Dane County Board pushes to end no-knock warrants

Members of the Dane County Board in Wisconsin are pressing the sheriff to stop any use of no-knock warrants, a police tactic that criminal justice reform advocates have pushed to ban.

The Dane County Board can’t ban the warrants, but board members are proposing a resolution to push the sheriff to stop using them, the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported. Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said he rarely uses the surprise raids, but they help prevent armed confrontations between police and suspects. The sheriff’s office executed no-knock warrants 11 times in 2020.

Police in Louisville, Kentucky were executing a no-knock warrant in March 2020 when they shot and killed Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman. After her death, criminal justice reform advocates nationwide have called on the warrants to be banned.

Gov. Tony Evers has also pushed for an end to the police tactic as part of a package of reforms, but Republicans took no action on it.

Mahoney plans to retire in May, meaning that if the county board passes the resolution, the new sheriff Kalvin Barrett will likely decide whether to honor the request. Barrett, whose appointment was announced this month, will be the county's first Black sheriff.