Posted at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 2, 2021
The Brillion News
MADISON - Scenes where SWAT teams ram doors and serve search or arrest warrants without knocking first would be a thing of the past under a bill being introduced in the Wisconsin State Assembly by Representative LaKeshia Myers, D-Milwaukee.
Her office announced the legislation on February 1, naming the initiative :"Breonna's Law" - after Kentucky EMT Breonna Taylor, who was killed when Louisville Police mistakenly raided her apartment last March when executing a "no knock" warrant.
"No-knock warrants are harmful to civilians and law enforcement officers alike," Myers said.
She cited the line-of-duty death of Milwaukee Police officer Matthew Rittner, who was killed in 2019 as a member of a SWAT team executing a no-knock warrant.
[Photo at right >> Officer Matthew Rittner]
Wisconsin was the first state to allow no-knock warrants, in the 1997 case of Richards v. Wisconsin.
Madison criminal defense attorney Mark Eisenberg said that case involved an unannounced search for drugs in a hotel room.
Appeals in that case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that no-kinock warrants could be approved by a court is there is a reasonable suspicion that announcing police presence would be dangerous or would impede the investigation.
"No-knock warrants remain more prevalent in our state than in other states," Eisenberg wrote.
"As the state that created no-knock warrants, Wisconsin has the responsibility to be the state to end their use," Myers said.