RI lawmaker creating legislation banning no-knock warrants


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — No-knock warrants have fallen under scrutiny following the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville this past March.

The Louisville City Council voted to ban the use of no-knock warrants after Taylor was fatally shot by officers who raided her home in the middle of the night.

Taylor’s mother endorsed the bill, saying, “that’s all she wanted to do was save lives, so with this law, she’ll be able to do that,” referencing the fact her daughter was an EMT.

No-knock warrants are used to prevent the destruction of evidence and for the safety of police officers, according to Eyewitness News Law Enforcement Analyst Steven O’Donnell. They must also be signed off on by a judge.

“I think there has to be a balance, a dialogue, talking about it and really vetting out…just throwing it across the board shouldn’t happen,” O’Donnell said. “You have to educate, you have to legislate. That should be brought before a legislative body to look at and let them make that decision.”

The Rhode Island Senate is meeting on Monday to discuss the creation of a task force that will examine the officer’s bill of rights, which was established to protect officers accused of misconduct.

Rep. Anastasia Williams, D-Providence, said she is also working on legislation that would make changes to the officer’s bill of rights, including the ban on no-knock warrants.

“Policemen should have rights to due process like anyone else in the country, but there is no question the bill of rights needs some tweaking,” O’Donnell said.

Massachusetts is the latest state to introduce a bill banning no-knock warrants.

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