File photo of St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones announced today that she signed an executive order banning the use of no-knock warrants by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police.
No-knock warrants allow police to enter a residence without first giving warning or announcing themselves as law enforcement. Such warrants were created for cases when knock-and-announce warrants might lead to the destruction of materials related to illegal activity or put the safety of the police or other individuals in jeopardy.
But the executive order cites potential harm to both individuals subject to no-knock warrants as well as officers executing it.
"Public safety and policing must be responsive to the needs and concerns of the community,” Jones said in a statement. “This is an important step for our city and in line with action taken by municipalities across the country.”
Under the new order, city police must now announce three times that they are entering the residence on the basis of a police warrant. The order also requires the majority of entering officers to wear functioning body cameras.
The issue of no-knock warrants entered the national spotlight in March 2020 when 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was killed in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment by police who entered on the basis of a no-knock warrant. Taylor's boyfriend, believing the plainclothes officers to be home invaders, fired on them in self-defense.
In the wake of Taylor's death, Louisville banned the practice, followed by Houston as well as the entire state of Oregon. In Missouri, prior to St. Louis banning no-knock warrants, the Springfield City Council passed a law to limit their use.
Jones' executive order states that in St. Louis there were zero no-knock warrants executed last year.