The government has officially accused two Houston police officers of violating a couple’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure when the officers raided the couple’s home. The prosecution states the violation occurred on January 28,2019 when the officers raided the home under the guise of official duty.
The raid resulted in an exchange of gunfire. Both residents were killed.
Was there a warrant?
Yes, the court issued the officers a warrant to conduct the search. The warrant was what the court called a no-knock warrant. This type of warrant allows the officers to enter the home without knocking first.
How did the officers get the warrant?
According to the recently released indictment, the officers used a false tip and manufactured a fake heroin purchase to serve as evidence provided to the court to support their request for the search warrant.
The prosecution has charged one officer with civil rights violations in connection to the fraudulent warrant as well as murder charges, the other with falsifying records.
What can Houstonians learn from this case?
Unfortunately, such violations are not uncommon. One of the officers facing charges in this case reportedly received 100 no-knock warrants like the one used in this case.
Others who find themselves facing criminal charges and believe they were the subject of an illegal search are wise to act to protect their interests. An attorney experienced in Houston criminal charges can review the case and discuss defense strategies to better ensure your legal rights are protected.