SWAT Officer Cleared |in Shooting Death

     (CN) – A Florida SWAT officer acted on reasonable suspicion when he shot and killed a suspected drug dealer during a raid, the 11th Circuit ruled.

     Officer Daniel Kobayashi led a team of officers serving a search warrant at the home of Anthony Diotaiuto and his mother, Marlene Whittier. During the raid, Diotaiuto was shot and killed.
     Whittier sued the officer, claiming her son’s Fourth Amendment rights had been violated, because the police didn’t announce themselves before entering the home.
     The officers testified that they had knocked on the door and announced they were coming in. After entering, Kobayashi said he told Diotaiuto to “get on the ground.” But the suspect fled to the bedroom. Diotaiuto grabbed a gun from the closet and pointed it at the officers. When Diotaiuto refused to put the gun down, the officers shot him.
     The Atlanta-based court found that the officers had reason to believe there were drugs and guns at the house.
     “Kobayashi is entitled to qualified immunity,” the court concluded, “because a reasonable officer could have had reasonable suspicion that knocking and announcing his presence would have been dangerous under the circumstances facing the SWAT team.”

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