Couple Refuses To Allow Police To Enter Home Without Warrant . . . Police Kick Down Door and Taser Couple

This video shows a confrontation between a couple in Cotati, California and police after the police were called to investigate a domestic violence complaint.  The couple tells the police that they were simply yelling in an argument and refused to allow the police to enter without a warrant.  The police respond by kicking down the door and tasering the couple.


In defense of the police, it is not clear if they can actually see the couple, particularly the wife. In a case of possible domestic abuse, police need to see the occupants to ensure that someone is not being or has been beaten. If the police were to simply leave based on verbal responses, there could be a victim found later who was unable to break free or seek help. I can understand the reluctance of the police to leave the scene without a visual on the couple. However, they could have sought a telephonic warrant.

Despite the compelling concern over the safety of occupants, there remains the question of whether the police can break down the door based on what they have been told and more importantly whether tasering was necessary simply because the couple was refusing to lay on the ground.

Police can enter a home without a warrant under “exigent circumstances” where there is a reasonable belief that there is an immediate need to protect their lives or the lives of others. Here the couple both respond to the police and demand a warrant as a precondition for entry. There is no allegation of a report of actual violence as opposed to yelling. The police are clearly suggesting that the suspicious conduct led them to be concerned for the safety of the couple, particularly the woman.

The police demand to know why the couple will not come out, though citizens are allowed to remain in their homes absent a lawful demand to exit the home. The woman is tased first and then the man. I fail to see the reasonable basis for the taser. They are clearly not obeying commands but they do not appear to be threatening the officers. As we have discussed before, tasers appear to be used increasingly in response to citizens who simply do not follow the orders of police.

What do you think about the entry and force shown in this video?

137 thoughts on “Couple Refuses To Allow Police To Enter Home Without Warrant . . . Police Kick Down Door and Taser Couple”

  1. i think the residents would have been completely within their rights it they had shot the police dead.

  2. ms b-word,

    The b-word is not allowed in the comments section. Feel free to change your comment name and repost.

  3. Why is it not mandatiory for police to be on record while on duty.. There should be somekind of recording or camera of there action just based of the sole thing that they have been caught lying.. It shouldn’t make a difference if one or all of them lie. It should not be acceptable.. I think its just a way of making things easier for themselves and unfortunately I don’t see why I should give up my rights so its easier for him.. No one comes to my job and is like oh don;’t worry about cleaning dishes tonight They look clean enough to use tomorrow… I think America should look into this.. They shouldn’t be allowed Privacy.. What privacy do we have at work… They can go through your work computer if they so please…. I don’t believce cops should have sooo much power.. Come on NY lets fix this!!!

  4. A police officer responding to domestic abuse MUST ensure nobody was beaten.The cops cant leave until they see no visible injury. The man was tased because he refused to get on the ground. So the officers have probable cause to kick down the door. They cant just leave, and you dont want to wait for permission to enter because of a warrent because he can be beating her as they speak. Its like saying you cant pull me over even though i went 30mph over the speed limit.

  5. I would have shotgunned their heads off as they entered. I would most likely have died in the act, however knowing I killed half of them would have left me dying with great satisfaction. No one enters my home without a warrant or justifiable means. Not even cops.

    “Sorry kids, your father isn’t coming home tonight because he was an idiot and kicked the door down of a man waiting on the other side with a gun who blew his head off. When you grow up don’t be as stupid as your father.”

    Being a cop doesn’t give you the right to kick peoples doors down for no reason without repercussions.

  6. I would think that soon there will be vigilante forces forming to protect the citizens from the police. people like that couple will call them, they will come and tase and tie up the police or kill them if they’re uncooperative with the citizen vigilantes. I guess they’ll go too far. 80 is too low a number for the iq of a guy with a gun and a police car, but that’s now an average number thanks to the industrial poisoning of americans by the people who expect to be among the last few million americans

  7. I would had shot the police officers and claim self defense people should start thinking like me or they will become cowards in a police state.

  8. I worked as a policeman only for four months, I was fired, or terminated because I would not charge people with crimes, it was because I would not take orders to arrest people just to meet a federal quota so that the federal dollars could keep coming, I was told by the police chief, that I should even consider making false charges just to meet the quota. I refused and was fired a week later.

  9. Darren and Os have either of you ever read the blog ‘Behind the blue wall” if not maybe you should. its a blog dedicated to DV committed by Leos. and its pages are full top to bottom.
    I’m sure you both have noticed that these days when cops get called in for minor offenses such as the above case. somehow it always manages to escalate and its escalated by the police. not the people calling them. and it doesnt matter how you may try to dress up their actions. Leos have lost their mind. and im sure that was the intent with lowering the standards they need leos who dont care about anything or ones but themselves. the ones who dont and wont mind killing as many people as possible in the advent of the new corporation which is installing as we debate the behaviors of leos today vs our rights and freedoms.

