It is time to get cannabis out of the hands of dealers with harder drugs to push. It is that dealer incentive to push higher-margin products that has made cannabis a gateway drug, as the same syndicates handle meth and heroin. I’d rather face a guy with a gun in his pocket but a doobie in his hand than a guy with a gun and three double scotches in his gut. For scotch substitute meth, crack, or heroin and the same statement holds.

      • In recent “mainstream” polls, the public supports legalization by nice sized majorities. It is the cops, the pharma companies and the booze companies who want it kept illegal.

        • Exactly. Just go look at the major contributors to The Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

        • If drugs were legal, how many ‘no-knock’ entries would be justified? I think it’s less than 1% of the current number, there just aren’t that many crimes that occur in the home that lend themselves to getting a warrant signed before entry, it’s usually either exigent circumstances or the crime in question isn’t committed in the home.

          If for no other reason than doing away with these types of home invasions the war on drugs needs to end (never mind the 1000’s of other benefits of ending it).

        • Don’t forget the Cartels. Contrary to what has been said, illegal drug production is far more profitable per hour than legal drug production. It is also far more dangerous.

          The biggest reasons cartels have wars is because they do not have access to the justice system to settle disputes about contracts.

    • Last year Texas made procession for personal use a ticketable misdemeanor rather than a jail time crime. Wouldn’t surprise me to see legalization ten years down the road.

  19. Wow…surprised…and a verdict I agree with here. You no-knock raid on someone’s house (petty drug dealer or not), expect lead. Every man has the right to defend himself, well, except for this guy now. He won’t be allowed to own guns any longer (once/if he ever makes it out of prison).

  20. This is kind of a Devil’s Advocate Post.

    Suppose this raid wasn’t about drugs, say it was a bank robber. Are those of you who go with the Grand Jury finding saying that a criminal has the right to defend himself against the police. If so what is the limit of this right? Just a no knock raid in his home? How about in his car? Caught in the act? Think before you speak because there are implications on your righ to use deadly force if you believe a criminal has this right exists.

    • In the case of “no knock, no announce,” yes. My agreement with this decision by the Grand Jury has NOTHING to do with drugs. Nothing. At. All.

      It may be argued that there are circumstances that justify a no-knock, no announce warrant execution, but those are very, very few and very, very far between. It could likely be argued that even in those cases, there are BETTER ways.

      Simply arresting a bank robber or other offender not exigently endangering another human being is no excuse to violate the 4th amendment (secure in your home, you know) of anyone.

      Besides, you have to remember also that the basis of the warrant is “Probable Cause,” not certainty or even reasonable doubt. It means he PROBABLY robbed the bank (or whatever)…

      In other words, he has not lost his rights as a free citizen, and dignity thereof, just because he is suspected of PROBABLY committing a crime.

      Got a gun to a hostage’s head? Different matter. And there is other legal doctrine to cover that anyway with exigency being one of the noted exceptions of needing a warrant at all.

      But simple arrest? No way, no how is “no knock, no announce” a proper and fair balance of the government’s interest with the people’s.

    • “Deputy Adam Sowders filed for a search warrant, and requested to enter Magee’s home without knocking or announcing law enforcement’s presence.”

      Perhaps yelling “police officers — search warrant” would have saved the dead deputy’s life. But the police made a conscious decision to break and enter, and the result is on them.

      Courts have ruled consistently that even bad people have the right of self-defense against other bad people. In this case, the shooter was within his rights no matter what crime he committed.

      • At three o’clock in the morning, there is no way in hell that I will hear any police officer shouting “Police” a microsecond before he kicks in the door–as I will still be asleep. I will hear the bang and sit up quite startled, wondering what is going on–and will have no idea at all who is in my house. Just like that you man in Arizona who grabbed his AR when they raided his home a few hours after he got home from the night shift, and died because of it.

      • It might have, but a criminal intruder can yell “Police officers, search warrant” also.

        It happens. Just google “Home Invasion Police Imposter” and see the hits you get.

