New No-Knock Warrant Policy Goes Into Effect In Wake of Amir Locke Shooting

 

A new no-knock warrant policy for police, crafted in the wake of the shooting of Amir Locke, will go into effect in Minneapolis starting on Friday, Mayor Jacob Frey announced Tuesday.

The policy change was announced last month by Frey as a proposal being sent to the Minneapolis Police Department to be crafted into official policy. With that process done, the mayor says the city is ready to enact the policy starting this week.

Amir Locke was killed as Minneapolis police conducted a no-knock warrant search at an apartment building on Marquette Avenue during the early morning hours of February 2, as Minneapolis assisted St. Paul police with a murder investigation.

Locke, who was not a suspect in the investigation, was apparently sleeping on a couch when police forced their way into the apartment. In a matter of seconds, Locke was shot and killed by officers. Police said he grabbed a gun near his bedside.

RELATED: BCA sends Amir Locke case to Hennepin County Attorney

Frey faced scrutiny following Locke’s killing with activists accusing him of misrepresenting changes to the city’s no-knock warrant policy. Frey’s campaign had claimed he had banned no-knock warrants in Minneapolis. However, Frey’s policy only required officers to announce their presence before crossing the threshold of the residence. Speaking in February with councilmembers, Frey admitted some of his campaign’s claims didn’t “reflect” the actual policy.

The new no-knock policy

Under the new policy, no-knock warrants are banned and the city is creating a classification to use “knock and announce” warrants. Here is how the city is outlining the plan.

  • Prohibits the application for and execution of all no-knock search warrants by MPD
  • Requires that officers must repeatedly knock and announce their presence and purpose prior to entry and implements a minimum wait time of 20 seconds for all warrants and 30 seconds for warrants executed during nighttime hours (8 p.m. until 7 a.m., as defined by state statute)
  • Creates a new risk classification and evaluation system for knock-and-announce search warrants
  • Introduces new, safer entry tactics to deploy when entering a home or premise
  • Enacts a more robust and thorough internal review and accountability process
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