Time to End No-Knock Warrants?

Dr. Munr Kazmir
5 min readJun 7

Criminal justice reform efforts have stalled amid rising crime, but technology may have just made no-knock warrants obsolete.

Photo by Bret Kavanaugh on Unsplash.

After the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, the public outcry for criminal justice reform became — for a brief moment in time — deafening. Suddenly, everything was on the table — from slashing police budgets to ending qualified immunity.

In the years since, the public appetite for sweeping criminal justice reform measures has waned substantially. While correlation isn’t causation, one factor seems to have been the sharply rising rates of crime in cities from Portland to Baltimore.

While the movement to defund the police has proven — in the fullness of time — to have been a colossal failure (any partially defunded police departments have since been refunded) much work remains to be done on the subject of sensible criminal justice reforms.

It is not only possible to strike a better balance between public safety and justice, but in many ways, technology has made it easier than ever.

One particular reform is ripe for harvest: Ending no-knock warrants.

What is a No-Knock Warrant?

Most of the time, when law enforcement officers execute a search warrant, they are required to knock on the door, announce their presence, and provide occupants with an opportunity to open the door before entering.

No-knock warrants are different.

With a no-knock warrant, officers are allowed to enter the premises immediately, without any prior warning.

No-knock warrants are usually issued in situations where law enforcement officials believe that knocking or announcing their presence could pose a threat to officer safety, risk the destruction of evidence, or facilitate the escape of suspects. The idea behind these warrants is to enable officers to catch occupants off-guard and prevent them from taking actions that could undermine the investigation.

Over the past few years, no-knock warrants have become more controversial and subject to legal and public scrutiny.

Critics argue that the use of no-knock warrants can escalate the potential for violence and…