End No-Knock Raids in the State of Michigan

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With the killing of Breonna Taylor still a fresh wound on the country’s consciousness, it is time for us to act on restricting para-military tactics within policing. Historically, police officers needed to knock and announce their presence prior to breaking into a home, but following the decision of Hudson v. Michigan that standard was significantly weakened. Hudson v. Michigan held that “A violation of the "knock-and-announce" rule by police does not require the suppression of the evidence found during a search.” This means that police can execute a no-knock raid, and still gather evidence to be used in court. No-knock raids are a common tactic in a war on drugs that is dangerous for all people, and has excessively targeted our black and brown neighbors with unjust and often fatal consequences.

In our own state, 7 year old Aiyana Jones was killed by police gunfire during a no-knock raid in Detroit. Her killer was not convicted, and these dangerous practices continue to this day. When wrongful deaths do occur, there is usually a settlement paid out by taxpayer dollars. We did not consent to these military style tactics used to fight a prejudiced and failing drug war, and we will no longer accept our own tax dollars as restitution for unjust killings.

This practice of no-knock raids does not provide citizens the possibility of peaceful surrender, and puts the safety of both officers and suspects at risk. This petition will be used to show the wide support amongst Michigan voters to end the practice of no-knock raids, as they are unjust and dangerous. This petition will make the following policy demands from Michigan State legislators.

1: Reinstate the exclusionary rule for no-knock raids. If police wish to search a home and gather evidence, it needs to be done by a traditional “knock and announce” search

2: Require police to “knock and announce“ their identity and presence prior to any door or window breaching.

3: Require police training in dispute resolution/negotiation, and establish protocol for officers to first attempt to make contact with a suspect and demand a peaceful surrender without immediately breaking into the home. This allows an opportunity for peaceful surrender, and safeguards against rapid and dangerous action based on potentially inaccurate data. If this tactic were used across the country, Breonna Taylor would still be alive.

This petition will be used to urge our Michigan Legislators to propose a bill establishing our 3 policy demands. If you are in a district other than state senate district 06, and would like to reach out to your representative on behalf of this initiative, please contact me at brentsteinackerwsu@gmail.com