Law Enforcement Served Warrant to the Wrong Person
The police were conducting a search warrant for drugs in the apartment complex. It turns out that the police had entered the wrong apartment. When the officers entered the home, the law-abiding citizen had shot off one round not knowing that officers had entered, instead of an intruder. Two officers were injured during the conflict. The citizen finally realized that the police had entered the apartment and surrendered. The citizen was not charged with a crime.
The police department needs to have better policies in place before conducting a search of a dwelling. Maybe the police should have three people look at the warrant and then look at the address to confirm the address matches with the warrant before entering. Having three individuals look at the address and warrant could be a smart way to reduce mistakes entering the wrong dwelling. For example, having three individual officers checking the warrant and address as a policy before entering a dwelling can reduce illegally entering into private residences.
The best hope is to protect law-abiding citizens as well as law enforcement. If law enforcement accidentally enters a home without a warrant or proper authorization, then it increases the chance of the officer getting killed, injured, or civil suit, and maybe criminal charges. The same can go for a citizen. The citizen would have to deal with criminal charges, potential getting injured, or killed. This why it is essential to have a policy in place to have three officers to check an address and warrant.
In the end, the best a to prevent or reduce the chance of illegal entering into a private is to have a three check policy to ensure the address and warrant match. The hope is if the policy is successful, then police officers are protected, as well as law-abiding citizens.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.