By Alice Speri, The Intercept
The police killing of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot in Kentucky in March when plainclothes officers barged into her apartment in the middle of the night, has set off a series of state and local efforts to ban “no-knock” raids — the police practice of breaking into someone’s home unannounced to execute a search warrant. A bill introduced by New York state legislators on Thursday goes further than most of those efforts, seeking to not only ban the vast majority of no-knock raids, but also strictly limit other avenues for forcible entry by police.
The New York bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Brian Benjamin and James Sanders Jr. and Assembly Member Daniel J. O’Donnell, seeks to limit the use of unannounced, no-knock raids to the most severe circumstances, like the pursuit of a murder suspect or incidents involving active shooters, hostage-taking, terrorism, or human trafficking. It would ban the issuance of no-knock warrants aimed exclusively at searching for drugs, currently the most common use of these heavily militarized raids. But unlike other current and draft state and local legislation, as well as three federal proposals, the New York bill would also impose a host of restrictions on what are known as “knock-and-announce” search warrants, a more common type of forcible entry that has led to dozens of deadly encounters in recent years.