Police issuing No-Knock Warrant Results in Officers Death

Image from CBS58.com

Image from CBS58.com
Image from CBS58.com

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- In Houston, on Monday, 28 January, a no-knock search warrant resulted in the wounding of four police officers and the death of a middle-aged couple who had owned their home for 20 years.

The deaths and woundings seem to have come from the use of the no-knock warrant. There have been many problems with no-knock warrants.

Thousands of no-knock warrants are used each year.

In Milwaukee, on 6 February, a Milwaukee tactical team was serving a search warrant in an investigation of illegal drug and firearms sales.

It is unclear if the warrant was a no-knock warrant. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the warrant was announced from a loudspeaker during the attempted service of the warrant. From jsonline.com:

The Tactical Enforcement Unit arrived to search a home in the 2900 block of South 12th Street at 9:17 a.m., and three minutes later officers made contact with two people and “shots were fired,” Assistant Chief Michael Brunson Sr. told reporters earlier Wednesday.

Three law enforcement sources have told the Journal Sentinel Rittner was shot with a high-powered rifle. Two of those sources said Rittner was shot through a door.


A neighbor said he heard a loudspeaker calling out an address about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday and walked to his window. He then saw a black armored vehicle and police officers swarming the house and heard about five seconds of gunfire followed by someone yelling, “Shots fired!”

It is not known if the officers were attempting to break down the door of the house before, during or after the loudspeaker announcement. Here is part of the statement from the Milwaukee Police Department:

On Wednesday, February 6th, 2019, at about 9:17 a.m., the Milwaukee Police Department's Tactical Enforcement Unit responded to the 2900 block of South 12th Street to conduct a search warrant. The target of the search warrant was wanted for the illegal sale of firearms and drugs. While conducting the search warrant, officers announced themselves as police at which time the suspect fired several rounds. Officer Matthew Rittner was struck by gunfire and transported to Froedert Hospital, where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.

Unlike the Houston case, other officers on the scene did not unleash a hail of gunfire into the house. Two suspects were taken into custody. One of them was Jordan P. Fricke, 26.  Fricke was reported as being the target of the raid.  We do not know if his name was on the search warrant.

There is no mention of how Fricke was arrested, or if he claimed he did not know it was police who were attempting to break down his door. We know that he must have given up quickly and surrendered peacefully.  There was another person in the house who has not been identified. It is not clear if they were arrested.

I have not found any statement that any contraband was found at the house.

Fricke did not have any misdemeanor or felony arrests prior to the raid, the search warrant has not been published as of this writing. I have not found any reports of charges being filed against Fricke or the other person in the house when the raid was conducted. It is unknown if recordings of the raid and gunfire are available, or if body cameras were worn.

The Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation is investigating the incident. Wisconsin requires an outside agency to investigate police shootings.

Wisconsin has a strong “Castle Doctrine” statute. People may use deadly force to prevent unlawful forcible entry of their home. There are exemptions if the person was engaged in criminal activity or if the person forcibly entering was a public safety worker, and the person inside knew, or reasonably should have known, they were a public safety worker. Here is the wording of the statute with the exceptions.  From wisconsin.gov:

1. The actor was engaged in a criminal activity or was using his or her dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business to further a criminal activity at the time.

2. The person against whom the force was used was a public safety worker, as defined in s. 941.375 (1) (b), who entered or attempted to enter the actor's dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business in the performance of his or her official duties. This subdivision applies only if at least one of the following applies:
a. The public safety worker identified himself or herself to the actor before the force described in par. (ar) was used by the actor.
b. The actor knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter his or her dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business was a public safety worker.

I have doubts that a person inside a house would “reasonably have known” that the people breaking in were public safety workers, simply from a loudspeaker on the street.

There are many details about the raid that are not known at this time. They include the number of shots fired, what caliber(s) were used, whether officers returned fire, the particulars of the warrant and whether any contraband was found at the house.

It could be days or weeks or months before we determine if this is another tragedy caused by the overuse of no-knock raids.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 53 thoughts on “Police issuing No-Knock Warrant Results in Officers Death

    1. Your headline is legally and factually incorrect. Police do not issue warrants; they make application to a judicial officer, usually a judge, and the judge issues the warrant.

    2. “No Knock Warrants” are just a fancy name for armed robbery. The Houston attack was clearly no accident. the homeowners had something the police wanted to steal. Every man, woman and dog on that SWAT team should be executed for First degree murder.

