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DFL lawmakers to propose ban on no-knock warrants

The proposed legislation comes one week after Amir Locke was shot and killed by Minneapolis police when officers were serving a no-knock warrant.

ST PAUL, Minn — Democratic lawmakers in Minnesota are poised to propose legislation that would ban no-knock warrants in the state.

The proposal comes one week after 22-year-old Amir Locke, a Black man, was shot and killed by Minneapolis police while officers executed a no-knock warrant inside a downtown apartment building.

The virtual press conference with key Black lawmakers and House DFL leadership will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 8.

Rep. Esther Agbaje (Minneapolis), Rep. Athena Hollins (St. Paul), Rep. Cedrick Frazier (New Hope), Speaker Melissa Hortman (Brooklyn Center) and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (Golden Valley) are all scheduled to attend the press conference.

Two days after Locke's death, Frey issued a moratorium on no-knock warrants in the city, and said he is bringing in national experts "to review and suggest revisions to the department’s policy."

According to law enforcement sources who spoke with KARE 11 investigative reporter A.J. Lagoe, the warrant that resulted in Locke's death was not supposed to be a no-knock warrant. When Minneapolis police were asked to assist St. Paul Police with executing the warrant, the MPD insisted the warrant be changed to be executed without knocking first.

On Monday, Feb. 7, Minneapolis City Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison led a committee meeting on no-knock warrants in the city. During the meeting, Mayor Jacob Frey said he won't toward rushing any policy changes and had no specific timeline for when there would be permanent policy changes to the use of no-knock warrants.

It's not the first time changes to no-knock warrant policies were considered in the city. In November 2020, Frey and then-Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced a new policy that would require all MPD officers to announce themselves and their purpose before entering a residence. There would be exceptions for some circumstances, they said, such as hostage situations.

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