News Release

NACDL Condemns the Continued Use of Dangerous “No Knock” Warrants, Calls to End the Practice

Washington, DC (Feb. 7, 2022) – In the wake of the killing of Amir Locke by Minneapolis police last week, NACDL leaders and staff issued the following statements.

“At approximately 6:48 last Friday morning, Minneapolis police officers shot and killed 22-year-old Amir Locke during the execution of a ‘no-knock’ arrest warrant,” said NACDL Executive Director Lisa Wayne. “Despite national outrage over the killing of Breonna Taylor in 2020 under similar circumstances, police agencies continue to rely on ‘no-knock’ warrants which invite tragedy by creating chaotic, confusing, and dangerous situations for citizens and officers alike. NACDL calls on lawmakers and policymakers to end this unnecessary and lethal practice.”

“‘No-knock’ warrants undermine the common law knock-and-announce rule embraced by the United States prior to the ratification of the Constitution,” said NACDL Board Member Todd S. Pugh. “As Justice Brennan put it, the knock-and-announce rule is ‘deeply rooted in our heritage’ and exists to protect the sanctity of individual privacy rights in the home and for the safety of police. Mr. Locke’s tragic death reaffirms the grave dangers to public and police safety of ‘no-knock’ warrants and demands curtailment of their use absent the most exigent of circumstances.”

“The continued and broad use of lethal ‘no-knock’ warrants embodies the militaristic culture that is infused throughout modern day policing,” said Jumana Musa, Director of NACDL’s Fourth Amendment Center. “While the justification for such warrants is the preservation of evidence, continued use of these warrants in light of the many deadly consequences prioritizes the preservation of evidence over the preservation of life. It’s a practice that has been used well beyond its stated purpose to tragic ends and should be relegated to the annals of history.”

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Jessie Diamond, Public Affairs and Communications Associate, (202) 465-7647 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.