Today, a new policy that prohibits the application for and execution of all no-knock search warrants by the Minneapolis Police Department will take effect. While local actions to restrict no-knock warrants can help address the clear need for change to a policing system that disproportionately harms Black Americans, there is still more work to be done at the state level to prevent police violence.
Minnesota legislators recently advanced legislation to prohibit the use of no-knock warrants out of the Minnesota House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee on a bipartisan vote to the House General Register for further consideration. House File 3398 was introduced after Minneapolis police officers shot and killed Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man, while executing a no knock warrant. Reports confirm Locke was not named in the search warrant that led police to the home where Locke was sleeping when he was killed by police. Earlier this week, Minnesota officials announced that charges would not be brought against the police officer who fatally shot Amir Locke.
No-knock warrants allow police officers to enter a home without announcing their presence, and pose inherent and deadly risks. After Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police after a no-knock warrant was issued to the Louisville Police Department, authorizing law enforcement to enter Taylor’s apartment without knocking and announcing their presence, Kentucky lawmakers unanimously passed legislation to significantly limit the use of no-knock warrants and require safeguards to prevent their misuse and mitigate their risks. Minnesota lawmakers must swiftly follow the city of Minneapolis’ and the Kentucky legislature’s lead, and prioritize advancing HF 3398.
Every year, police in the U.S. shoot and kill more than 1,000 people. Black Americans are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white people. In an average year, police fatally shoot 11 people in Minnesota. More information about police violence is available here. Learn more about gun violence in Minnesota here.