Campaign Zero Launches ‘End All No-Knocks’ Campaign to Ban Dangerous Police Practice of High-Risk Raids
Campaign Zero’s team is already assisting 37 city and state governments, including South Fulton and the state at-large, in passing comprehensive No-Knock legislation.
Campaign Zero (CZ)!
Campaign Zero’s nationwide ‘End All No-Knocks’ campaign
Atlanta, Georgia – November 23, 2020 — Campaign Zero (CZ), a data-driven, activist organization focused on ending police brutality, today announced the launch of its nationwide “End All No-Knocks’ Campaign.” The campaign aims to ban the practice of “No-Knock” raids and create common-sense controls for regular search warrants. Campaign Zero has already developed several solutions to help guide legislative measures goaled at preventing police from breaking into homes and reducing the potential for serious harm to both citizens and the police officers themselves. Campaign Zero’s team is already assisting 37 city and state governments, including South Fulton and the state at-large, in passing comprehensive No-Knock legislation.
Breonna Taylor was killed as a result of a botched search warrant raid. To honor all of those that have been negatively impacted by these practices, and to prevent future harms, major changes in law and policy must be put in place.
These raids, most often carried out for low-level drug offenses, are executed at night by forcible entry, which commonly involves breaking through doors with battering rams, military-grade weapons and flash-bang explosives. Often, all residents are aggressively detained and handcuffed, and the residence is thoroughly searched for contraband. Property or cash seized during these raids, even if not connected with illegal activity, are often kept and added to law enforcement budgets. .
It is critical to note that this same surprise forced-entry approach is routinely used in the execution of regular “knock-and-announce” search warrants. “Simply banning No-Knock warrants isn’t going to make us safer and hold police accountable,” said Katie Ryan of Campaign Zero. “In practice, knock-and-announce warrants can end up being executed like a No-Knock warrant so we must couple banning No-Knock warrants with heavy restrictions on the issuance and execution of all search warrants.”
The campaign recommends several key measures:
- Ban No-Knock Warrants
- Restrict the way in which all “knock-and-announce” search warrants are issued and executed
- Create systems of data collection, transparency and accountability
“The trauma, injuries, and many deaths of innocent people, make the practice of military-style warrant executions unsafe and barbaric,” said DeRay McKesson, Co-Founder of Campaign Zero. “We know these raids are not an effective policing tool. We need a more rigorous application process; we need to ensure law enforcement intelligence is accurate; and, we need to close any loopholes police officers use to defer accountability. We can prevent needless death and harm, but it’s going to take a collective effort to ensure that proposals by state and local policymakers are strong and comprehensive.”
The cost of No-Knock raids far exceeds their negligible benefits. According to research by police scholar Peter Kraska, there are approximately 60,000 No-Knock and Quick-Knock raids executed every year, increased from ~3,000 a year in the early 1980s — the majority for drug offenses. An investigation of 13 local jurisdictions found consistent racial disparities in the use of police raids – with Black communities disproportionately impacted by this form of police violence. Police put themselves, and the community, at extreme risk when conducting these home-raids, children are severely traumatized by the experience, and as was the case with Breonna Taylor, they can lead to tragic police killings. The risks are too great; the rewards are minimal.
Joe Biden’s progressive criminal-justice platform contains many police reforms, but his ability to enact them will depend partly on whether Democrats control the Senate, which will not be determined until after two run-off elections in Georgia on January 5. Because of this, Campaign Zero’s team is already assisting 37 city and state governments, including South Fulton and the state at-large, in passing comprehensive No-Knock legislation.
Nationwide, 59% of U.S. voters support ending violent property searches that put both the public and police officers in extreme danger. Why then was new legislation introduced in the Georgia State Legislature on June 19, 2020 and subsequently rejected? The Black and brown people of this nation are tired of not being heard. It’s time for a change.
“We are very pleased that Campaign Zero is taking an aggressive effort towards reform surrounding search warrants,” said Sam Aguiar, Attorney for the Family of Breonna Taylor. “The research and data are clear that drug raids, and in particular no knock drug raids, are dangerous, deadly and filled with bad intelligence… States and cities nationwide are finally addressing this critical issue. These efforts can’t stop until this abused practice is declared unlawful.”
For more information, visit www.EndAllNoKnocks.org.
Johnetta Elzie, Samuel Sinyangwe, DeRay McKesson are co-founders of Campaign Zero, a data-driven organization started by activists to provide people with the information and tools they need to dismantle police unions and end police brutality. Campaign Zero encourages organizers, activists, and policymakers to focus on solutions with the strongest evidence of effectiveness at reducing police violence. For more information, please visit www.JoinCampaignZero.org.
Last updated on November 26, 2020