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Should police knock before entering - SC to decide [CNN]



Forwarded message:

>            SUPREME COURT CASE: SHOULD POLICE KNOCK BEFORE ENTERING?
>                                        
>      SCOTUS graphic January 13, 1998
>      Web posted at: 2:14 p.m. EST (1914 GMT)
>      
>      WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Supreme Court was being asked Tuesday to
>      decide whether law enforcement officers should ring the doorbell or
>      knock before entering a building if they sense danger.
>      
>      The case focuses on a 1994 incident in Oregon. Hernan Ramirez fired
>      his gun after police broke in his garage window after they received
>      a tip that a fugitive was in the Ramirez house. It was a tip that
>      turned out to be wrong.
>      
>      Ramirez fired his gun without knowing that those intruding were law
>      officers, and once he realized who the intruders were he
>      surrendered.
>      
>      "The police fire back a fusillade of fire, screaming 'police!
>      police!' -- this is the first time Mr. Ramirez realizes that the
>      police are there," said public defender Michael R. Levine.
>      
>      Even though Ramirez was not the fugitive that police had been
>      looking for, they still arrested Ramirez on weapons charges since,
>      as a convicted felon, he was not permitted to possess a gun.
>      
>      A federal judge later ruled that the police search had been
>      unconstitutional. The federal government then brought the case to
>      the Supreme Court, arguing that the increased danger in that
>      particular case had warranted the window-shattering no-knock entry
>      into the Ramirez building.

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