Minnesota House Passes Limits on No-Knock Warrants, Provision Authored by Rep. Brion Curran
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF 2909, the Judiciary and Public Safety budget bill. The public safety portion of the bill invests in a diverse set of tools to improve public safety. It prioritizes a holistic approach to gun violence prevention, funding for law enforcement and victims of crime, juvenile justice reform, and more. This bill will create a safer Minnesota while working to break cycles of crime and violence.
The bill also includes a provision limiting any court from issuing or approving a no-knock search warrant, authored by Representative Brion Curran (DFL – Vadnais Heights), a former 911 dispatcher and Chisago County deputy sheriff. The provision was amended on the floor to prohibit a judge from issuing a no-knock warrant unless the search cannot be done while the dwelling is unoccupied, there is cause to believe the dwelling will be occupied at all times, and that the occupants will present an “immediate threat of death or injury” to officers if they announce their presence.
“As I said in committee, no-knock warrants are unsafe and put the pursuit of justice above the lives of innocent bystanders, the lives of police officers, and people who are in the right place but on the wrong sheet of paper,” said Rep. Curran “I have always been committed to working with all parties to pass the strongest limits possible, and I will continue having those conversations as this bill moves forward.”
No-knock warrants can lead to fatalities for citizens and law enforcement officials alike. Recent data has shown that no-knock warrants have led to the death of 81 citizens and 13 officers between 2010 and 2016.?No-knock warrants also conflict with the right to self-defense,?which is particularly important in Minnesota, where 40% of residents are lawful gun owners.
With significant investments in public defense and civil legal services, an increase in juror pay, expanded hate and discrimination data tracking, the creation of an Office of Appellate Counsel, and the elimination of court document fees, the Judiciary portion of the bill is building a system that will more equitably serve the people of Minnesota.
A video of the House floor debate and final votes can be found here.