Republican state Sen. Mike Crane of Georgia said he would shoot police officers if they kicked down his door with a no-knock warrant (video below).
Crane, who is running for the seat of Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, made his controversial comments earlier in the spring to a Republican audience, notes the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Law enforcement doesn’t have a stronger advocate than Mike Crane down at the Capitol. But the people of Georgia do not have a stronger advocate, nor have they in decades, than Mike Crane.
No-knock warrants, under Georgia's code, are illegal in Georgia. The police are required to announce their presence in Georgia law. Just read the law. What is illegal is judicial usurpation of our rights.
When the judge comes along and says: "You can kick down that man’s door. You can throw a flash grenade in that baby’s crib. Or you can do whatever you want. Kill the lady who comes to the door with a weapon because she’s afraid someone has entered her house illegally."
You come to my house, kick down my door, if I have an opportunity, I will shoot you dead. And every one of you should do the same. It is the only area where the law enforcement community and I differ. But they have to understand the law.
This has become an issue in the GOP primary between Crane and Drew Ferguson because police used a "no-knock" warrant to burst into a Habersham County home in 2014.
The police tossed a flash-bang grenade into a playpen, severely injuring a 19-month toddler, while searching for a non-existent drug dealer.
"It’s really an issue of what is the role of government?," Crane recently told the newspaper. "What powers do we grant them? And is it fully within their power to grant themselves the power to enter your home in the middle of the night? And then the question is, what are the circumstances and how high a bar should that be?"
Harris County sheriff Mike Jolley, who supports Ferguson, opposes Crane's comments:
Even if I were not endorsing Drew, I have trouble with the comment that was made by Mr. Crane. No-knock warrants are a way of getting into a home when it’s dangerous for law enforcement — and potentially for the people inside the home. It’s a legal warrant signed by a judge.
You could have said, "Someone enters my home at night and I don’t know they are, then I’m going to take steps to protect myself."
That would have been half-way decent. But to say if a law enforcement officer, if a police officer enters my home at night with a no-knock warrant — he’s calling us out.
He’s telling the bad guys, even if you know it’s a police officer, and they’re coming in your home, go ahead and shoot them.
Jolley also has a history of offending the public. In November 2015, he put up a sign outside the sheriff's office that read: "WARNING: Harris County is politically incorrect. We say: Merry Christmas, God Bless America and In God We Trust. We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you… LEAVE!," Fox News reports.
Jolley defended the sign, which sat on government property, on Fox News: "The silent majority has been silent way too long. Just things that are happening nowadays, I guess I got time to thinking about it, and my staff brought that saying to me, we looked at it, we all kind of liked it, and I thought it was something I’d stick outside the office."