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posted on 4/23/21

A young couple is watching a movie in their apartment when police officers burst through the door. Thinking that a home invader was breaking in, the boyfriend got his gun and fired what he considered to be a warning shot. The shot hit one of the police officers, injuring him. Police officers then opened fire into the apartment, fatally wounding the woman.

The boyfriend claims that he never heard an announcement that the police were entering his apartment. The raid was an attempted drug raid. The police officers, in this case, obtained a no-knock warrant, allowing them to enter and search the premises without announcing themselves. Whether the police officers were justified in using a no-knock warrant is disputed among legal experts.

When Can Police Use a “No-Knock Warrant?”

This case has brought international attention to no-knock warrants, and the deceased woman’s family is suing the police department. Illinois has responded to recent discussions about the need for police reform by enacting more stringent requirements for no-knock warrants in its new police reform law. No-knock warrants can be particularly dangerous because the homeowner does not know that police are entering his or her home and may understandably think a home invasion is happening.

The reforms made to Illinois no-knock warrant requirements are based on recent Chicago Police Department reforms. These requirements will be state-wide and not limited to Chicago. Under Illinois’ new law, there are additional requirements for getting a no-knock warrant, such as:

Each police officer who participates in a no-knock warrant search must wear a body camera and follow all procedures and policies correctly
The law enforcement officers must take steps to plan the search to make sure it is accurate and account for any children or vulnerable people who may be in the house or apartment
When a police officer learns that the search warrant was executed at a location different from the location on the search warrant, he or she must notify a superior immediately. The superior must begin an internal investigation

Police officers who do not follow these new requirements could be personally charged and face criminal and administrative consequences. Cases involving alleged misconduct are a lightning rod for controversy right now. If you are a police officer facing charges for police misconduct, you need an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who will fight for you in court and in the court of public opinion.

Contact a Schaumburg Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

At Glasgow & Olsson, our award-winning criminal defense lawyers have a proven track record of success in many high-profile state and federal criminal cases. The firm has also been involved in representing persons whose rights have been violated in multimillion dollar civil rights cases. You can see defense attorney Thomas Glasgow on local Chicago news when he fought to get a former police officer’s conviction vacated. Contact Glasgow & Olsson today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how our legal team can fight for your rights.