Much ink has been spilled on arguments for restraining law enforcement’s use of no-knock warrants. In 2020, the issue was thrust into the national spotlight with the tragic death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of the Louisville Metro Police Department. While national attention focused on the federal response, Oregon, Florida, Virginia, and other states sprang into action by critically reexamining the justifications offered for the use of no-knock warrants and, in some cases, finding these justifications wanting. The Comment suggests that the justification of safety that no-knock warrants share with their predecessor, the venerable knock-and-announce rule, is not borne out in practice. Accepting that law enforcement must have adequate discretion with which to root out crime, North Carolina need not tether its law on exigent circumstances to the federal “floor.” Instead, with constitutional liberties and lives themselves at stake, North Carolina should join Oregon, Florida, and Virginia in banning no-knock warrants outright or by limiting their use through heightened pre-issuance requirements.
Micah Mooring, No-Knock Warrants: Protective or Predatory for North Carolinians?, 45 Campbell L. Rev. 269 (2023).