Minneapolis mayor officially bans police from executing search warrants
The Minneapolis Police Department will be officially barred from executing all search warrants without a hit starting April 8, according to the mayor’s office.
Mayor Jacob Frey’s new policy will prohibit the MPD from seeking no-knock search warrants and responding to similar search requests from other jurisdictions, according to a statement released Tuesday by Frey’s office.
The policy is not an outright “ban” on unannounced police entries, as Frey said there are still certain urgent circumstances in which police entry to a property may be necessary.
A no-knock search warrant authorizes an officer to enter a place without knocking and without announcing their presence or purpose before entering. The practice has come under fire following high-profile police shooting deaths of people inside residences, including Breonna Taylor in Louisville in 2020 and Amir Locke in Minneapolis earlier this year.
Locke, 22, was fatally shot Feb. 2 while executing a no-knock warrant related to a murder investigation near St. Paul, Minnesota. Locke was not named on any of the search warrants as police were looking for his cousin, two other people and evidence related to this homicide investigation. Frey imposed an immediate moratorium on seeking and executing no-knock warrants after Locke’s death.
The mayor’s new policy requires law enforcement officers to knock repeatedly and announce their presence and purpose before entering premises, the statement said. Officers must wait 20 seconds before entering for all warrants, and they must wait 30 seconds for warrants executed between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.
The policy also outlines “new, safer entry tactics to be deployed when entering a home or premises” of a suspect, according to the statement. There are also additional layers of responsibility, such as the activation of mandatory body-worn cameras and the presence of a supervisor in all scheduled executions of search warrants.
The city will also create an online dashboard to track MPD forced entries.
“We accomplished what we set out to do,” Frey said in the statement announcing the new guidelines. “This policy is one of the most forward-thinking and comprehensive in the country and will help keep our residents and officers safe. I am grateful to all of our internal and external partners who provided input, feedback and guidance in the creation of this policy. Their efforts will have a lasting impact on public safety in Minneapolis.