Legislation

Ram demands ban on police ‘no knock’ warrant

Amir Locke with firearm in Minneapolis apartment, shortly before police shot him to death after executive a ‘no knock’ warrant. Photo from St. Paul police body camera.

By Guy Page

With a bill to strip police of legal protections against lawsuits stalled – for now – in the Senate, anti-police power lawmakers and activists now demand a ban on ‘no knock arrest warrants.’

S228 would “prohibit the use of no-knock warrants by law enforcement officers absent a threat of serious bodily harm and to require a law enforcement officer to provide notice of the officer’s identity and purpose to the occupant of a premises before the officer enters the premises to execute the warrant.”

The lead sponsor is Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale (D-Chittenden and candidate for the U.S. House), also the lead speaker at a noon press conference today that also features several leading opponents of what they say is ‘systemic racial injustice” in Vermont law enforcement. 

The press release from the Ram campaign cites no Vermont examples of no-knock abuses. Rather – as with many other ‘systemic racial injustice’ bills – the need for S228 is justified by problems elsewhere in the U.S.

“Community leaders and legislators will call on the legislature to address the enduring issue of police violence across the nation, disproportionately impacting communities of color,” the campaign release says. “This is, sadly, once again a timely discussion, as just last week the nation witnessed the horrific killing of 22-year old Amir Locke in a raid carried out with a no-knock warrant.”

According to media reports, Locke was in a St. Paul, Minnesota apartment lying on a couch wrapped in a blanket Feb. 2, 2022, when police entered with a no-knock warrant as part of a homicide investigation. After an officer kicked the couch, Locke sat up and turned toward the officers while holding a gun. 

Not addressed in the Ram campaign press release or S228 is any potential harm to police. Although statistics on no-knock and knock statistics are lacking, 2021 was a deadly year in general for police. The no-knock warrant was needed to protect the safety of officers, the request for the Locke warrant said.

The National Fraternal Order of Police reports that nationwide there were 346 officers shot in the line of duty in 2021. Of those officers shot, 63 of them were killed by gunfire. There were 103 ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers in 2021 (+115% from 2020 YTD). These ambush-style attacks have resulted in 130 officers shot, 30 of whom were killed by gunfire. The number of ambush-style attacks listed does not include the numerous incidents where an officer was shot at but not struck by gunfire during an ambush-style attack.

Ram and the activisits also support S.250, the Policing Accountability Omnibus Bill. It includes:

Independent Investigations into Law Enforcement Use of Force: This section of the Bill requires the Vermont Criminal Justice Council to launch an independent investigation whenever a police officer uses physical force in the line of duty resulting in death or serious bodily injury. It also requires that a three-member investigative team conduct the investigation rather than a single investigator.

Data Collection of Law Enforcement Encounters Resulting in Death or Serious Bodily Injury: Expands data collection from only roadside stop data to also include law enforcement encounters resulting in an officer-involved death or serious bodily injury.

Creation of Giglio Database & Codification of Brady Disclosure Requirements: Requires a prosecutor to disclose officer misconduct information to a defendant in a criminal prosecution. This is a critical provision to officer accountability and a record of any encounters where misconduct has occurred, which ultimately determines promotion, rehiring, or whether or not an officer can take the witness stand in a trial.

Prohibition on Involuntary Confessions Based on False Information Provided by a Law Enforcement Officer: Prohibits involuntary confessions that are made based on false information during a criminal proceeding.

Private Right of Action Against Law Enforcement Officers and Elimination of Immunity: Permits private individuals to sue law enforcement officers for violations of rights guaranteed under Vermont law.

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7 replies »

  1. This Ram woman also is campaigning for Ranked Choice voting. Anything her or her progressive socialists want is BAD for working Vermonters. We have enough trouble with the ideology these same progressives have enacted in Burlington.

  2. Liberal politics are not situated in reality, but only arrogant ‘woke’ socialist entitlement.

  3. Ram will go in her underground shelter as her policies encourage social collapse. Her behavior is inhumane. The rich liberals who put her in power will feel the rath upon themselves by the very people they’re trying to help IMHO. Ram is making people paranoid by her rhetoric and causes people like Amir to sleep with a gun that puts him and others in danger. Ram behavior is a problem that needs to be sequestered.

  4. I really hope that people like Ram have the chance to experience the absurd laws that they are demanding. The ramifications of these demands are going to be felt by everyone who is left to defend themselves. There are reasons for NO KNOCK warrants. When was the last time Ram rode along with a cop, or went undercover or had to go pronounce a death or sat with a family while their kid who OD’d is taken off life support?? Please stop voting these brain dead twits who are following Alesky’s rules to become a communist state!! Investigate Operation Phoenix Rise!! It has already been implemented by Burlington City Council. Stop this madness!!

  5. There are many good reasons to prohibit no knock warrants but let’s be clear, Ms. Ram is only using the issue as the latest play in the extreme virtue signaling contest that constitutes a democrat primary race in Vermont. This is not a racial issue but she is hoping to effectively frame it as such for her own advantage. Now let’s see what non-racial issue that Molly and Becca will come up with to top that and frame as a racial issue…

  6. Senator Ram’s press release states: “the need for S228 is justified by problems elsewhere in the U.S.” The same press release cites no examples of “no knock” problems in Vermont. No instances of problems in Vermont to justify the proposed “no knock” law, so Sen. Ram imports a problem from somewhere else in the country in an attempt to accomplish her objective.

    Should the legislature be importing problems occurring in other states, but not occurring in Vermont, to justify creating new laws in Vermont?…….Well, this is exactly what Sen. Ram is doing with S 228.

    If it’s okay to import problems from other parts of the country to justify “no knock” warrants, isn’t it then okay to import other problems from around the country to justify other new laws here? For example new laws relating to: shooting and killing police officers; burning police cars and police stations; breaking into stores, smashing display cases and stealing thousands of dollars merchandise; car jacking; assaulting elderly people on the street and the list of crimes raging around the country, but not in Vermont, goes on and on.

    So, if these crimes are occurring around the country, shouldn’t there be new special laws in Vermont to deal with them?………According to Sen Ram’s thinking there should be new laws, even if there is currently no such problem in Vermont.

    So members of the Vermont Legislature, what is the socially inclusive standard for introducing new laws based on what’s happening somewhere else, but not in Vermont?

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