DEU officers did not have “no knock” warrant during officer involved shooting in April

News 13 obtained the warrants from a drug bust that ended with one man paralyzed, and found out according to the warrant officers did not have the right to enter the building unannounced.

Julian Betton has filed a lawsuit against members of the 15t circuit’s drug enforcement unit saying officers lied about knocking on his door before entering his home.

He claims officers didn’t have the right kind of warrant to barge into his house unannounced, and witnesses back his claim.

“We just heard ‘kaw’, ‘kaw’, ‘kaw’, automatic weapons; automatic rifles,” said one man who was temporarily restrained during the bust.

The day after the April incident, News 13 spoke to a witness who was restrained when drug enforcement unit officers arrived at Betton’s home.

The man asked us to not reveal his identity.

In the just released video surveillance from Betton’s home, it shows the witness being restrained by officers as they prepare to enter the house.

News 13 got a copy of the arrest and drug warrant.

Nowhere within the warrant is any mention of allowing officers to enter the home without knocking.

Something the solicitor’s office says would specifically be mentioned in what is known as a “no knock” warrant.

News 13 reached out to Bill Knowles, commander of the drug enforcement unit, to ask why they did not get a “no knock” warrant.

However, we were told due to pending litigation he could not comment.

The lawsuit also says officers shot 57 rounds during the raid, hitting Betton 9 times.

News 13 asked why so many rounds were shot, but again, could not get an answer.

The witness told News 13 officers were laughing and congratulating themselves after the shooting.

“I saw the {police} lights but the guy {Betton} was in his house with the door shut. If they would have identified themselves, he would have gave up,” he said. “It just could happen so differently,” the witness added.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigated the case.

It found officers acted appropriately and brought no chargers against them.

News 13 also reached out to Betton for comment but he did not respond.

 

 

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