    3. A huge part of our law enforcement problem is that we draw our law enforcement members from former military. And the rules of engagement in the military are totally different than they are for law enforcement. No matter what kind of training and how much of it they have at the academy, the fact that a police officer just might have spent two tours of duty in the sandbox getting shot at every day, and had the right to return fire, and is now suddenly in a non military setting, and must follow civilian rules, changes things.
      I am not one of those who is willing to say that all police are gestapo and bad. But I will say that when police act like gestapo, then they should be held to task and punished for their actions. And no drug dealer in this entire country is worth arresting so much that it justifies the killing of a single innocent civilian. So as to the no knock raids, the should be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court as quickly as possible. Because it is things like that which will cause the second civil war, and not civilians actions. When the government starts to attack the people with callous disregard then the people will certainly turn on them, enmass. And just remember, the number of guns that the reporters always estimate, is probably off by at least half, if not double, of the actual number that are owned. And the number of people who own them, is off by the same. The liberal who says they hate guns, probably has a shotgun that uncle bill gave him 30 years ago, stuffed in the back of his closet, gathering dust. And if the police start to shoot liberals indiscriminately along with conservatives, you can bet that that liberal will beat feet down to Walmart and buy a box of shells and ask his neighbor who owns a bunch of guns how to load and shoot.
      I don’t look forward to such an event, but I am not blind. If anyone cannot see it happening, if this sort of thing continues, they are not blind either, they are willfully ignorant.

      1. very few of the cops in NH are ex-military. the newer ones are not old enough, and the older ones are lifetime cops. honestly I’d rather have more military in LE…the military gives at least passing training on the constitutionality of things, where cops don’t really care so long as they are obeying orders from above and you are too.

        no-knock raids are grandstanding, pure and simple. if they really wanted to get the guy, they’d arrest him coming out of the bar at 3AM, not at his house where he has all the advantages. then once you have him, you do a search warrant on the house with no one home. simple. easy. no threats and no one gets shot at.

      2. No sir the problem is that in 1980 there were 100 swat raids total for the year……..today there are 100 per day 365 days a year…….been plenty of wrong address raids or malfeasance by the criminal informants,law enforcement brass etc………the people that suffer the most for these fubar situations the most are the poor slobs that are first in the door and the poor slob that is awakened from a sound sleep and adrenaline takes over and the need to defend your family………I remember a case can’t remember where….. o knock raid into a family mans home……he was thrown to the ground in his living room,hallway whatever he was put in handcuffs in his boxer shorts he and kids hustled out to driveway in the cold kids in pajamas etc while they searched the house for his estranged wife that cleaned out his bank account and ran off leaving him with the kids………it was the federal education department swat team that did the raid because the ex wife defrauded a student loan to the tune of $3900.00 so it rose to a felony charge…….she wasn’t even there hadn’t had been there for months and what the fuk is the education department doing with a swat team with machine guns……

    4. The LE that I know or have talk with over the years do not like the law.
      They say, “it gets us (them) killed” or “innocent people dead”. Communism kills!

    5. “I have doubts that a person inside a house would ‘reasonably have known’ that the people breaking in were public safety workers, simply from a loudspeaker on the street.”

      Under Wisconsin law, that doesn’t matter. As the section you quoted indicates, the exception applies if someone would “reasonably have known” OR if “the public safety worker identified himself.” The “or” is critical: If the cops yelled “we’re cops” through the speaker, the exception applies whether the person heard it or believed it or not.

      I’m not saying that’s the way it *should* be, just that it’s the way it *is.*

    6. None of this will change until the people responsible for it are held individually accountable legally and financially. And I mean from the beat cop to the DA to the judge. No more paying out of the public treasury and nobody going to prison for wrongful actions. Isn’t going to happen but I feel better saying it anyway.

    7. This is a muck raking article that offers little in fact, but a lot of opinion. If it were claimed an editorial then I’d have no complaint, but its design appears to generate anger that is divisive in nature. Even the title lacks fact. Police in this country don’t issue warrants, courts do. Police serve warrants that have been signed by the court. If anyone really wants to know more about the subject, rather than just parrot empty headed BS, ask your local district or state’s attorney how the process works. Until you’ve gone through the process, or have had someone explain it to you, you just kidding yourself into thinking you actually understand the law and how it works. So when you criticize people involve in these activities remember you don’t actually know anything about the subject greater than your grammar school constitution class. And if you haven’t looked into more than reading and believing what you see on a talk forum, criticize yourself.

      1. Felix, and you know all of our educational, occupational, and other sources and resources of our knowledge? That is also only your opinion, and an ignorant one at that. You might want to read the story instead of the headline before you comment. Here is one example, “a Milwaukee tactical team was serving a search warrant”. Notice that it doesn’t state issued a warrant, but *serving* it. I believe he mistakenly used, or an editor, used the word issuing in the headline, when, clearly in the story, he did correctly state “serving”. We all know that the police don’t issue warrants, though they do request them.