    • Most reasonable people view the home as sacrosanct. Under the stressors of adrenaline, fear, and noise, it is perfectly reasonable to suffer auditory exclusion and/or assume a violent invasion of your home is a criminal act (even for a felon). I’m not saying “don’t catch actual criminals”, just “don’t break into their homes in the middle of the night.”

    • I think Henry has the best answer.

      Bad people indeed have the right of self defense against other bad people but from a legal standpoint a LEO executing a valid search warrant doesn’t qualify as a “bad person.”

      Example: Instead of the BGs house the attempted arrest happens on the street when a plain clothes cop recognizes the subject from an outstanding arrest warrant, grabs the guy who then shoots and kills the officer. The LEO was not in uniform so how could the BG know he wasn’t being attacked by another BG?

      I am going to assert that a suspect cannot resist a police officer in the legitimate exercise of his authorities. I think McGee was mischarged. Manslaughter would have been the appropriate charge. If cops got the wrong house different story.

      • from a legal standpoint a LEO executing a valid search warrant doesn’t qualify as a “bad person.”

        Not correct. If the police officer does not announce, he’s a “bad guy” because the target has no means of determining otherwise. Had the cops announced, Magee would have been true billed.

        • Not to quibble but the no knock was authorized.

          One other thought. All accused persons are suspects until a court finds them guilty even if the event occurs in front of hundreds of witnesses and is recorded. From a legal point of view Al Capone is just a tax cheat. Now do you think he was innocent of all other wrong doing?

          Be careful what you ask for. If an accused criminal has right to resist the police in the lawful execution of their duties, he has a right to resist you.

        • Who gives a rat’s backside if it was “authorized?” Does that make it RIGHT?

          So, some rural department deputies convinced a magistrate to sign and authorize a no-knock, no-announce warrant based on a CI statement, and this makes invading a home at 5 am somehow forgivable?

          You are just being evocative, right?

          Ah yes, I see you are: “If an accused criminal has right to resist the police in the lawful execution of their duties, he has a right to resist you.”

          Well, if I’m kicking in the door to his private home at 5 am without ANY announcement as to who I am or why I’m doing it (right or wrong), he darn well DOES have the right to resist me.

          You cannot be serious with this argument.

        • I can be very serious. Case in point. I am a mugger who is approaching you with my hand in pocket holding a pistol. As I come close to you, you pull your gun before I make an overt act. I feel threaten and I shoot you first. Are you ok with that? After all it is still in the pre-crime phase.

          What you are all forgetting is that a person engaged in illegal activities assumes the full responsibly for all the consequences of his actions. It could be a rival coming after his stash or could be the cops executing a search warrant. Another bad guy and it’s a DGU. The cops, maybe not murder but certainly manslaughter.

          All of you are putting the criminal on equal footing with honest man just as gun grabbers do when they oppose stand your ground laws.

      • The home is sacrosanct.
        I can serve wine to my 14 year old child.
        Many thing which may be unlawful in a public setting, can be perfectly legal in the ambit of ones home.

        I’m sorry this deputy died. His family is now missing a son, father, husband.

        No-knock warrants should be prohibited.

        • Whether you can serve alcohol to your minor child in your own home depends on the state. In Texas yes, in Virginia no. You cannot commit a crime just because it’s in your home and that includes resisting arrest.

          It is a common misconception that no knock raids started with the drug war. It has been in use for decades in raids on illegal bookmaking operations. The “books” were made of rice paper that would disolve on contact with water. If the cops announced their presence the evidence would literally disappear.

      • The law is supposed to be based in intent; not the act itself; even if I’m a criminal; if some stranger in plain clothes accosts me in the street; or some one breaks down my door while I’m asleep and I don’t hear the initial knock or a claim that they are police because I’m in a deep REM sleep; then I as that criminal have every right to defend myself from a perceived criminal attack; until proven otherwise.

        The other part of this is what happens if I DO hear that initial knock and cry out of police; there have been plenty of documented cases of criminals using this tactic to invade peoples homes; what? I’m supposed allow that maybe this time it’s the police instead of a bunch of criminals invading my home because I might have valuable stuff on hand?

