People often move and fail to update all the different organizations that have the address on file. When someone else moves into the last home that person lived in and police later pursue a warrant for the person’s arrest, the new residents might find themselves entangled in a criminal investigation. No-knock warrants are especially dangerous because police officers might not need to announce themselves and could end up killing people in the confusion that follows.
According to NPR, no-knock warrants represent yet another policy consequence born during the war on drugs. It gave law enforcement the right to burst into people’s homes without warning. Naturally, many people become combative in these instances. However, as recent developments showed, even sleeping residents can become victims of violence in these cases.
Why the federal government allowed them to continue
When first made possible, no-knock warrants faced controversy. People so opposed it that the federal government repealed it within a few years. Unfortunately, the government then brought it back because it believed taking alleged criminals by surprise better protected the lives of police officers.
The truth about the dangers of no-knock warrants
However, experts say this is simply not true. When police enter a home unannounced, the residents and even guests have no idea who the intruder is or why they entered the home. This can result in people trying to run or fight back, which heightens the risk of injury or death.
The jurisdictions moving to ban the practice
Even though no-knock warrants passed at the federal level, states and even local jurisdictions had the right to revoke this right. Recently, several jurisdictions moved forward to do just that, including Louisville, Kentucky, and the state of South Carolina.
Live5 News reports that the South Carolina ban on no-knock warrants is only temporary. Like the experts in NPR, the state’s Supreme Court put forward that these warrants put not just the general public at risk but the police officers who tend to ask for them.