Fourth Amendment principles dating back centuries support liability for an officer’s mistaken execution of a warrant. These principles emphasize the importance of a person’s right to safety in her home; a well-specified warrant; and notice prior to entry. Along these lines, several circuits have held that executing a warrant at the incorrect home amounts to a warrantless search and presumptively violates the Fourth Amendment. In the present case, Appellants’ Fourth Amendment rights were blatantly violated when the officers failed to conduct a reasonable investigation and made egregious mistakes in their wrongful warrant execution. Prior to their violent raid, the officers failed to verify the most basic warrant details, such as the home’s address numbers and street sign. Public policy favors law enforcement liability to deter such careless warrant execution practices, which largely impact minority communities.
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