We Must End the Use of No-Knock Warrants | Center for Victims of Torture

We Must End the Use of No-Knock Warrants

Ta’Mara Hill is a CVT policy advocate. She gave this speech at a press conference calling for the end of no-knock warrants after the death of Amir Locke in Minneapolis.

Public safety has to center the rights and safety of all people. We see time and time again that no-knock warrants present dangerous risks, traumatize the public and endanger life. No-knock warrants are a symptom of over policing in our communities, and as we’ve seen in the Twin Cities, overutilized. They are intrusive, and in the hands law enforcement who are quick to shoot, they are deadly.

Policies and practices like no-knock warrants are traumatizing the people law enforcement are supposed to serve. Every death, every no-knock warrant, every excuse, decreases trust for law enforcement and increases collective fear, resentment and trauma. Internationally at CVT, we serve people who experienced state violence while living in Africa and the Middle East. Our clients tell stories of being afraid of police, of their governments not doing anything to help, of being afraid in their own homes because law enforcement could barge into their houses at any time to take them away, hurt them or kill them. We hear these same stories from communities we serve in the Twin Cities.

It’s time to start putting the public first in our public safety measures. What happened to Amir Locke is a failure on the part of our cities and this state. For years, the police departments of the Twin Cities have been asking the public to trust them. But how could they possibly do that? The laws that protect enforcement agencies and policies governing public safety have been constructed to control and disenfranchise the people. And a system that was built to disenfranchise us can never serve us.

Our legislature has had the opportunity to end no-knock warrants before, and it failed to do so. That failure cost Amir Locke his life, his future. That failure has stolen another life and left another family reeling. It has passed on another collective trauma. The time is now to stop the cycle of violence and trauma communities are experiencing by law enforcement in Minnesota, and passing bill HF 3398 to Ban No-Knock Warrants is a commitment to that end.

 

 

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