A San Francisco Appellate Court recently ruled that parole agents do not have to comply with the knock-notice rule under Penal Code section 1531 when making routine parole-compliance checks. They are now permitted to barge into a parolee’s residence without first knocking and announcing their presence. This shocking new decision runs counter to previous court rulings that held that parole agents must comply with the knock-notice law for parole and even probation searches. Unfortunately, this new ruling could have deadly consequences.
On March 13, 2020, while executing a “no-knock” search warrant at night in Louisville, Kentucky, police fatally shot Breonna Taylor. Police fired their guns into Taylor’s apartment after her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a warning shot at who he thought were intruders after the police forced their way into Taylor’s apartment. A gunfight resulted in a hail of thirty-two bullets fired by police, six of which struck and killed Taylor.
Failure to comply with knock-notice laws and executing “no-knock’ warrants are extremely dangerous situations for both occupants and law enforcement. There have been a number of other cases besides the Taylor case that have ended in deadly outcomes.
This new shocking Appellate Court ruling in the Turner v. Smith case now authorizes parole agents in California to treat a routine parole-compliance check as if it was a “no knock” warrant. Turner’s San Francisco attorney, Julien Swanson, says, “If this ruling is not overturned by our Supreme Court, then it will only be a matter of time when a routine parole-compliance check results in a deadly gunfight. This is a terrible decision.”
Contact Information: Julien Swanson, Esq. (415) 282-4511