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No-knock warrants a hot-button issue for both parties

Posted at 6:40 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 19:40:53-04

The Republican Party of Texas has released their 2020 platform, the 33-page document highlighting over 300 different topics and issues they plan to address.

It includes an extensive list of criminal and civil justice reforms, even addressing no- knock warrants.

Both Republicans and Democrats have a clear stance on no-knock warrants.

While they agree they want to preserve the life of law enforcement officers and citizens, they are taking completely different approaches.

"We are firmly against no knock warrants there’s no reason for them they don’t keep people safer they don’t keep our cops safe," said Abhi Rahman, Communications Director for the Texas Democratic Party.

"We want to look at all of those specific situations instead of making a blanket restriction on our law enforcement officers that could endanger them," said Lt. Col. Allen West, the Chairman for the Texas Republican Party.

It’s a conversation that is only getting louder.

After Breonna Taylor was killed by police during a no-knock warrant in Kentucky, the entire existence of no knocks has come under scrutiny, even here in Texas where Democrats want to see them banned.

"We’re not anti-police were not anti-backing are blue but at the end of the day we know that no knock warrant and other stuff that is kind of a justice system override is exactly what we planned on ending," said Rahman.

While Texas Republicans say it's not a smart move to completely ban no-knocks, but rather limit their use.

"Anytime you try to blanket and do something in that nature again you may be putting certain officers at risk we want to make sure that we balance it and we want to make sure that we have certain conditions," said West.

After fighting for end no-knock warrants after her brother was killed during one, Jumeka Reed says it's a step in the right direction but she fears limiting the practice will only make it worse.

"It makes me feel proud that people are recognizing that policing in America needs to be reformed and needs to be a second look at it and some changes done immediately," said Jumeka Reed. "It all depends on what you have within your policies. They’ll just use that verbiage and continue to say for limited use and it would be widely used."

Garrett Calloway whose brother has been awaiting trial for a no-knock warrant that ended with one KPD officer dead and three others injured says risk isn't worth the reward.

"It just seems like someone always ends up getting killed and I just don't think that's a good policy because it's a death sentence to someone," said Calloway.

But how exactly do each party plan to execute the changes they want to see?

"We’ve had two decades of Republican leadership and they haven't created the change that we need the first thing is electing Democrats. The second thing is doing things through the legislative session but if those things happen, we can change Texas for the better," said Rahman.

"It’s very important that you work with your law enforcement officer advocacy agency and you talk to them first and foremost and you get an agreement with them and then you go to legislature. You just don’t want to go in and think that you know better for law-enforcement then they know for themselves," said West.