Should Citizens be Allowed to Defend Themselves Against Police in No-Knock Raids?

A couple weeks ago in Killeen, Texas, local police conducted a no-knock 5:30 a.m. raid on a couple’s apartment. There isn’t any evidence that the police announced themselves prior to breaking in. And not only that, when they searched the apartment after their raid, the most incriminating thing they could find was a glass pipe. No drugs.

In the process of the officers’ breaking in, the couple in the apartment grabbed their handguns and shot at the intruders, killing one and injuring another. There’s no way to tell whether the apartment residents knew that it was the police who were trying to break in, and that it was the police at whom they shot. More than likely, the couple assumed it was just a few thugs trying to break in, and they were simply defending themselves.

But now, one of the residents who shot at the officers is in jail, facing three counts of attempted capital murder. All because the people who broke in the apartment happened to be cops.

Trying to defend yourself against a cop who’s trying to kill you is considered attempted murder. You’re supposed to let the cop kill you and/or your family and let the police department claim that the officers had no choice but to shoot and kill, because they “felt their lives were threatened.”

A recent non-scientific poll conducted by The Libertarian Republic, which has a largely libertarian and conservative readership, found that an overwhelming majority (98.3%) of respondents believe that people should be able to defend themselves against police in a no-knock raid such as the one referenced above. I would have to agree in general with that majority.

You should have the right to defend yourself and your family anytime anyone tries to break in your home, whether it happens to be a cop or not. If the police don’t announce themselves, than any police death that happens as a result of that raid should not be the responsibility of the citizen who defended himself. That death rests squarely on the police department that sanctioned the raid and that didn’t think it was all that important to announce themselves.

If they do announce themselves, the best thing to do – if you want yourself and you family to live, that is – is to get away from any weapons and have your hands up in surrender. If you so much as look at a gun or a knife in that situation, the police will pump you full of lead and get away with it. Should it be this way? Obviously not.

These no-knock raids need to stop. Was that glass pipe they found really worth the life of that cop? And how often do we read of these no-knock, middle-of-the-night raids being executed on the wrong house? All because of bad information gleaned from “reliable” informants. That shouldn’t be enough evidence to be considered probable cause for a search warrant, let alone a surprise government-sponsored, armed home invasion.