E.D.N.Y.: Battering down door at dawn in CP SW wasn’t unreasonable, even if uncalled for

SWAT team entry into defendant’s Queens home at dawn for child pornography on a computer was not unreasonable. The police knew that only defendant, his wife, and their children (the children were “Potential Hazards” according to their operational plan) were in the house. The entry and search were not unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Joyce, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195834 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 27, 2022):

There is evidence to suggest that this kind of an entry—where the circumstances neither justify nor compel the use of such tactics—is not an isolated incident, either in New York City or elsewhere. Indeed, when the FBI arrested Roger Stone, a sixty-six-year-old friend and associate of the then-President of the United States, they arrived at his door while it was still dark with at least one, if not two dozen armed FBI agents. See Deanna Paul, ‘FBI! Open the door!’: The Tactics Behind the Armed Agents at Roger Stone’s Home, Washington Post (Jan. 25, 2019). This for non-violent crimes relating to impeding a congressional investigation—crimes for which suspects are often allowed to self-surrender. See id. If it can happen to a close confidante of the President of the United States, it is not a surprise that it could happen to a family living in an apartment in Queens. The regular use of such tactics, however, does not insulate them from Fourth Amendment scrutiny.

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