Durham Police Admit To Lying About 911 Calls To Enter Homes Without Warrants

chiefweb11USA_-_NORTH_CAROLINA_-_City_of_Durham_police_departmentWe have followed the scandals in Durham involving its police chief and former district attorneys. Now Durham police officers have been shown to have lied about non-existent 911 calls to enter the homes of citizens without a warrant. Despite this illegal tactic that was admitted on the stand, no officers have been fired. Instead, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez (left) has sent out a memo. You may recall Lopez who earlier reportedly said that a public defender deserved to be shot.

According to the testimony of a Durham police officer, it was routine that officers would target residences connected to individuals with outstanding warrants. They would then claim that the police dispatcher received a 911 call from that address. The disclosure was made on the stand by Officer A.B. Beck who said that this was official policy or at least a well-known practice. However, Lopez insisted that it was never an official policy and banned the practice. Of course, it should not require a ban since it is clearly unlawful to lie to citizens to trick them into allowing them to enter their homes. In the case at issue Beck used the lie to enter a home and make an arrest over two marijuana blunts and a marijuana grinder.

Beck said that the tactic was approved of by the department and defense counsel questioned him further:

Did you say there was a 911 hang-up?


But there was not a 911 hang-up?


So you entered the house based on a lie?


And this is your policy for domestic violence warrants?


Defense counsel moved to suppress and Marcia Morey, chief district judge for Durham County, granted the motion and stated “You cannot enter someone’s house based on a lie.” Charges were then dropped.

Lopez then sent out a memo telling officers not to lie anymore to circumvent the warrant requirement. There is no mention of a single act of discipline over the practice in the Durham Police Department.

Source: Indy Week

27 thoughts on “Durham Police Admit To Lying About 911 Calls To Enter Homes Without Warrants”

  1. I smell noxious fumes, clearly that would qualify as an exigency in this city!

  2. Is he a police chief or a fleet admiral? The chief of the Washington State Patrol only wears four stars. Seems like the photo is reversed because his badge is on the wrong side.

    This department sure has issues.

  3. The cops weren’t fired b/c the first one to go should be the chief. The chief is the one responsible for policy and, according to the testifying officer, lying about non-existent 911 calls was policy.

  4. And it isn’t just “residences connected to individuals with outstanding warrants”, either. Nor is it restricted to the residences of criminals.

  5. “According to the testimony of a Durham police officer, it was routine that officers would target residences connected to individuals with outstanding warrants. ”

    And sometimes they do it simply to harass people. This happens more often than most people realize.

  6. It’s not the just the south though. Even here in the north I’ve seen police commanders with uniforms that would even seem over the top to a banana republic dictator.

    And why do police need to necessarily associate themselves with military culture anyway? Are they here to protect and serve the public, or secure their sectors while on patrol?

  7. The comments above about the opCay with the strips on the sleeve are spot on. Who does this schmuck think he is? I think he thinks he is Bobby Lee. If you are not from the South then you do not know for sure of whom I speak. A guy like Jose here is trying to cotton up to the big wigs and down home folks in NC and so he sports the most ostentatious uniform he can invent. Now U.S. Grant on the other hand showed up at Appomattox Courthouse for the surrender wearing ragged uniform with no butterflies and mud all over his boots. Grant became a great President too. Those who sport uniforms like the dork in this photo need to be relegated to janitorial positions which include the outhouse work.

  8. When I worked for the prosecutors office in KC, one of my duties as their investigator was to coordinate cops testimony and appearance @ trials. I was 26 years old when I started that job and it was almost as eye opening as being a 22 year old guard @ Leavenworth Penitentiary. Cops lie even when I, and the prosecutor would tell them not to. NOT ALL COPS, but some.

  9. Against all of our instincts/upbringing, but the smart move when a cop rings your doorbell, is not to answer the door.

  10. Pete,
    You are right. I cringe when I see officers sporting five-stars on their lapel and a raft of gold braid on the sleeve. It must take a weak ego and a lot of chutzpah to create a self-appointed rank that only nine officers in the US military have ever held. One of them, Harold “Hap” Arnold, held the rank in two services: Army and Air Force. He kept his rank when the Army Air Corps was split off into a separate branch and the Air Force was created in 1947.

    Five-star rank officers never retired, they remained on full active duty status with full pay until their death. The rank was finally retired in 1981 when General Omar Bradley passed away.

    Strange, because the more proper top rank for a head local law enforcement officer would be Colonel, not general or admiral. Even the traditional rank for commandants of Highland Regiments such as the Black Watch and Seaforth Highlanders is Colonel. How do you think most small town chiefs and officers would do in with the training and discipline of a Highland Regiment? Don’t answer that….it’s a rhetorical question.

  11. Mr. Lopez belongs in jail not smiling at us in a picture where he is wearing the uniform of a police officer. When the police see themselves as above the law we are all at risk.

  12. Sid, WOW was my exact reaction. Why did the judge not hold the officer in contempt? If this is not contempt of the law, I don’t know what is.

  13. I might add that the city of Durham is part of that “triangle” of cities (yeah three) which think that their itShay don’t stink.

  14. Send Jose to remedial reading class and then on to a police academy for some basics in constitutional law in America and policing procedures which abide by American law. This is North Carolina, not Cuba.

  15. You’re lucky to still be walking around, Jose’…………… You are supposed to be enforcing the law, not writing your own versions of them!

  16. why do some police chiefs feel the need to have rank insignia that would make a third world dictator blush.

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