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No-Knock Warrants Continue to Erode Americans' Rights and Liberties

9/11 pushed irrational fears on American citizens who then demanded U.S. government do something — anything — to protect the public. The government responded by hyping fear and pushing dogma that seemed to say there was a terrorist hidden around every corner.

The public bought into the government based argument that there is danger and only the government could protect anyone. The downward spiral continued at a dizzily increasing rate. Fearful citizens demanded more from the government which took away more freedoms as it claimed that the solution was to choose between losing fundamental rights or being safe.

One of the more benign consequences granted the government the right to demand access to a library users’ reading list.

A more malignant answer was the implementation of “no-knock warrants” by law enforcement — with deadly consequences.

The Henderson, Nevada, Police Department broke into two homes and arrested innocent homeowners according to a recent lawsuit.

The incident occurred in July 2011 when the HPD received a complaint about domestic violence at 363 Eveningside Avenue. Law enforcement chose to use two neighboring houses to watch the suspect. Coordinating the attack with North Las Vegas Police Department, officers commandeered the homes of the suspect’s neighbors.

According to the lawsuit, HPD Officer Christopher Worley contacted the neighbors, one of which was Anthony Mitchell, and told them police need to occupy their homes to gain a tactical advantage against the occupied dwelling where the suspect was holed up.  Mitchell told the cops he did not want the police to enter his home. Despite Mitchell continuing to insist that Worley leave his property, Worley told Mitchell he did not plan on leaving.

HPD law enforcement carried out their plan and tore down Mitchell’s front door with a battering ram. The cops pointed their weapons at the Mitchels and ordered them to the floor.

In Atlanta, Kathryn Johnson, a 92-year old woman took a seat in her La-Z-Boy to watch the evening news. She never realized she would never get out of the chair alive.  She was shot and killed in her home in November 2006. Thinking her home was being invaded, Mrs. Johnson fired one shot. The cops responded by shooting her to death. Law enforcement fired 39 rounds at Mrs. Johnson as she remained in her brown faux-leather chair that was quickly turning red from the six shots that hit her.

Each year there are dozens of innocent people killed during no-knock invasions by police.

Tiffany Carter and a male accomplice thought they had found the perfect solution to their problems. Home invasion. The pair knocked on a front door in Las Vegas. When a 12-year old boy answered, they pushed in the door. Carter grabbed the boy and held him. Her accomplice ran towards the bedroom where Jesus Javier Sanchez was resting. When the accomplice kicked open the bedroom door, Sanchez grabbed his gun and shot the home invader.

Home invasions are violent crimes. They never end well. It doesn’t matter who the invaders are.

Despite the increasing frequency which sees innocent victims such as Mrs. Johnson killed, the use of no-knock warrants is growing as well.

Daniel Kearns, an aircraft broker, spent three tours in Afghanistan as a paratrooper before coming home and finding work in law enforcement. Kearns claims that more military-like no-knock raids are happening in America against American citizens than there were by the American military in Afghanistan.

A no-knock warrant is served with an overwhelming show-of-force including tactical elements from a SWAT crew. No-knock warrants are being applied more frequently in the U.S. and observers see them as a  representation of the expanding militarization of American law enforcement.

80,000 no-knock warrants were served in 2010. That was up from 50,000 five years earlier, and that was up 47,000 from 1981. During the same time, there was no statistical increase in shootings of police or drug use. Thirty-six percent of no-knock assaults wind up with no illegal drugs or weapons found, but dozens of innocent observers have been murdered.

Since 9/11, America has incrementally turned into a police state with the legislation of a barrage of new laws aimed at chipping away  American citizens’ rights.

The permission for, and utilization of, no-knock warrants is just one deadly bead on a string of beads eroding American freedoms. Since 9/11, it has been a strange road, littered with the debris of once-valued liberties. America has gone from a nation which took pride in being an example of democracy to being a model of how to convince the citizenry to march in lockstep with a police state.

Noted Las Vegas defense attorney, Nicholas Wooldridge pointed out that even Osama bin Laden saw the future  when he said, “Freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The American government will lead its people into an unbearable hell and a choking life.”

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