Target: Attorney General Eric Holder
Goal: Open federal inquiry into the shooting of an innocent man during a no-knock raid
David Hooks was shot dead in his own South Carolina home by Laurens County police when they served a no-knock search warrant on his home. Black-clad police in unmarked cars broke down his door in the late evening of September 24, 2014 looking for drugs. According to David’s wife Teresa, they did not identify themselves as police, and she only knew who was invading her home when she heard dispatch radios.
David was woken up that evening by his panicked wife who, after seeing a black car in her driveway and several men exiting it, thought that the men could be gang members. Hooks grabbed an unloaded gun, but before he was able to dress himself to check his home, the door was broken down and he was shot. The autopsy revealed that two of the 17 shots fired at Hooks were fired while he was laying face down on the ground.
Under South Carolina’s Stand Your Ground laws, private citizens are authorized to use deadly force in defense of themselves and their families. Since the police failed to identify themselves, Mr. Hooks had no way to know that he was not under attack by thieves or home invaders. There were no drugs or other contraband found in the Hooks’ home.
No-knock warrants can create confusion for innocent, unsuspecting citizens, and have resulted in disaster. Recently, a child was permanently disfigured by a stun grenade that was lobbed into a private home, and a police officer was killed by a Texas man who thought his home was being invaded. These types of warrants should be reserved only for extenuating circumstances, such as when there is concrete evidence that a life may be in danger.
If the judge who issued a no-knock warrant and the police officers who executed it had used more care, it is likely that David Hooks would still be alive. Sign the petition below to demand justice for Mr. Hooks in the form of a federal inquiry into the case and a policy review of no-knock warrant procedures.
Dear Attorney General Eric Holder,
David Hooks was recently shot by police in his own home during a no-knock warrant. The police failed to identify themselves and arrived in unmarked cars without police uniforms.
No-knock warrants can pose a danger to citizens and police and should only be used when absolutely necessary. We, the undersigned, demand a federal inquiry into the death of David Hooks as well as a review of no-knock warrant policies.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Augustas Didžgalvis via Creative Commons