    We are going to be pushed into ww3 because its the only way “they” feel their one world corporation can be instilled/stalled. and the cops have no reason not to break the laws they swore to uphold. they are not the ones who get hit in their pockets. we are.

  10. The mili-second they step foot into my home with weapons drawn they will be tried and judged as criminals, my guns being the judge.

  11. To those arguing that the police have the right to smash in doors and invade people’s homes and assault innocent people without a warrant because police work is dangerous, I say “if they can’t stand the heat, let them stay out of the kitchen.” My work is dangerous too–doesn’t give me the right to smash people’s doors down and beat them up for no apparentl reason other than ego issues.

  12. I am an attorney that actually sues police officers for this sort of thing. Sadly, one must be very careful in initiating such suits, and mindful of the fact that police officers are given all sorts of “outs” to avoid civil liability for their testosterone crazed reactions to being told “No!” They are protected by theories like qualified immunity federally and official immunity in most states. But action must still be taken against them for such abuses, even if it proves unsuccessful. I have read most of the posts here and am particularly mindful of those that appear to know a little about the law and want to justify the actions of the police. I cannot. And those that attempt to do so forget several factors which appear to be present in this case. Most notably, that a police officer cannot just enter YOUR HOME without a warrant unless they are aware of imminent danger to someone in the home. It hasn’t (yet) been extended to the mere possibility of imminent danger. Courts do continue to expand this “awareness” of imminent danger to include things like actually observing (through a window) someone getting attacked by another person. But, as far as I am aware, this awareness does not yet extend to the police being allowed to enter a home without a warrant merely to investigate whether any sort of domestic assault occurred, especially after the fact. If that were so, the police would be allowed to enter a home at any time without a warrant to investigate the possibility of any crime, something that (so far) is not permitted.

    I am seeking opinion and comment regarding a similar incident that occurred in Missouri. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx37C77ImDQ)
    In that case, which was recorded on the officers belt-cam, an officer was knocking on doors at 10 PM to find out who owned an illegally parked vehicle. When he happened on the right owner and demanded his license, he was told “no” quite clearly (albeit not very pleasantly). The officer went into the home and immediately tasered the man. I have been completely unable to justify the officer’s actions, although I have given him the benefit of every doubt I can think of. I would like to know what others think. Comment at http://www.samtrapp.com

    Basically, I believe that an officer should at least ATTEMPT to keep hostility to a minimum. After all, they are supposed to be the good guys, right? If that is the case (it often isn’t), what is wrong with requiring a police officer to (at a bare minimum) take a deep breath and make an attempt to convince people that they should comply with whatever command was given prior to resorting to the taser?

    I am personally extremely concerned about the continual expansion of “discretion” to use force to include circumstances that are really nothing more than incidents of “contempt of cop.” People are getting killed in some such incidents and I cannot believe we just ignore them.

    I will not.

  13. Hopefully the more you guys see over there in “The Land Of The Free” the more you will wake up.

  14. The cops were called to this house. They didn’t just show up to kick a door in. They now have to visually see everyone is OK. That’s their job. If you were beaten and your husband was standing there telling you to tell them it was OK, wouldn’t you want the cops to come in and free you? They obviously cannot see through the windows. Why didn’t these idiots let them in? Just more morons looking for a law suit. The cops would have came in, seen everything is OK and left. That’s their job. Most of the people seem to want the cops to defend them on their own terms rather than what the police have to do in certain cirucumstances. Yes officer. Protect me. But if I’m yelling at you through one way glass to go away please do so on my word that everything I am telling you is true. Who knows that another Amanda Berry may be behind those closed doors but yea, you cops just go away on my word. No wonder so many people in this country still think Obama is doing a great job.

  15. I appreciate the police for putting their lives on the line. However, I do often believe some tend to abuse their power. Many comments suggest that the only 2 choices were to leave or break the door down. Unless there is reason to believe that someone was in immediate danger, they should have phoned for a warrant. The couple, however should have complied & at least go outside to speak with the police if they did not wish to have the police in their homes. We have a reasonable responsibility to respect the law & the law has a reasonable responsibility to respect our rights! The entry & tasing appear to be unwarranted, unless there are circumstances not fully elucidated in the video.

  16. Darren,

    Suffice it to say…. When you have CPS yanking out kids fom homes based upon mere allegations…. You have trouble brewing…. But then sometimes its so necessary that someone must do something….. But, too often its a subjective standard that is used and a few cases are dismissed….

    But from my experience…. It’s based on making legit a system based upon a form of corruption…. There are adoption incentivies….. As well as placement incentivies….. It’s the big fish feeding the little fish…..

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