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Virginia bans no-knock warrants, third state to prohibit tactic

Ralph S. Northam (Mark Warner/WikiCommons)

Virginia has banned police in the state from using no-knock warrants during searches.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed a series of police reform bills Wednesday, one of which prohibits on police departments from using certain military equipment and another which creates standardized training for officers throughout the state.

Virginia is now the third state to ban no-knock warrants. Oregon law requires authorities to knock and announce their presence, and no-knocks have been illegal in Florida since a 1994 state supreme court decision.

“Too many families, in Virginia and across our nation, live in fear of being hurt or killed by police,” Northam said in a press release. “Virginia is better, more just, and more equitable with these laws on our books.”

Many states and municipalities reexamined their policies on no-knock warrants this summer after police in Louisville, Ky., fatally shot Breonna Taylor in her home after entering on a late-night warrant.

Officers in that case said they announced their presence before entering. Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker said he never heard an announcement, and neighbors backed up Walker’s recollection.

Louisville passed a no-knock warrant ban in June.


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