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Legislator welcomes court plan to review no-knock warrants

March 20, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona lawmaker who sought unsuccessfully to ban no-knock search warrants during the current legislative session says she is pleased that a court task force has been appointed to review how the warrants are issued and whether there should be changes to stiffen safeguards.

Democratic Rep. Alma Hernandez of Tucson sponsored a bill to ban no-knock warrants but says she is abandoning her proposal because it was amended to still allow unannounced entries by police in certain circumstances.

Hernandez told the Arizona Capitol Times that she would like to see the task force’s eventual recommendations before deciding whether she will propose a ban again next session.

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Arizona is among states nationwide examining no-knock warrants in the wake of a 2020 raid in which police fatally shot Breonna Taylor in her home in Louisville, Kentucky.

Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel’s order creating the task force said no-knock warrants can create dangerous situations and that any bad outcomes “can seriously impact the public’s trust in the justice system.”

The 19-member task force is scheduled to submit its recommendations to the court by Oct. 21.