Santa Fe considers bill banning ‘no-knock’ warrants

Politics - Government

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Santa Fe mayor is proposing an ordinance to ban police from using no-knock warrants and the Santa Fe Police Department is backing the bill. Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber has been working with the police department on this. The department says it hasn’t served a search warrant without knocking first for years but this would make a ban on the practice officials in writing.

“In the execution of a no-knock warrant, assuming that were the case, assuming that one were to have been executed, that makes the situation potentially more dangerous for everyone involved. Forcing entry, or making entry into a residence, it’s just safer for everyone to make your presence known as law enforcement,” said Paul Joye, deputy chief of the SFPD.

On top of banning no-knock warrants, the bill would also require every officer involved in executing a search warrant to have their body cameras on. “As it is now, yeah, generally speaking, the only people that would have their body cameras activated are those who are actively engaged in the search itself. With this current ordinance, everyone, the folks who are blocking traffic, will have their body camera activated for the duration of the search,” said Joye.

Deputy Chief Joye says more body camera video will promote transparency and help with investigations. He says the department and mayor have been talking about getting these policies written into city law for a few months and it’s become more of a national conversation but he says it’s not tied to any particular incident like the police shooting of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.

KRQE News 13 reached out to APD, they say they also have not done no-knock warrants in quite some time but couldn’t find an exact date. The Santa Fe City Council will discuss the bill Wednesday and they’re expected to have a public hearing on the issue next month.

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