January 13, 2003


Baltimore prosecutors today dropped attempted murder and first-degree assault charges against a man who shot four police detectives during a November drug raid, saying they believe Lewis S. Cauthorne acted in self-defense when he wounded the officers as they barged into his home.

Investigators concluded detectives did not announce that they were police just before smashing down Cauthorne's door with a battering ram and rushing in to look for drugs, State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy said at a news conference this morning in Clarence Mitchell Courthouse.

These no-knock raids are absurdly dangerous, and accomplish very little. They're yet another symptom of the Drug War's erosion of civil liberties.