        To be put in a place where I have to play Russian Roulette with whether to resist a criminal attack from criminals dressed as cops or from police acting in a criminal way is unconscionable; and why I’ve decided that I will play the game of freedom; I will resist any perceived illegal display of force against me with lethal force.

        And if a cop shows respect for me and my home by being polite and courteous and proving that they ARE police and they have some legal reason to speak to me; whether by warrant or by circumstance; then I will respond in kind; by being polite and courteous.

      • tdiinva: Opinions about this case have nothing to do with shootouts on the street or warrants served to a suspect in a car. They have to do with the sanctity of the home, with the right to defend during hours of darkness the place where your family sleeps.

        The home is special. But don’t take my word for it: “Indeed, privacy of the home has the longest constitutional pedigree of the lot, ‘for the sanctity of the home…has been embedded in our traditions since the origins of the Repuiblic.’ These traditions, given concrete form in the fourth and fourteenth amendments, have ‘drawn a firm line at the entrance of the house.’ When we retreat across that threshold, the government must provide escalating justification if it wishes to follow, monitor, or control us there” (Tribe, L.E., American Constitutional Law. 2nd ed. at 1412, quoting Justice Burger for the majority in Payton v. New York and Stevens, J, concurring).

        As to no-knock warrants, the 9th Circuit, in United States v. McConney, described no-knock warrant service as justified only under “those circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry (or other relevant prompt action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of a suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts” existed. United States v. McConney, 728 F.2d 1195, 1199 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 824 (1984).

        A surprise break-in during normal hours of sleep would reasonably increase the dangers to the LEO’s, as armed self-defense to such terrifying break-ins is not only common, but entirely lawful. It matters not that the entering officer believes he is a good guy: He has offered the resident no opportunity to know that.

        Alternatively, the police must have believed that evidence of the suspected crime, that evidence which was specified in the warrant, would be destroyed but for a high-speed no-knock entry. Yet, there is no reasonable grounds to suppose a man in a trailer can dispose of sixteen potted cannabis plants in the few minutes the officers would wait after announcing themselves, but before breaking down the door once it became clear the suspect did not intend to answer in a standard knock-and-annouce service.

        The very choice to use a no-knock warrant and serve it during normal hours of sleep almost assured greater danger to the officers, exactly the opposite result that no-knock service is meant to preclude.

        And note this case, summarised in Wikipedia: Two former Los Angeles Police Department officers, along with 13 others, have plead guilty to running a robbery ring, which used fake no-knock raids as a ruse to catch victims off guard. The defendants would then steal cash and drugs to sell on the street. This tactic led Radley Balko, editor of Reason Magazine, to complain “So not only can you not be sure the people banging down your door at night are the police, not only can you not be sure they’re the police even if they say they’re the police, you can’t even be sure it’s safe to let them in even if they are the police.”

    • One of things that disturbs me about about the gun rights community is our collective inability to disguish between people operating under the cover of law, be it an individual protecting life and property or law enforcement officer lawfully executing his duties, from those who engage in illegal activities. Anybody who engages in illegal activity assumes the risks presented by rivals, customers, law abiding citizen or the police. When confronting people operating under the cover of law anybody engaged in criminal activity can never be in right. Circumstances may allow lesser charges.

      The real reason for intracriminal violence is not “disputes over territory.” It is because they operate outside the cover of law and they have no recourse to peacrful means to settle disputes.

      • If you are defending no knock, no announce warrants as they are in general use today, you and I have a far different Idea of lawful execution of their duties.

        And, I’ve been in law enforcement. I’ve served felony warrants. I’ve sat at the table with murderers and rapists. Been in court many, many, many times…as both an expert and as a lay witness.

        With that background, I passionately say (and said then) no knock warrants are pure, unadulterated crap except in VERY rare cases (and even then, there are probably better solutions). And since you seem to have some disconnect that prevents you from seeing how “authorizing” armed aggressors to enter private homes in the middle of the night with no announcement that they are on official duty, I really don’t know what can be said.

        Well…beyond this. Yes, be careful what you wish for indeed. “Next, they came for me” is a very haunting conclusion.

