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In the Ninth we trust
By Milton Hirsch, David Oscar Markus
Fourth Amendment Forum columns.
Two recent opinions by the Ninth Circuit should be celebrated, while they last.
United States v. Banks
First up is United States v. Banks.1 Lashawn Lowell Banks’ life changed one recent afternoon as he was showering in his small two-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment. North Las Vegas Police Department officers and FBI agents, attempting to execute a search warrant on that apartment, positioned themselves at the front and rear of the apartment. They “knock[ed] loudly on the apartment door and announc[ed] ‘police search warrant.’”2
No one answered their calls. So after 15 to 20 seconds without a response, armed SWAT officers huffed and puffed and knocked Banks’ door down. Banks, hearing the officers rumble into his apartment, emerged from his shower, “naked, wet and soapy.”3 He was forced to the floor and handcuffed, without being given any clothes or an opportunity to dry off. After being questioned by agents for some time, he was provided “underwear with which to cover himself.”4
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