Have You Been Affected by a No-Knock Warrant?
In light of the controversy over the death of Breonna Taylor, the state of Georgia is considering a no-knock warrant ban.
A no-knock warrant is a type of search warrant that is used against people facing potential criminal charges. It allows the police to enter a suspect’s home without knocking and announcing themselves or their intent to enter first. The idea is that the element of surprise can help apprehend suspects, protects against destruction of evidence, and reduces the risk of violent altercations. However, the fatal shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville raises serious questions and concerns about the general safety of the practice.
The Death of Breonna Taylor
The death of Breonna Taylor has made headlines and sparked protests in Atlanta and other cities across the country. The 26-year-old EMT was killed in a hail of bullets after Louisville Metro Police entered her home while carrying out a no-knock warrant.
The police department had obtained the warrant based on alleged drug trafficking activity on the part of Taylor’s ex-boyfriend. The warrant claimed that the suspect had mail delivered to Taylor’s home and had received suspicious packages there in the past. Detectives executed the warrant shortly after midnight on March 31, 2020. While they claim they did knock first, there are conflicting reports among neighbors. Taylor was inside with her current boyfriend at the time and both were awoken by the sound of the door crashing in. Unaware it was the police, the boyfriend grabbed a gun and fired a warning shot.
Unfortunately, the bullet struck one of the officers in the leg and prompted the others to open fire. Taylor was shot multiple times and died at the scene. As the result of the tragedy, Louisville has since banned no-knock warrants and the city has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Taylor's family for $12 million. There is ongoing controversy regarding whether the officers involved will face criminal charges.
Controversy Over No-Knock Warrants in Atlanta
Atlanta has its own ill-fated history when it comes to no-knock warrants. In 2006, three Atlanta Police officers were involved in the killing of a 92-year-old woman while executing a no-knock warrant on her house. Investigators later concluded that the warrant was issued based on falsified paperwork.
No-knock warrants are commonly used in drug cases and in apprehending suspects in other criminal matters. However, legislation was proposed on the state level in June that would strictly limit no-knock warrant use throughout the state. While the Atlanta City Council unanimously passed its own resolution urging the Georgia General Assembly to issue a ban, it has yet to pass.
Request a Consultation with Our Norcross Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have suffered injuries or had your rights violated by a no-knock warrant in Fulton or Gwinnett County, it is important to reach out to Zimmerman & Associates right away. We provide the professional legal representation needed to protect your rights. Call or contact our Norcross criminal defense attorneys online and request a consultation today.