        • I am neither defending nor criticizing no knock. That is a procedural question that is adjudicated at a trial and/or appeal. People seem to think a warrant is a magic piece of paper that guarantees due process. That has never been true. Our entire concept of due process under the 4th and 5th Amendments is a creature of the Warren Court and is barely 50 years old. Too many people believe law enforcement before Warren was the epitomy of Constitutional due process. The general rule before Warren was “Probable cause, we don’t need no stinkin probable cause.” If Sheriff wanted a warrant his word was good enough for any judge.

        • Armed thugs entering your home in the middle of the night is NOT a “procedural question.”

          This is the point you are missing. Assuming they are, you cannot tell that they are the good guys until it is too late. By the time you’ve sorted all that out, if they are bad guys (with badges or without), you could very well be dead.

          Are you claiming that in the middle of the night when someone breaks into your house that your FIRST thought should be “hey, maybe it’s the cops in lawful execution of his duties”?

          (1) Cops get the wrong address all the time. I remember reading of a BUNCH of cases of wrong address in the 90’s.

          (2) They use BS info to get the warrants in the first place in a lot of cases. This particular case is a good example. The info the CI gave them was WRONG. They did not vet it at all before getting that warrant.

          (3) Cops, corrupt cops, have conducted no-knock raids in the act of committing felonies.

          There was no rational reason in this case to seek or use a no-knock warrant. That cop is dead at least in part because of HIS OWN ACTIONS.

          For anyone to blame the victim of a 5 am home invasion for it is an abomination and is very telling at just how low our society has sunk.

          This whole bit happened because of no-knock, no-announce, compounded by over reliance on the word of a CI.

          There are many ways this could have been prevented, but the bottom line is you cannot fault a man for defending his home in the middle of the night.

        • They had a warrant from a judge that authorized the raid. They were acting under the law until the trial or appellate judge says otherwise. I get it. You think that there is no difference between a law abiding citizen and an outlaw. You are the mirror image of Mikey Bloomberg.

          The 4th and 5th Amendments grant procedural rights to the accused. They don’t grant equalty of consideration to those who operate outside the law.

        • It dawns on me from your repeated assertion that ‘signed by a judge’ means something profound and magically instills ESP on the part of those whose homes are invaded in the middle of the night by unknown assailants that this conversation is above your pay grade.

          Carry on.

    • Anyone has the right to defend themselves against unknown individuals who are violently invading one’s home.

    • Does it seem to anyone besides me that if these officers had been truly properly trained, this man would not have had the chance to shoot any of them?

      Am I way of base on that?

  21. This is a tragedy all around.

    At the point of decision to make this a no-knock, it appears from the info in the article that all they had was the assertation by an informant that he had stolen guns. Cops and prosecutors know full well that informants, especially criminals “turned” to reduce their own penalties for cooperation, are not reliable.

    Then it becomes a bust for an “illegal grow” inside a trailer- how much can that yield realistically- in this case under 5 lbs of pot, and a marijuana possession charge, as the guns seized were legally owned after all.

    Am I defending Magee? Hell no, I dont know the guy, and I would note, even if he is a lowlife scumbag, I am sure he will regret taking a life, and likely be haunted by it, as do most, even in the line of duty, in the military and law enforcement.

    But if I were woken in the middle of the night by unknown people busting down my door, I would be instinctively ready to defend my loved ones, in this case his pregnant girlfriend- thats how we men are evolved. Its a split second decision, and you live with the choice, one way or another- would you rather he submitted, to say- criminals who would steal his pot, and rape his girlfriend? In the drug world, its become absolutely evil- read about whats happening in the border states, as part of the expansion of the cartels in Mexico, into gangs in the US, or just the violence that goes on in general in poverty stricken areas anywhere. Its a fact of life, and its spreading to affluent neighborhoods, including Phoenix, which has become the kidnapping capital…as drug criminals prey upon one another, and family, and un-related victims more and more- and thats something you dont read in the news, but well known in law enforcement.

    I am also not in favor of illegal drug growing, distribution or use – so dont bother trolling off-topic on that, here.

    Deputy Sowers was not married, but he did leave family behind, perhaps some who depended on him. I honor him for his courage in defending his community, and service too, and extend sympathy to those he left behind.

