Bill that would restrict law enforcement from using no-knock warrants, chokeholds advances

Published: April 27, 2021

By: Ryan Nelson, LSU Manship School News Service

BATON ROUGE, La. – A bill that would restrict law enforcement officials from using no-knock warrants and chokeholds advanced Tuesday.

Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, moved his bill, SB34, through the Senate Judiciary B Committee, and it will next go to the Senate floor. The bill restricts law enforcement officers from conducting no-knock warrants at night and from using chokeholds, and it calls for more cameras to increase accountability.

Sen. Gregory Tarver, D-Shreveport said, however, that he would debate the restriction on a no-knock warrant on the Senate floor as “most bad things happen at night.”

“I think we need to have a very serious discussion about this,” Talbot said. “When a judge assigns it, they ought to be able to do this thing at night or day. As long as it’s legal and they follow the rules and regs.”

Rebekah Taylor, program manager at the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice, sat with Fields as he introduced his bill and said it gave the courts clarity on how these warrants are being served.

“The officers are not announcing themselves as they entering a residence based on a warrant that’s been signed by a judge,” said Talbot. “This legislation would prohibit those types of warrants from being executed, except when probable cause has been shown.”

Lt. Robert Burns of the Louisiana State Police said the practice of serving no-knock warrants has “greatly diminished” over the years.

“We do a lot more of what’s called a surround-and-call-out where we protect all entrances and exits of a property, and we use as many tactics as we can to try to gain communication with occupants of the property,” said Burns.

Read more at KALB

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