Target: Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia
Goal: Support limitations on dangerous and overused no-knock warrants.
A bill limiting the use of no-knock warrants has been proposed by lawmakers in Georgia. The warrants, which allow police to forcibly enter a home, have resulted in the injury and death of both civilians and police officers. If approved, the bill would prohibit such entry between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m, unless specifically allowed by a judge. It would place additional restrictions on when the use of a no-knock warrant is appropriate, as well as increase oversight and training for the officers carrying them out.
The bill was created in response to a particularly brutal case of a no-knock warrant gone wrong. A stun grenade, lobbed through the window of a home, exploded in a sleeping child’s crib. The grenade, which was designed not to cause harm to adults, tore off 19-month-old Bounkham’s nose and portions of his chest. Bou Bou, as he is nicknamed, was burned, permanently disfigured, and required extensive surgery.
In South Carolina, a man was shot by police who entered his home without identifying themselves. Mistaking officers for burglars, the man reached for his gun, but was shot several times before he realized the men were police. In Texas, a man shot a police officer entering his home during a no-knock warrant after mistaking the officer for a home invader. In all these cases, no drugs or contraband were found in the homes.
No-knock warrants are particularly intrusive, and cause confusion and panic, which leads to unnecessary injuries and deaths. For this reason, they should be restricted to urgent circumstances and extensive evidence of wrongdoing should be presented beforehand. Sign the petition below to show your support for restrictions on no-knock warrants.
Dear Governor Nathan Deal,
Georgia is currently considering a bill that would limit no-knock warrants, which allow police to forcibly enter homes without announcing themselves. These warrants have previously resulted in disaster, with one Georgia toddler being permanently disfigured by a stun grenade. In other states, both law officers and civilians have been shot dead in cases where police are mistaken for burglars or home invaders.
These types of warrants are overused, often with little evidence of wrongdoing, and are dangerous to both civilians and police. By limiting their use and increasing oversight and training for the officers that carry them out, Georgia will decrease the likelihood of further tragic accidents. We, the undersigned, support Georgia’s work to reform no-knock warrant policies.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Zscout370 via Wikimedia Commons