Mayor Jacob Frey issued his proposed Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) warrant and entry policy. The formalized changes follow after MPD officers conducted a no-knock warrant which resulted in the death of Amir Locke earlier this year. The official policy takes effect Friday, April 8, 2022, and officer training will begin immediately, according to the city.
The new policy prohibits the application for, and execution of, all no-knock (unannounced) search warrants by the MPD. Under the new policy, the MPD will no longer request no-knock search warrants or respond to no-knock search warrant requests on behalf of other jurisdictions.
The new policy:
- Prohibits the application for and execution of all no-knock search warrants by MPD
- Requires that officers must repeatedly knock and announce their presence and purpose prior to entry and implements a minimum wait time of 20 seconds for all warrants and 30 seconds for warrants executed during nighttime hours (8 p.m. until 7 a.m., as defined by state statute)
- Creates a new risk classification and evaluation system for knock-and-announce search warrants
- Introduces new, safer entry tactics to deploy when entering a home or premise
- Enacts a more robust and thorough internal review and accountability process
“We accomplished what we set out to do,” said Frey. “This policy is among the most forward-looking and extensive in the nation and will help keep both our residents and officers safe. I’m grateful for all our internal and external partners who provided data, feedback, and guidance in the creation of this policy. Their efforts will have a lasting impact on public safety in Minneapolis.”
Interim Chief Amelia Huffman and MPD leadership said that they “connected” with various police agencies over the past few weeks to learn how other jurisdictions have transformed their approach to search warrants.
“Safe search warrants are a critical tool in addressing the violent crime that is harming so many in our community,” said Huffman. “It is vitally important that we provide our officers with the best policies, training, and equipment to carry out the work safely. Investigations can be dangerous and unfold rapidly in unexpected ways. This updated policy language strengthens our ability to mitigate the risk of harm to occupants and officers during searches and reflects our commitment to protecting lives. We are committed to reflecting our community’s expectations and best practices that will guide the development of MPD policy and procedures moving forward.”
The City of Minneapolis will begin to develop a public-facing, online dashboard to track forced entries executed by the MPD. Non-sworn roles will be hired to review high-risk and nighttime warrants immediately following the execution of the warrant and a longer-term audit plan will “ensure all policies and procedures are effective and in line with best practices,” according to city officials.