        It seems you are the angry one here. Other posters may be expressing their outrage and contempt for practices that create situations that place innocent people and police in danger and subsequently result in injury and death of said persons. I guess you are okay with that as long as the headline correctly states serving instead of issuing.

      2. Warrants are usually rubber stamped by judges who know nothing about the case……remember the baby in the playpen who was disfigured facially and had his chest opened up by a stun grenade thrown in the playpen by a no knock raid ………the person of interest that they were going for had moved out of house the week before and beside that
        they could have picked him up at his job

    8. Law enforcement is CORRUPT and OUT OF CONTROL. No Knock warrants; asset forfeiture and other ‘schemes’ to get money are driving them. HPD’s Acevido is a corrupt leftist individual from the west coast; ‘big city’ leftist cop. Wants ‘gun control’ but Texas has a ‘preemption law’ so goof ball city councils can’t enact their own. Quit voting for DEMOCRATS and this carp will end, BUT as long as ‘free sheet’ is desired, this is what you’ll get.

    9. no knock warrants are as UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS RED FLAG LAWS.
      and it’s doesn’t Matter WHAT SOME COURT SAYS OTHER WISE.
      our 4TH AMENDMENT is also VERY SPECIFIC about that as well.
      just like the cops shot in Texas a week ago.
      that couple had NO CRIMINAL RECORD except for a bad check years ago, that charge was dimessed when the husband paid it off.

      1. You “trust Trump” and yet here shortly many of your fellow citizens will be illegally made into felons because of Mr. Trump. That would seem to be quite a quandary for you.

      2. James,
        Pure propaganda and fear mongering on your part. I choose to live in a country that enables law enforcement to conduct what ever means they see it to serve and protect our law abiding citizens. You remind me of paranoid a Randy Weaver type clone who now lives in the badlands @ Study Butte, Texas. I visited them at the chili cook off and all were run aways, survivalist, from society. They believed that the government was out to get them. Is this where you live?

        1. I have also met Randy Weaver. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they AREN’T out to get you, and if members of your family had been killed by government thugs, you might be a little paranoid, too. Look at what government thugs are attempting to do to our president.

        2. @Green Rat Fink, What country is that? None of our states, nor the federal government, “enables law enforcement to conduct WHAT EVER MEANS THEY SEE FIT to serve and protect our law abiding citizens”. Law enforcement in this nation is not allowed to use what ever means they see fit.

          Law enforcement neither serves nor protects individuals, but only society as a whole by catching criminals after a law is broken.

          Finally, your use of “enables” and “conduct” are curious. Almost like a non-native speaker. That combined with the unAmerican ideas that you push is suspicious. Who are you really?

          1. @ Wild Bill I think you are on to something in describing the GRF. He has aggravated a lot of people here and I think you are getting to the bottom of his fun and games.

          1. @Gentlemen supra, I wonder if he is merely a garden variety low level bloomturd propagandist or something more. I would say that he is “a plant”, except that he would fit either definition and that would be confusing.

        3. @ The Green Watch Dog
          You say this, “I choose to live in a country that enables law enforcement to conduct what ever means they see it to serve and protect our law abiding citizens.” I don’t think you realize how foolish that one statement is. In that statement you are saying they can do whatever they want and damn the consequences. Now this may be fine with you but to most of us it is not okay. I don’t want to live in a communist or socialist society where I should have to fear the police and that is were we are almost at right now. I am old enough to have seen the change happening in the police. They went from police officers to law ENFORCEMENT officers. The motto seems to no longer be “to protect and serve.” One more thing on your statement that you should remember, those same rules you approve of can someday be used on you as well.

    10. Not much information, but shows what does happen, Md, home owner killed in 530 raid, Wisc, 2 killed, guess what, body cameras turned off, parties killed no witnesses, police get to say what went wrong, end of story, BROOM and RUG?????

    11. Reading these articles and believing what they say is not always the case. I wrote a post several hours ago that disappeared. At the time I wrote I believed what I read and reacted to the information I read. I still believe the red flag laws are not Constitutional and someone should be sued over them. In reading the comments I see someone has a different perspective on what happened in Milwaukee and it makes a lot more sense. Were we being bated to stir up some controversy?

    12. The warrant was NOT a no knock warrant. It was specific to the perp who did the shooting on 12th Street and to the house he was in. The shooter’s grandmother warned him to not pick up the rifle he used to murder the officer because she heard him knock and announce, at the door, that the police had a search warrant and arrest warrant for him. Public speculation starts rumors that have the potential to destroy reputations.

      1. Do you have any proof of this or are you just a cop and want to stick up for other crooked cops?
        There should be NO no knock warrants! To many times cops rush int houses and kill residents for holding a tv remote!
        If the cops are to big of cowards to knock on the door and wait till someone answers to serve a warrant, then they need to find a different job!