    I’m also sure the chief: Sheriff Dale Stroud is a good man too- I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, and I am sure he is asking himself- as might Deputy Sowers family- in retrospect- was it worth it, for a misdemeanor pot bust? Was there a better way?

    Somewhere on the risk-return spectrum these no-knocks do more harm than good, and its worth having that public discussion, if only to avoid tragedies like this when we can.

    • The guy is not very evolved or he wouldn’t have a pregnant GIRLFRIEND. At least not playing the BS “fiancé” line.

      • LOL – that’s where you’re going to criticize the guy? Because he knocked a chick up on accident? Son that’s more than likely how you were conceived.

    • “Then it becomes a bust for an “illegal grow” inside a trailer- how much can that yield realistically- in this case under 5 lbs of pot, and a marijuana possession charge, as the guns seized were legally owned after all. ”

      They were living there, using the bathroom and kitchen, etc. It can’t have been over 4-5 plants. We don’t know how many, if any, were males. Depending on how high tech the grow was (I doubt if it was much more than plants in dirt pots), we’re talking, in real life, about an ounce, two at the very outside.

      They didn’t stop any further “crimes” from being committed; this would be a personal-use grow. DIY. Home cookin’.

  22. Well, we have the jury system for a reason.

    That said, I’m still fuzzy on how a guy kills a cop with others around and makes it out of the house on his feet instead of in a bag.

  23. ..and conversely Mr. DA, if the police didn’t use a no knock SWAT raids for every little thing, these potentially dangerous (to everyone) situations could be avoided. Terrible mistake BY THE COPS. What is the hurry, is the risk of a suspect flushing some evidence worth an officer’s life?

  24. The officer claimed, in asking for a non-knock warrant, that there was a risk of the drugs being destroyed. I defy anyone who supports the police action in this case to explain how pot ***plants*** could be “destroyed” in the time it takes to announce yourself as police officers serving a warrant. It doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

    • He’s got the extra big flavor of trailer that comes pre-equipped with a diesel-powered mulcher aimed directly into an open manhole … in the living room.

      It’s like, standard equipment for a young somebody with limited options trying to make a decent buck these days instead of despising their very existence living as a new-age serf making less than $10/hr at Wally-world or City Market.

      Haven’t you heard?

  25. I would think the last place anyone would want to sneak up on an try to get the element of surprise is at a paranoid dirt bag dope dealers house. Sad situation but the Grand Jury only did what they had to do. This guy is toast anyway, especially in Texas.

    • -1

      I bet you’re the guy who gets all hot and bothered watching old films of cops busting up a speakeasy back in the day.

      Assuming that the law or a governments’ policies are always
      1) In the best interest of the citizen
      2) Morally correct
      is why the world has the occasional spasm called “genocide”.

      I politely request that you click your heels somewhere else.

  26. Dude was a dirtbag, sure, but even dirtbags have the right to defend their life and the lives of those they care for. Good call on the GJ. He’ll get locked up some for the drugs and after he’s out (if he makes it) he should move to the opposite side of the state or even out of state.

    I’m sure the deputy was a nice guy, good to drink a beer with, loved and was loved by his family, etc. but when you break down someone’s door in the middle of the night without warning, you get what you get and its no one’s fault but your’s or your supervisor’s.

    • He’ll never make it out of jail unless he’s extremely lucky. The word will be put out that he killed a cop so an “accident” will happen. Even if he does make it out, he’ll never be allowed to leave the state thanks to his PO. So if the small chance that he does survive jail occurs, he’ll most likely be shot while committing some other crime. At least that’s the story that will be told.

  27. What’s missing here are steel door frames and metal clad solid core doors. That will be part of the reno for the next house we get…

      • It’s incredibly sad that suggestions of home fortification as a response to overzealous peace officers is a thing.

        Srsly. Do we live in the (new) USSR or what?

        • “Srsly. Do we live in the (new) USSR or what?”

          Since about 9/12/01, and it’s getting worse by the day.

    • I always wanted one of those massive 4 inch thick solid oak doors with a huge timber 4 x 8 to bar it, like in the olden days.

