FEATURED PHOTO: HAMILTON COUNTY PROSECUTOR JOSEPH T. DETERS
Patch.com, By Chris Mosby, Posted October 29th 2020
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost wants to preserve the use of no-knock warrants in Ohio, but make the warrants harder to acquire.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost wants to preserve the use of “no-knock” warrants in Ohio.
“No-knock” warrants grew in infamy following the death of Breonna Taylor. Some witnesses claimed police used a no-knock warrant to enter Taylor’s home before fatally shooting the 26-year-old. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has said police knocked on Taylor’s door before entering.
Following Taylor’s death, cities around Ohio have mulled banning no-knock warrants. Cincinnati City Council has discussed eliminating no-knock warrants, for instance, Local 12 reported.
To compromise with state officials, Yost said he is willing to make no-knock warrants harder to acquire.
This week, Yost and a host of Ohio county prosecutors sent a letter to state officials seeking to preserve the use of “no-knock” warrants, but to make such warrants usable only in extraordinary circumstances.
“When a warrant is sometimes necessary, officers should be properly equipped to make the safest entry possible, and a no-knock warrant – a waiver of the statutory “knock and announce” requirements – is the right tool to safeguard them,” Yost said.
The prosecutors and Yost argued the standard for issuing a no-knock warrant should now include:
- There being substantial risk of serious harm to police
- Clarifying the phrase “good cause” means “probable cause”
- Banning no-knock warrants for misdemeanor drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia
- Require officers using no-knock warrants to wear readily identifiable marking and to identify themselves upon entry
- Require officers using no-knock warrants to wear and activate body cameras
“While these types of warrants are only used in the rarest of circumstances, it is important they are done so in a responsible manner that takes the safety of all parties involved into consideration,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters said no-knock warrants are rarely used by police, but should be available for law enforcement.
“I wholeheartedly support the AG’s recommendations to the state legislature to ensure that no-knock warrants are used only in the most exceptional circumstances and that we do everything we can to make sure that both innocent civilians and law enforcement are protected,” he said.