The Minneapolis Police Department will officially be banned from executing all no-knock search warrants starting April 8, according to the mayor’s office.
Mayor Jacob Frey’s new policy will prohibit the MPD from requesting no-knock search warrants and from responding to requests of similar searches from other jurisdictions, according to a Tuesday statement from Frey’s office.
The policy is not an outright “ban” on unannounced police entries, as Frey has said there are still certain pressing circumstances where police entry into a property may be necessary.
A no-knock search warrant authorizes an officer to enter a premises without knocking and without announcing their presence or purpose before entering. The practice has come under criticism following high-profile shooting deaths by police of people inside residences, including Breonna Taylor in Louisville in 2020 and Amir Locke in Minneapolis earlier this year.
Locke, 22, was shot and killed on February 2 during the execution of a no-knock warrant tied to a murder investigation out of nearby St. Louis. Paul, Minnesota. Locke was not named on any of the search warrants as police were looking for his cousin, two others and evidence tied to that homicide investigation. Frey imposed an immediate moratorium on the request and execution of no-knock warrants after Locke’s death.
The mayor’s new policy requires law enforcement officers to repeatedly knock and announce their presence and purpose before entering the premises, according to the statement. Officers must wait 20 seconds before entering for all warrants, and they must wait 30 seconds for warrants executed between 8 pm and 7 am
The policy also lays out “new, safer entry tactics to deploy when entering a home or premise” of a suspect, according to the statement. There are additional layers of accountability as well, such as the activation of mandatory body worn cameras and the presence of a supervisor in all planned executions of search warrants.
The city will also create an online dashboard to track forced entries by MPD.
“We accomplished what we set out to do,” Frey said in the statement announcing the new guidelines. “This policy is among the most forward-looking and extensive in the nation and will help keep both our residents and officers safe. I’m grateful for all our internal and external partners who provided data, feedback, and guidance in the creation of this policy. Their efforts will have a lasting impact on public safety in Minneapolis. ”