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Thread: Man found not guilty after killing police officer who raided home with knockless warrant

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    Campaign Veteran Right Wing Wacko's Avatar
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    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=586091


    LONGUEUIL, Que. -- A jury has found Basil Parasiris not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Laval police Const. Daniel Tessier.

    Parasiris appeared relieved after the verdict was read out. His wife, Penny Gounis, gasped, "Oh my God!" and his sister began to weep.

    The jury made the decision in its fourth day of deliberation.

    Shortly after 5 a.m. on March 2, 2007, Tessier was the second of nine Laval police officers who stormed into Parasiris's home after they smashed in the front door with a small battering ram.

    The raid was part of an investigation of five drug traffickers who were selling cocaine in Laval.

    The Laval police morality-drug squad suspected Parasiris was supplying the drug dealers with cocaine and were hoping to find a large quantity of the drug inside. Because of their suspicions they obtained a search warrant allowing them to make a so-called "dynamic entry," designed to catch people off-guard before they can destroy evidence.

    But before the jury began hearing evidence, the trial judge, Justice Guy Cournoyer, ruled the warrant used for the raid was a violation of Parasiris's charter right that protects Canadians against abusive search and seizure. Cournoyer criticized the Laval police because they had no evidence they would find a large quantity of drugs in Parasiris's home. Also, Parasiris was never charged with drug trafficking after the raid.

    At times when the jury wasn't sitting, Cournoyer insisted he wanted the trial to be about what happened inside Parasiris's home when Tessier was killed and not what he referred to as "fireworks." Because of this, the jury was never told about the warrant or why the Laval police were there in the first place. The six men and six women also never heard that the police found less than a gram of cocaine, nearly two grams of marijuana, 13 cellular phones and four pagers inside the home.

    Police also found eight pages of what one investigator described as possibly being the accounts of drug trafficking and Parasiris admitted during an interrogation that he was involved in drug trafficking for three years to get out of financial trouble. The jury also never heard this evidence.

    During the raid, five of the officers headed up a stairway to the second floor of the home where the bedrooms were. Tessier headed for the master bedroom and was shot by Parasiris as he neared the door.

    Parasiris and his wife both testified they had no idea it was the police who had broken into their home. Both also said they never heard the officers shout "Police!" during the raid until after Tessier was shot.

    Perhaps the best evidence to support Parasiris's claim that he feared he and his family were under attack was that he admitted he soiled his underwear during the raid.

    Parasiris testified he opened his bedroom door, came face to face with Tessier and fired his revolver when he saw Tessier's hand was pointing towards him.

    Parasiris fired four shots, striking Tessier three times. The fourth shot struck Const. Stephane Forbes, who was about to open the door to the bedroom of Parasiris's seven-year-old daughter, Stephanie.

    When they heard the shots, three officers returned gunfire. Det.-Sgt. Nathalie Allard fired four shots towards Parasiris but struck his wife in the right arm and Tessier in the foot.

    Constables Serge Lauzon and Francois Leblanc, the man in charge of the investigation, mistook where the shots were coming from and fired five rounds each towards the bedroom of Parasiris's 15-year-old son, George.

    During the trial, Parasiris was acquitted by Cournoyer on three charges related to Forbes, who was struck in the left arm by the stray bullet. While Cournoyer was in the middle of instructing the jury on those three charges, including attempted murder, defence lawyer Jacques Larochelle pointed out the Crown never presented evidence Parasiris meant to shoot Forbes.

    Parasiris still faces eight charges related to four loaded firearms he kept in his house, including the Ruger .357 magnum revolver he used to shoot Tessier. Parasiris had a license for the revolver, but not for the address he kept it at.

    He did not have licences for the other firearms and is charged with improperly storing all three.

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    Hmpf, looks like the Canadians have a better sense of rights than Americans...

    But yes, moral of the story?
    No knock warrants = Bad

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    Regular Member MetalChris's Avatar
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    The Laval police morality-drug squad
    What?! That sounds like something out of Demolition Man!! (Or possibly Saudi Arabia)

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    OK, I'm all about prosecuting Law Enforcement when they attempt to serve no-knock warrants based on false/bad info, or at the wrong address. That's a no brainer.

    But this was a bit different I think. This guy WAS a drug dealer/trafficker and openly admitted it. The only wrong part was the amount of drugs they expected to find. They were hoping for a big fish and got a guppy. Who knows, maybe the day before the raid, he had 40 keys in his crawlspace and was able to move it before the police showed up.

    This guy wasn't exactly Mr. Goodguy.

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    Campaign Veteran Right Wing Wacko's Avatar
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    Case law is seldom made because of the good guys.

    Miranda was not exactly a saint, yet where would we be today without his case? Even the low life in society deserves their rights.

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    Campaign Veteran Right Wing Wacko's Avatar
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    One could also assume that because this guy was a drug dealer he had MORE reason to fear for his lifewhen someone was breaking into his house.

    A gun was pointed at him, he fired back in self defense. It seems like a cut and dried case to me.

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    Right Wing Wacko wrote:
    One could also assume that because this guy was a drug dealer he had MORE reason to fear for his lifewhen someone was breaking into his house.

    A gun was pointed at him, he fired back in self defense. It seems like a cut and dried case to me.
    I'll second that...

    What's especially ironic is that they use "large quantity of drugs" to justify no-knock warrants... even though common sense says that large quantities are harder to destory than small quantities. Yes, perhaps several grams of coke can get flushed down the toilet in the half-minute or so it takes to gain entry after announcing. But I'd think it's asking a bit much for drug dealers to be able to destory a kilo or more of coke in such a short amount of time... sure, they might get rid of some of it, but there would still be enough left to prosecute. Oh, and no dead cop either.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    What's especially ironic is that they use "large quantity of drugs" to justify no-knock warrants... even though common sense says that large quantities are harder to destory than small quantities.
    Yeah, well, there you go, trying to talk sense again!

    We've had this discussion many times before. I can think of vey few cases where using a SWAT team makes any sense. If somebody has lots of drugs in their house, you just wait until they go out to the 7/11 and detain them in the parking lot. Then you search the empty house at leisure, without destroying doors or ransacking the house or spraying tear gas or any other destruction of property. The SWAT team stands by as back up.

    But the fact is that the "War on Drugs" is considered to be so serious that we have to pretend that suspects have no rights, and deserve no dignity, and must not only be arrested, but "conquered". In addition, lots of money and training time is spent on SWAT teams and equipment, so a reason to use all that tacticool stuff and use your training to "kick ass" has to be invented, and since most people fear and loathe drugs, that'll do.



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    Slightly off-topic: Doesn't flushing drugs down a toilet (the most common way someone would get rid of drugs in a hurry) leave evidence sitting in public property in the sewer system? Instead of a no-knock warrant, couldn't they just put a trap in the sewer line to catch anything being flushed from that house, then perform a regular entry?

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    This case illustrates the problem with home assaults. Police serving a warrant by assaulting a home and a homeowner defending his/her family from violent attack are not mutually exclusive.

    Just because police have a warrant does not mean a homeowner is wrong to shoot a violentintruder.

    If people have the right to self defense, then they are not wrong to exercise that right.

    People understandably fear for their life when their home is assaulted.

    Shooting a violent intruder is usually an appropriate response.

    What I am saying is that a police policy of home assault is fraught with danger. This thug in Canada, even though he was apparently a drug dealer, had the right to defend his family against a violent attack.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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