Abolishment of No-Knock Warrants in Minnesota

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Minnesota Nice Means Knock First

The killing of Breonna Taylor ignited national outrage and illuminated the inherent danger of no-knock warrants. Law enforcement killed Ms. Taylor in her apartment during the execution of a no-knock warrant in Louisville, Kentucky. Ms. Taylor did not have the opportunity to cooperate with law enforcement. Instead law enforcement conducted a forced entry with guns drawn.

No-knock warrants provide an exception to the knock and announce rule for law enforcement. The knock and announce rule for the execution of warrants is derived from the Fourth Amendment and applicable to all federal and state law enforcement. Wilson v. Arkansas, 514 U.S. 927 (1995). The rule requires law enforcement to: 1) audibly make their presence known [such as by knocking]; 2) announce their status as law enforcement; 3) announce the purpose of the law enforcement presence; and 4) delay for a period of time sufficient to permit the occupants to reach and open the door. In general, a delay of thirty seconds is sufficient before forced entry is permissible. Id. The no-knock warrant exception to the knock-and-announce rule is meant to protect the safety of officers and prevent the destruction of evidence. United States v. Ramirez, 523 U.S. 65 (1998). In reality, no-knock warrants create an inherently dangerous situation in direct conflict with the Second and Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

“The conflict between no-knock warrants, the castle doctrine, and the rate of gun ownership is a dangerous cocktail that creates an inherent risk of harm any time police force entry into a private residence without first knocking and announcing their authority and purpose. The principles underlying the castle doctrine, like those underlying the knock-and-announce rule, are based upon the sanctity of the home as a place where individuals should be free from unlawful intrusion. Because the knock-and-announce rule and the castle doctrine are based on similar legal and historical principles, the most harmonious way to resolve the tension between them and reduce the risk of violence created by no-knock warrants is for states to eliminate the use of no-knock warrants and require strict adherence to the knock-and-announce requirement.” NOTE: TO KNOCK OR NOT TO KNOCK? NO-KNOCK WARRANTS AND CONFRONTATIONAL POLICING, 93 St. John's L. Rev. 201.

Please help us avoid tragedy here in Minnesota. Thank you.

Knock First Minnesota

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