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State lawmakers discussing new restrictions on 'No-Knock' warrants

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are clashing over legislation to restrict the use of so-called ‘No-Knock’ warrants.

Police use no-knock warrants to surprise suspects. But critics complain some police departments are abusing them, putting innocent people at risk.

State Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) says her bill would require police to consider other options before requesting a no-knock warrant.

“They should have those tools,” says Geiss, “But at the same time, they should be used surgically...very very carefully.”

The bill is before the state Senate Judiciary Committee.   At a committee hearing Thursday, Republican senators expressed concern about the effect of the legislation.

State Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) questioned whether the proposal goes too far.

“We need to be careful that we don’t take the tools away from our law (enforcement)...and give more tools for the bad guy or the bad girl,” said VanderWall.

The no-knock warrant bill is one of 12 bills that are part of a police reform package.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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