Ohio Attorney General Yost, county prosecutor propose no-knock warrant reforms

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COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 06: Republican candidate Dave Yost gives his victory speech after winning the Ohio Attorney General race on November 6, 2018 at the Ohio Republican Party’s election night party at the Sheraton Capitol Square in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Thursday reforms that have been drafted regarding the no-knock warrant law in the state. 

This comes after the death this spring of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, who was shot and killed during a no-knock warrant situation.

Yost said no-knock warrants were designed for rare occasions, and in the proposal, he is tightening the requirements for them to be issued and used.

The changes to the current statute are that there has to be proof in the affidavit that shows there is the potential for serious harm to the officers. And he also wants to have the term “good cause” defined as “probable cause.”

It states that drug misdemeanors with nothing more do not justify a no-knock  warrant.

Officers will have to have markings readily available and identify themselves as law enforcement when they enter. Officers who have body cameras should be required to wear them and have them turned on.

Columbus does have an ordinance that restricts and limits no-knock warrants. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said that ordinance would work hand-in-hand with the new standards.

“It’s high risk for the officers involved,” O’Brien said. “The circumstances make sense to narrow it down and have a uniform standard.”

O’Brien said the 32 law enforcement agencies in Franklin County would adopt these standards if the amendments are approved.

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