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Drug Law Reform
Drug Raid Sets A House On Fire

An Article By Terence T. Gorski
GORSKI-CENAPS Web Publications
Published On: <DATE>          Updated On: August 07, 2001
© Terence T. Gorski, 2001

Terry Gorski and Other Members of the GORSKI-CENAPS Team Are Available To Train & Consult On Areas Related To Drug Law Reform
Gorski - CENAPS, 17900 Dixie Hwy, Homewood, IL 60430, 708-799-5000,, 

Although most people are not aware of it, the War On Drugs has already cost US citizens many constitutional protections that they take for granted.  In 1971 the law as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court was that an anonymous tip was of no value in an attempt to obtain a search warrant unless there was independent corroboration of probable cause.  This law existed to protect people and their homes from being searched merely on the basis of unsubstantiated rumors and false accusations.  

This protection has been greatly reduced as a result of drug cases.  In fact, it is widely recognized that there is a "drug exception" to the Bill of Rights.  Since 1971 search warrants have been upheld on the basis of "partially corroborated anonymous tips."  This means the police can get a search warrant to search your house simply because someone called and reported that you had drugs in your house.

Once the no knock drug search warrant is issued, the police have the right to forcibly enter your house without knocking.  They can break down your door or throw gas or explosive devises into your windows without even knocking and asking you to open the door first.  When they enter your house they can forcible restrain and handcuff everyone in your home at gun point.  You might not even know they are police because they may be entering in total darkness wearing black riot gear without any badges showing.

On June 12, 2001 the police burned down a home in St. Petersburg, Florida while attempting to serve a no knock drug warrant.  They arrived on the scene and threw a flash bang device through a window which set the house on fire.  The reason for the search was an anonymous tip that drugs were being kept in the house.  No drugs were found, but an entire neighborhood was terrorized and people lost their home and livelihood.  They could have been burned to death.

How long we we tolerate an escalating war on drugs that does little but strip us of our constitutionally guaranteed rights?

Related Articles

Drug Raid Sets House On Fire (4-14-01)

Owner of House Burned-down In Drug Raid Wants Public Apology (7-13-01)

House Burnt Down In Drug Raid In St. Petersburg 7-15-01

What A Flash Bang Device
looks like when detonated

A house was set on fire on Tuesday, June 12, 2001 when police attempted to serve a no-knock drug warrant that issued based on information provided by a confidential informant.  No drugs were found did any of the residents have reason to be suspected of drug dealing.

Officers say the fire started when they set off a device called a flash-bang meant to disorient the people inside. Police say the device threw off a spark that caught some sound-proof audio tiles on fire.

The incident, which occurred in a predominantly black neighborhood stirred strong protest from citizens who live in the neighborhood.   But protesters outside police headquarters yesterday say the fire never should have happened because police didn't find any drugs, nor did they arrest any suspects. Craig Johnson is the owner of the home and says he lost everything and wants to be compensated. "I think they made a big foul up by infringing on our rights," said an angry Johnson.

A low key St. Petersburg Police Department says the use of the distraction device is under review, but officers say they've used flash-bangs for many years and never had a problem. Flash bangs, which have caused numerous house fires across the country, reach temperatures of 4,500-degrees and spew gas and flames when ignited. They can be fatal if fired directly at someone. 

Terry Gorski and Other Members of the GORSKI-CENAPS Team Are Available To Train & Consult On Areas Related To Drug Law Reform
Gorski - CENAPS, 17900 Dixie Hwy, Homewood, IL 60430, 708-799-5000,,

This article is copyrighted by Terence To Gorski.  Permission is given to reproduce this article if the following conditions are met:  (1) The authorship of the article is properly referenced and the internet address is given;  (2) All references to the following three websites are retained when the article is reproduced -,,,; (3) If the article is published on a website a reciprocal link to the four websites listed under point two is provided on the website publishing the article.

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