  28. I’ve said it before and will say it again. No knock warrents are only to be used in the most dire of circumstances. I’d rather see a pothead or low level dealer flush the evidence than have blood in the streets when not needed.

    Pull up to the house, hit it with spots, announce on the bullhorn why you’re there. Give the man with the pregnant girlfriend a moment to think and guess what? 9 times out of ten he’ll come out with his hands up.

    • I agree completely. Yes if its coke or heroin and an apartment complex, it’ll get flushed–but 5 lbs of pot in a mobile? Let’s get real. And if you have access to the water supply, shut it off and he’ll get no more than one flush any way.

      • To heck with the water supply… if it’s a mobile, crawl underneath and interrupt the main (4″?) sewer outlet. He can have as many flushes as he likes – it’s still going to end up inside the structure.

    • That’s my take on this too.

      I remember when the first no-knock warrants started – under the idea that “evidence would be lost” in drug cases. A couple of friends who were lawyers (one of them almost as cynical as our Ralph, the other who had worked in a DA’s office) said “Nothing good will come of this. Especially for gun owners like you. Just you watch.”

      This was back when I still marginally supported the “War on [Some] Drugs.”

      And they were right – 20+ years ago. Today, I’m for full legalization of all drugs. Let’s retreat and declare victory. Go ahead, hand out medals and prizes for all those involved, but take away their Tonka toys and their guns at the same time.

  29. Oops always announce who you are and your intentions before busting down doors, because I bet this is a common thing, the only difference is this suspect lived to tell about it.

  30. Texas already has a law allowing force against officers who use to illegal force, which is probably why this guy was not indicted.

  31. I’m amazed that a Grand Jury in Burleson County Texas got this right. It’s a good sign. No knock warrants are for Pablo Escobar, not a dude with five pounds of homegrown weed.

    Ever watch videos of the keystone cops doing these things? 5 masked men with guns all yelling something different. Even if the alleged criminal wants to comply, how does he when one cop is yelling hands up, one is yelling on the ground, and one is just yelling unintelligible profanity? Watch a well trained Army or Marine fire team clear a room. One guy talks…the team leader. Everyone else uses hand and arm signals and shuts up.

    • That very issue has been pointed out to me by vets time and time again: lack of team discipline by cops, everyone wants to get in on the action at the head of the stack, commands at cross-purposes, etc.

  32. Mr Farrago:

    What does this post really have to do with “THE TRUTH ABOUT GUNS”? Your ever increasing number of posts regarding you very legitimate concerns regarding police militarization, have nothing to do with TTAG, and belong on a blog about that topic, perhaps THE TRUTH ABOUT POLICE.

    It is clear that beyond your valid concerns on this and closely related police tactics issues, you have some serious issues regarding the police. It would be possible to conclude that you have anger issues regarding the police, and that you actually hate the five-0. I don’t think thats the case, but please, enough with the police bashing. Try keeping the content to TTAG. Just a suggestion.

      • “The story is of a person defending his home and girlfriend with a firearm.”

        Maybe, based on one perspective but having NOT been there you have no clue as to his motivation. He may have been protecting his weed.

        As for what this has to do with TTAG… I say quite a bit. Remember that “innocent until proven guilty” thing??? What happens to any of us when an anonymous tip says we have illegal unicorn pelts and the police NoKnock our front door down before we can flush said pelts?

        Just because the suspect had drugs THIS TIME doesn’t exempt the bad decision made by the police department from being called into question. I think this article DIRECTLY affects not only gun rights but the entire firearms community and the fight we’re in to keep what freedoms we have left intact.

        • Of course he was protecting his weed… as well as his family. How was he supposed to know that it was the local PD and not some thugs there to rob him and rape his girlfriend.

    • David: How to operate a gun is simple. How to use it to defend your home in a somewhat dangerous world, how to comply with the law, is not simple at all. As for Farago, I’d assume he gets along just fine with LEO’s. Indeed, he’s always arguing caution. It’s true there are others that predictably post anti-comments. Diversity.

