Do meth ingredients found in someone’s trash justify a no-knock search? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit yesterday dismissed a $2 million judgment against Kansas City police, ruling against a man officers shot while serving a search warrant, says the Kansas City Star. The court ruled, 8 to 4, that officers had reasonable grounds not to knock or announce themselves before storming a man’s home in 1998. The man said he was shot as he bent to put his weapon on the floor.
Officers had a report of a clandestine methamphetamine lab at the home, but they recovered only a small amount of marijuana. A trial judge ruled that police did not have strong enough evidence of real danger to justify a no knock “dynamic entry” search. A majority of appeals court judges ruled that evidence from the trash search was important. Dissenter Gerald Heaney said evidence from the trash suggested personal use of methamphetamine, rather than manufacturing.