Ohio officials discuss future of no-knock warrants in the state
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) – State officials on Thursday discussed the future of no-knock warrants in Ohio during a virtual news conference.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was joined by a bipartisan group of prosecuting attorneys from Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland -- the three largest metropolitan areas in Ohio.
State officials say Ohio averages less than one no-knock warrant a year. They say it may be necessary when law enforcement officers are faced with armed and dangerous suspects during events such as drug busts or human trafficking.
Generally in Ohio, police have to knock and announce and give people in premises a chance to respond before they use force.
Ohio is considered a castle doctrine state, meaning people are allowed to use deadly force to defend themselves in their own home.
Officials say an existing Ohio statute regarding search warrants was written well before the castle doctrine.
They say they’re reaching out to lawmakers about the overall issue, saying the country is debating an outright ban on no-knock warrants. They said the goal is to tighten the control and requirements and not eliminate them entirely.
Officials explained that it has to be shown in an affidavit that there’s possibility of serious physical harm to officers before a no-knock warrant is executed.
They also explained that misdemeanor drug possession and paraphernalia would be insufficient to ever get a no-knock warrant.
Officials also said law enforcement officers conducting a no-knock warrant must wear identifiable clothing, and they must wear and activate body cams.
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