  33. Hopfully something positive can come out of this…….Like police thinking twice before they roid rage through a door in the middle of the night. The thing thats is messed up is that the cop didn’t have to loose his life if we didn’t have stupid drug laws. I personally don’t give a piss about drugs. If you want to smoke weed or do heriorin that your business…..Also helps cut down on population explosion.

  34. Ask a cop and they’ll tell you that they get off on kicking down doors. It’s a rush and the best part of their job as they see it.

  35. I love you hard libertarians. Just wave a magic wand, get rid of drug laws, and nothing bad will come from it, only pixie dust and candy canes. The drug dealers and cartels will just magically disappear. They’ll have no reaction at all to the govt eliminating their black market. 85-90% of libertarian views are on the money. Its where hard libertarians never factor in reality or like liberals they ignore possible unintended consequences.

    Regarding the topic of the post, it is sort of 2A related in that the GJ no true billed his cop killing shooting. Buts lets all admit that this is not really a gun or 2A case.

    • …you are completely uninformed…go study what they have done in Portugal by decriminalizing small amounts of drugs…taking away the “profit incentive” and treating those with problems as a medical condition….I bet you are so uninformed that you have no idea that our own DEA and the US Military have been running drugs for the Politically connected in this country for decades…I bet you have no idea that the opium problem in Russia is purposefully constructed by Western Governments to undermine their legitimate society? The Bush family have been running drugs and prohibited items since before WW2… please try to get some education before you embarrass yourself again…

      RJ O’Guillory
      Author-
      Webster Groves – The Life of an Insane Family

      • Hey RJ, in your multiple conspiracy rant, you left out that the Jews are to blame for it all. Thats the ultimate progression of every tin foil wearing, 9/11 truther, conspiracy theorist nut job. Glad to see a member of your tribe is monitoring the posts. You are a 9/11 truther aren’t you RJ? More like 9/11 truth denier. Probably not the only historical event that you deny, huh RJ?

        • Hey Davey….when you have worked for over two decades as a “Federally Protected Whistle-Blower” for the US DoD….when you have sat in rooms all over the world as members of the US Government discuss, plan and expect compliance with illegal activity…then you might have a reasonable, informed opinion that you might be able to express appropriately…until then…as I said…you are a badly uninformed soul who will wish at some point in his life that he had paid attention…when you can say that you have stood up to all the corruption around you for 24 years….and came out the other side with your honor and integrity intact…then perhaps someone may listen to your…hopefully… then… …informed opinion…

          RJ O’Guillory
          Author-
          Webster Groves – The Life of an Insane Family

          btw…I grew up in a family of corrupt law enforcement…so my years in corrupt government were nothing shocking to me…sad that it will probably take a tragedy in your life to understand what the informed, mature people on this site have tried to explain…but I don’t want to hack-off Matt, so I’ll leave it at that…

    • It absolutely is a gun rights case.

      A man defended himself and his home from armed intruders. This DGU resulted in a dead cop.

      Immediately, the hue and cry arose that he would be / should be executed under Tx law regarding felony-murder.

      Question: Putting the drugs completely aside, where do YOU stand on this issue of a man (named on a warrant or not) killing a cop in a no-knock, no-announce raid at 5:00 am?

      This is a Defensive Gun Use discussion, and is right to be here on this forum. It has nothing to do with drugs. At issue is whether or not it is perceived as a legitimate DGU.

      Also at issue is the larger question of police militarization. Given that the grabbers maintain the cops are the only ones that should have the guns at all, this is a VERY important discussion to have in regard to the Second Amendment.

      Or, have you forgotten the fundamental purpose of the Second Amendment is to freaking prevent THIS VERY THING from being allowed to happen?

  36. I see this as a terrible tragedy that ended in a officer losing his life.
    There is a balance between risk versus reward many are overlooking.
    Did the officers feel this punk was big enough of a danger to society because of the potential for having a few pounds of pot? (Doubtful). The guy lived a risky life and felt he need a gun to defend himself from others that would have taken it from him by force. (Though possessing a gun in the commission of a felony is an extra ding they will surely charge him with).

