CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, December 3, 2004

Evidence in Assault of Cop Suppressed for "Knock and Announce" Violation

Hellsangels Judge Michael Wilkinson of Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona suppressed evidence offered to prove Michael Wayne Coffelt, an alleged gang member, assaulted an officer during a raid on a Hell's Angels Clubhouse.  In July 2003, at around 5 a.m., as part of a multiagency sweep across Arizona, agents knocked on the door of the house where Coffelt was, announced their presence, and waited only 6 seconds before using a diversionary grenade and breaking a window to enter the premises.  Coffelt then arrived at the door with a handgun and aimed it at the officer, who shot Coffelt.  The judge determined that the agents' behavior violated the Fourth Amendment knock and announce rule, and that Coffelt's reaction of aiming a handgun at the officer was reasonable given the agents' behavior and the time of day.  The full story... [Mark Godsey]

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