Durham fake 911 calls made by police to enter homes outrage residents

Christian Savoy
Jacksonville Top News Examiner
July 15, 2014

Durham, N.C. residents are outraged after learning of fake 911 calls made up by police in order to gain entry into homes. It is well known that many cops use questionable tactics in order to illegally search homes, vehicles, and other personal property in hopes of making an arrest. The Durham fake 911 calls definitely fall into that category and one police officer has even admitted that it is common practice. A July 14 Newser report said that a Durham cop, Officer A.B. Beck, testified in court that this 911 call tactic was standard procedure at the department in alleged domestic violence cases.

According to ABC 11, Beck said he knocked on a resident’s door, and when a woman answered, he told her that police had received a 9-1-1 hang up call. However, the problem is that this never happened. Both law experts and attorneys say that this practice is illegal. Brian Aus, an experienced defense attorney, gave the following statement regarding the matter….”People have a constitutional right to privacy, and you can’t fake someone out of their constitutional rights. You’ve got to be honest about this stuff.”

After Beck entered the home, he performed a search and he found two blunts of marijuana and a marijuana grinder. In court, the defendant’s attorney argued that the search was illegal and filed a motion to suppress any evidence found therein. A judge granted the motion, resulting in the possession charges being dropped. Durham County Chief District Judge Marcia Morey said…”you cannot enter someone’s house based on a lie.”

The Durham fake 911 calls scandal has received national attention and Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez sent out an internal memo to address the issue.

“Effective immediately,” Lopez wrote, “No officer shall inform a citizen that there has been a call to the emergency communications center, including a hang up call, when there in fact has been no such call.”

Lopez has officially banned the use of the 911 tactic for home entry, and he claims it was never part of departmental policy. He also said he was only aware of one incident of the fake 911 call tactic being used, although some are not entirely convinced this is true.

What’s your opinion on the Durham fake 911 calls scandal? Do you believe that the officers who used this dubious police tactic in order to search private properties without a warrant should be prosecuted? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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