Let’s say you’re inside your home.
Let’s say the police are pounding on your front door.
Let’s say the police are demanding entry because they have probable cause to arrest you.
Let’s say you tell the police to piss off, and that you’re not letting them in.
Let’s say the police kick down your door.
Is this legal?
Notice what I didn’t say. I didn’t say they have a warrant. All they have is probable cause to arrest you for something.
What we have here is the facts in the recent case of Nieves v. State. 2019 Fla.App.LEXIS 12095 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019). Nieves’ girlfriend called the police, claiming he beat her. The girlfriend waits outside of the hotel room for the police to arrive, the police interview her and decide they have probable cause to arrest Nieves for domestic violence battery. So, the police knock on the hotel room door in an attempt to arrest Nieves. Nieves talks to the police and refuses to answer the door. The police decide to get the resort’s management involved. The police now have a key to enter the room and arrest Nieves.
However, Nieves braced the bed against the door and as the appellate court noted, “Mr. Nieves’ ingenuity with the bed left [the police] unable to enter. One officer started to kick through the door. Some others removed the screen from the open window, grabbed Mr. Nieves, and pulled him through the window and out of the room. He struggled as the police attempted to put him in handcuffs.” id. at 3 Continue Reading