(WNEM) – News of the Breonna Taylor case has led to intense scrutiny over the use of no knock warrants, which true to its name, are what allow police to enter a premise without knocking or having to make their presence known.
“The warrants are issued when entry would lead to the destruction of the objects that are being searched for by the police, or when it might compromise the safety of the police officers who are doing the search,” Genesee County David Leyton said.
He says in Michigan no-knock warrants are legal, but he says in his jurisdiction, are used on a limited basis.
And law enforcement officials, such as former Buena Vista Police Chief Brian Booker say the Taylor case is an example of why such warrants are best kept to a minimum.
“It was an ingredient for disaster from the beginning, the warrant to me is the major thing,” Booker said
Booker says in his experience, no knock warrants can be useful, but only in the right setting.
In the case involving Taylor he believes such a warrant wasn’t necessary.
“After it was said and done, the facts weren’t there that it was a high security warrant,” Booker said. “So, you have a low priority warrant, but yet you get a no knock warrant, and when you hit the door the boyfriend shoots first.”
And Leyton believes that because of this case, the use of no knock warrants should be looked at further moving forward.
“We want our law enforcement folks to be safe,” Leyton said. “We want them to be able to do their job and come home to their families at night. But we also don’t want to take lives unnecessarily, we don’t want to start shooting if we don’t have to, so these are matters that need to be talked about and scrutinized.”
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