Campaign Zero, a data-driven, activist-led organization focused on ending police brutality, recently launched their ‘End All No-Knocks’ campaign with the goal of reforming the way police search warrants are executed across the country.
Police raids disproportionately impact Black communities, according to research conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). No-knock warrants allow officers to legally force their way into private residences without announcing themselves or their purpose. “These raids, often carried out for low-level drug offenses, are executed at night by forcible entry, which commonly involves breaking through doors with battering rams, military-grade weapons and flash-bang explosives,” Campaign Zero said in its statement. Such practices endanger the community and can severely traumatize (or kill) children in the process—and in the case of Breonna Taylor, these warrants can also tragically lead to death.
“Simply banning No-Knock warrants isn’t going to make us safer and hold police accountable,” stressed Katie Ryan of Campaign Zero in an emailed statement. “In practice, knock-and-announce warrants can be executed like a No-Knock warrant so we must couple banning No-Knock warrants with heavy restrictions on the issuance and execution of all search warrants.”
Campaign Zero is currently assisting 37 city and state governments in passing comprehensive No-Knock legislation, the group said. The campaign recommends three key measures as part of its plan:
- Ban No-Knock Warrants.
- Restrict the way in which all knock-and-announce search warrants are issued and executed.
- Create systems of data collection, transparency and accountability.
“The trauma, injuries, and many deaths of innocent people make the practice of military-style warrant executions unsafe and barbaric,” said DeRay McKesson, co-founder of Campaign Zero, in a statement.
“We know these raids are not an effective policing tool. We need a more rigorous application process; we need to ensure law enforcement intelligence is accurate; and, we need to close any loopholes police officers use to defer accountability. We can prevent needless death and harm, but it’s going to take a collective effort to ensure that proposals by state and local policymakers are strong and comprehensive.”