Law enforcement professionals need to be at the table for review of no-knock warrants

Calls for banning no-knock search warrants in the wake of Amir Locke’s shooting death last week in downtown Minneapolis are reverberating at both the state and local levels. Of great concern is the disturbing trend in Minnesota of excluding law enforcement professionals from important conversations around public safety reform.

For example, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a moratorium on no-knock warrants last Friday, explaining that the city will review the Minneapolis Police Department’s policy. Despite a wealth of knowledge about the history and use of no-knock warrants in Minnesota by such professional organizations as the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association or the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, Mayor Frey appointed DeRay Mckesson, an anti-police activist, and Dr. Pete Kraska, an academic from Eastern Kentucky University, to suggest changes to the policy. McKesson seems like an odd choice because he was sued for his role during a protest-turned-riot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a police officer was seriously injured. Missing from this important discussion? A representative of Minnesota law enforcement not invited to the table, yet again.

This is reminiscent of the revision of the deadly force statute in 2020 without law enforcement consultation which resulted in a Ramsey County court granting an injunction to stop the law from taking effect. Similarly, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi unilaterally announced that his office would no longer prosecute felonies arising from low-level traffic stops without consulting the police. More recently, a Richfield school superintendent removed magnetometers from her school entrance without talking to the police. Months later, a student was shot to death by another student carrying a gun.

Refusing to include law enforcement perspectives when talking about public safety reforms results in bad policy decisions. This is obvious, yet short-sighted political leaders continue to blindly ignore the police, putting community safety at risk. The public deserves better.