    No knock had a potential to be extremely abused and should be reserved for the absolute most dangerous threats to society at large. I feel the man was ENTIRELY JUSTIFIED in using lethal force to defend his home from armed invaders PERIOD! A situation that could be avoided by LEO’s; knocking, announcing the warrant and then if necessary busting the door down.

    Blame here should be on the detectives that asked for the no-knock and the judge that approved it. An outside review done on the evidence that they felt elevated this man to the level of a major threat to society and the findings used to remove the judge for violating the public trust given him. He should have performed his job to act as a check and balance to the situation, not rubber stamp ego jockeys entertainment for the night.

    As a member of that community I would also be concerned with the health and safety of the local law enforcement, I would demand reviews of training practices for entry groups to limit loss of life in future situations.

    This is life, not television. Police swat teams kicking in doors on TV so often should scare us, not make us not entertain us. Remember Waco, that whole pile of worms started because of the same moronic logic. They wanted drama and excitement in the news instead of quietly arresting a dangerous person on his morning jog. How much liberty are you willing to sacrifice so the cops can bust someone with enough pot he couldn’t possibility flush it down the down the toilet?

    I could see potential for the same thing happening any of us living in castle law states myself included, I have had law enforcement erroneously knock on my door instead of my neighbors to serve warrants if such warrant had been a no knock, who knows…

  37. Approx. 5 years ago in a small West Texas town the LEOs executed a no-knock raid on an isolated farm house. They had a warrant, signed by a judge, on testimony of a confidential informant.

    When the LEOs used the battering ram to bust down the door at 3am they came face to face (approx. 3 inches away) with four double barrel 12 gauge shotguns (Father, Mother, son and his wife) looking them directly in the eyes.

    At that point several of the LEOs soiled their pants and the place became real quiet. The lead LEO announced they had a search warrant then gave the name of the expected occupant of the house.

    Then, both the father and son held up their badges and ID, identifying themselves as Texas Rangers (the real Rangers, not the baseball players).

    As it turned out, the son had been transferred into that area and the family had purchased the house a month earlier and had just moved into it two days before the late night incident. They heard strange noises outside their house so they armed themselves in preparation to going outside to investigate.

    Later, it was found the CI had a grudge against the father for arresting him a year earlier. The CI skipped the area, but was arrested in New Mexico a year later on an un-related charge.

    Needless to say, the LEOs in that area don’t conduct no-knock raids at night anymore.

  38. I fear this will not have much impact beyond Burleson County and the immediate environs, but a few more and they’ll begin to get the message: bad things can happen when you play gestapo in the boonies.

    • A couple of Rangers stop by the shop yesterday and we got into a discussion about heavy handed raids on low profile scum. They said they are seeing more and more small town LEOs that have become militarized with heavy vehicles and weapons performing late night no-knock raids on small time “perps”. When they asked why, the LEOs said they were practicing. When pressed further, the LEOs just smiled.

  39. “No knock” warrant service violates a suspect’s right to counsel during all phases of “due process,” which starts with the service of a warrant. Why to the police carry the warrant with them? They know they’ve been issued a warrant. They carry it to prove to the suspect that they have a warrant. And the suspect has a right to examine the warrant before permitting the search or seizure. He also has a right to contact his attorney and to have the attorney review the warrant for obvious, fatal defects.

    Innocent people have been killed during no-knock warrant service because the police went to the wrong address. A simple showing of the warrant to the people in the homes in these situations would have uncovered their mistakes before it was too late. This is why no-knock warrant service should be reserved for only the most dangerous entries, and not for everyday law-enforcement purposes as now seems to be the case more often than not.

  40. The Sgt that got himself killed leading this no-knock raid just made Sgt and was already pushing for LT. The problem is he was pressing it on dodgy info from an arrested informant. It was a non violent offense and shouldn’t triggered a no-knock raid. If the evidence can be flushed, it isn’t worth risking lives over in the first place. He should have waited until day light and the guy stepped outside to serve the warrant.

  41. You bust in my door cop or no cop and you die.

    End of story. We all have the right to protect ourselves from all intruders. Cops or criminals.

    One less criminal with a badge on the loose.

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