• October 25, 2014

Ex-councilman asks Killeen to suspend use of "no knock" search warrants

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Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 12:32 pm

A former Killeen City Council member is asking Killeen officials to end the use of forced entry involving "no knock" tactics while serving warrants.

Larry K. Cole sent the email to current council members and Mayor Scott Cosper May 21 regarding the death of Detective Charles Dinwiddie, who was shot while he and members of the department's SWAT team were attempt to serve such a warrant in the the early morning hours of May 9.

"A few months ago, after reading an article about a wrongful forced entry that resulted in the death of a home owner, I wrote the city manager and chief of police an email encouraging that Killeen adopt a policy of no forced entry during the hours of darkness," Cole wrote in his email. "Unfortunately, my advice was set aside and we now have a dead officer."

Speaking this morning, Cole said that Mayor Scott Cosper did respond to his email, and stated that he couldn't comment as the investigation into the incident was ongoing.

In his email, Cole also called for an investigation of the shooting by an outside agency or local citizens commission.

Read more in tomorrow's Killeen Daily Herald.

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Welcome to the discussion.

3 comments:

  • suzuki posted at 1:09 am on Thu, May 29, 2014.

    suzuki Posts: 1

    First let me start of by saying former, and I’m happy to be able to use the term former council member Larry Cole is very unrealistic when it comes to police matters. His decisions, idea’s, and wishes are now and always have been unrealistic. Mr. Cole has never been a supporter of law enforcement; especially the Killeen Police Dept. Mr. Cole is simply attempting to use his uneducated, bias opinion for political gain.
    For the police to suspend no knock warrants would put officers in more harm’s way than needed. Does Mr. Cole seriously believe the best tactic would be for officers to stand at a dangerous criminals door and knock? Am I the only person who sees a major issue with this idea? There will always be dangerous people out there who want to harm others and there will always be drug dealers. To become a member of law enforcement is a dangerous and mostly thankless job. Police are reactive to others actions. When a crime is committed they investigate and hopefully make an arrest. If they are lucky they may even be able to get the prosecutor to prosecute the offender.
    When police have enough information that a suspect is committing an offense and need to conduct a search warrant to obtain evidence of a particular crime they need to be able to use the element of surprise for their safety and to prevent the destruction of evidence. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. There’s no way for an officer to know what’s on the other side of the door he’s about to go through unless they have a good informant or a man on the inside. And even if they do have a good informant things may have changed between the time they got the information and when they obtained the warrant.
    Anytime something tragic happens people are going to become experts on the matter and throw out there uneducated opinion on how the police should have done things. Mr. Cole has been and most likely will continue to do so for years. The fact of the matter is Mr. Cole has no police training and has never served in a law enforcement capacity a day in his life. He has a right to his opinion but it’s a very uneducated and poor opinion. There’s a saying my late father used to use that comes to mind when I read nonsense like this article, “It’s better to be thought of as an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all double.”

    It’s nice that people express their concerns and ideas in the aftermath of a tragic event but they do so with very little knowledge on the subject at hand. The police are trained and have years of experience doing what they do. Unfortunately the police aren’t mind readers and they can’t predict the future or see through buildings. All the training in the world isn’t going to stop a person who’s determined to hurt someone. The only thing the police can do it react to the bad guy’s actions and hope for a positive outcome. No matter what an officer does he run’s a huge risk of being sued or even fired. Even when police do the right thing they get sued. Mostly because the country’s divided down the middle on what the right thing is.
    There’s no way the police will ever be able to stop using no knock warrants and expect to apprehend offenders. The worst thing the police could do to put themselves at risk is to knock on a suspects door and announce their presence. If they do then they might as well paint bright red targets on their body armor.

     
  • Diana16 posted at 10:52 pm on Tue, May 27, 2014.

    Diana16 Posts: 14

    No one is saying give up the element of surprise but there are clearly better methods. Why not catch the guy as he's walking out of the house or just getting out of his car. These tactics aren't about preserving evidence or the element of surprise. The fact is that SWAT team leader wanted to play commando and got his officer killed. He should be fired for incompetence and unnecessarily risking the life of his officers. I know breaking into somebody house looks better on the nightly news but there are better ways. And I wouldn't brag about being behind the national average for on duty related deaths because even one death is to many.

     
  • cvbcsa posted at 3:07 pm on Tue, May 27, 2014.

    cvbcsa Posts: 3

    First, to do away with no knock for police is taking away the element of surprise. Most warrants are served in the evening or late hours because that's when most people will be at home. Second. To infer that this is the reason we have dead officers in Killeen is plain ludicrous. Lets announce that we are coming or that we are here, lets let them get ready for us. (really dumb idea). I personally know the Commander of the Swat Team and know they are highly trained in entry tactics and officer survival. Lets not take away anymore advantages from the officers than they already have. Killeen is way far behind the national and state average for officers killed in the line of duty. It had nothing to do with knock or no knock. Stop watching cop shows on tv.

    C. Van Bibber
    Lt. Retired, Killeen Police Dept.

     

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