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Name: United States v. Bynum
Case #: 03-10231
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/26/2004

Police officers arrived at appellant’s apartment at 10:00 p.m. to execute a search warrant based on a tip that appellant was dealing rock cocaine. Appellant had earlier in the day completed a sale to an undercover officer, while armed with a loaded firearm. Officers considered the execution of the search warrant to be high-risk given the apartment’s location, and the fact that appellant had been armed and acting paranoid. Officers executed a forced entry of the apartment without announcing their arrival. Appellant contended on appeal that the officers failed to comply with the “knock and announce” requirement when they executed the warrant, and therefore the weapons should have been suppressed. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the district court correctly ruled that sufficient exigent circumstances justified the noknock entry of the apartment. Officers knew that Bynum was armed and had been acting paranoid. They reasonably suspected that he might become violent, and had a legitimate concern for officer safety. Further, the disposable nature of the drugs contributed to a finding of exigent circumstances. The totality of the circumstances supports a conclusion that the entry was lawful.