    13. Who are the leos that perform these illegal acts? do they not have a brain to tell them that they are in danger of being shot or killing innocent people like what happened in Houston. That was a pure cluster f___ and two people died from it. Did the police that were shot not have any common sense? When you assault someone in this country you expect they are going to fight back unless they are wearing a pink pussy hat. I don’t have much sympathy for the four that were shot in Houston because they should have known better. Cops and Sheriffs decline to enforce other unlawful rules, so why not this one. Someone needs to sue the city or county that direct this infringement out of existence and jail the morons that signed the order.

    14. In my department we seldom use no knock. Cover all entrances use phone 1st, observe dwelling for up to 24 hrs., and then knock or no nock depending on circumstances. We really can’t tell all that went on here.

      1. Thank you Daniel……you sound like the cops I looked up to when I was growing up long ago……..this case in Houston is total fubar…….all the neighbors are in shock they have known these people for 20 years…….say they rarely had visitors which if they were heroin dealers like the police department says they would have a steady stream of visitors all day and night…….so far no body camera footage or any real information………..

    15. How do we know what the true story is on any “No Knock Warrant” or “Red Flag Invasion” ? The Government can make any excuse they want, as long as there is no bodycam documentation made ? For public review ?! But, then to it can be edited to their benefit ?!

    16. It seemed that the Law had enough people on hand to tactfully surround the place so that ecape could have been prevented. Why this wasn’t done only the commander on site knows. I hope it was not a case of testerone overdose, as Muellers early morning raid seems to be. At least the news media wasn’t miraculously present.

    17. We will probably get details of this raid soon…..right after the DOJ releases the actual results of their investigation into the Vegas shooter. Not holding my breath.

    18. Just a bad idea to go knocking on the front door, better to wait them out, put a tracker on their vehicles,
      follow them to an open are where they can serve the arrest warrant and then go search the building.

      1. illegale firearms sales”…hmmm,,, not that familiar with Wisconsin’s laws, but that could be any of a number of things…… in my state it could be as stupid as having a friend over to do some target shooting in the backyard (where it is legal and safe) and he wants to fire a few rounds through MY rifle so I had it him and he fores a ten mag round full……

        Lots of questions, unknowns…. other than one officer is dead. And yes, no-knock warrents are far too commonly used, Used to be they were hard to obtain, needed lots of documentation, judges asked plenty of probing questions….. but these days, they hand them out like they used ot hand out the normal ones.

        And they wonder why they are so dangerous?

    19. Looks like this story should have waited until more information was available. Author states that there has been no verification, nor indication, that this was a “no knock” warrant. No details as to the innocence or guilt of the house resident, nor if he was even the person named on the search warrant. This looks more like Mr. Weingarten was up against a deadline, could not find another story, so he pre-maturely published an incomplete story. This is how erroneous information get spread. Mr. Weingarten should have waited until sufficient information was available for him to completely validate his headline.

      1. The Reason it has not waited is in light of ERPO’s being pushed throughout the country, including by the NRA.

        The chances are highly likely that no knock warrents will be used in the early hours of the morning to execute the unconstitutional actions defined by ERPO’s(Red Flag laws). There will be many deaths if this comes about, both of LEO’s and Home owners.

      2. I get what you’re saying about the article. The information is vague and lacks substantiated facts. It does illuminate the tactics being used in what amounts to a surprise attack but who was really surprised? Sorry someone died.
        These raids are showing how people react to perceived threats. The police are told that someone is guilty (perceived threat to themselves or others) and to go arrest them. A presumably innocent person on the other side of the door perceives a threat to himself, his home and loved ones and fires a shot through the door at that threat. Not a great idea but…
        We need to go back to Constitutional principles and the presumption of innocence first and then rethink the tactics or results of enforcing no knock warrants by LE.

        Revelator, sorry for treating your name to a text message abbreviation! No disrespect intended.

    20. The increase in totalitarianism and authoritarian disregard for individual liberties, by all levels of Government, will result in an exponential increase in citizen/LEO shootings. We MUST elect those who are strict Constitutionalist.

    21. More people will be killed as tyranny is enforced – on both sides.

      “The tree of liberty must be refreshed, from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants” – Thomas Jefferson

      Preferably tyrants…

      1. Green Mountain Boy:
        I’m grouchy, old, hard of hearing, and don’t sleep that well. Please don’t come banging on my door without notice. The next “banging” will probably be coming from the inside. “No knock” warrents ae a bad idea. If a strong show of force is needed, it could still be applied wihout the fighening tactics of breaking into someone’s home.
        Too many misteaks in application and addesses have been recorded to make hem pactical in all but the most dire of cicmstances. They are not for the practice of tactics by Swat Teams.

    Leave a Comment 53 Comments