“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — Martin Luther King

In a crowded council chamber, Killeen resident Jumeka Reed used the famous quote to open her speech against no-knock warrants, which authorize police officers to enter certain premises without first knocking and announcing their presence.

Reed knows all too well about no-knocks. Her brother, James Scott Reed died when the Killeen Police Department served a no-knock warrant at his home in February 2019.

“No-knock warrants are a risky and dangerous situation,” Reed said. “It’s also an infringement of citizens’ rights.”

Reed is one of the four residents who asked city officials Tuesday to consider ending no-knock warrants. She was in attendance with her mother, Dianne Reed Bright. Bright did not speak on Tuesday.

Recently, the Killeen Police Department released its latest reform to include placing a 90-day hold on no-knocks along with compiling a committee “to formulate a community response/policy for service of no knock warrants,” according to Police Chief Charles Kimble. There are exceptions to the hold on no-knock warrants: a situation in which a person’s life is in danger and/or a person is being held against his/her will; an incident that involves removal and detonation of explosive devices; or if it is requested by federal agencies in regards to national security.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Jonathan Hildner, co-founder of the Let’s Move Killeen, told the council “it is extremely important that we consider refining reform, getting rid of no-knocks.”

“I think that anybody that understands and believes in the judicial system should know that during a no-knock warrant; we lost lives on both sides and our police officers shouldn’t be put in positions where they are ending somebody’s life before they get their day in court.”

U.S. Army veteran and 12-year Killeen resident Mary Gadson said she is against use of the no-knock warrant.

“I am in agreement that a serious review is necessary,” Gadson said. “And that the results demonstrate a process to the community of concern, accountability and transparency because misuse of power can corrupt. And absolute power can destroy.”

Ken Wilkerson is among more than a dozen candidates running for an at-large seat on the Killeen City Council. He was the last to speak during the citizen petition.

“I’ve had the chance to talk to several officers here in Killeen and other law enforcement officers across the state. And we talked about the pros and cons of no-knock warrants,” Wilkerson said. “Of course, we want to bring assailants to justice. However, that extraordinary benefit is not worth the lives of the assailant, innocent bystanders — particularly our police.”

Locally, no-knocks have turned deadly in at least two cases. In 2014, Killeen Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie was fatally shot during a no-knock warrant arrest. Five years later, 40-year-old Reed was killed by a single bullet during a no-knock narcotics raid at his home. Reed’s family is suing the city of Killeen and four KPD officers in that case, and want authorities to reopen a criminal investigation on the officers involved.

Kimble was in the audience during the citizen petition portion of the meeting Tuesday and listened to all four residents.

“I feel good and I feel positive about the community’s input and energy around no-knock warrants. I feel even more confident that a community wide solution is close at hand,” Kimble told the Herald after they spoke on Tuesday. “I look forward to working with everybody. In the council meeting tonight, I heard interest from the public in serving on the committee, but unfortunately, I can’t select everyone — but there will be a good cross-section representing the community. You pick fruit, you select people.”

Monique Brand - Killeen Daily Herald

mbrand@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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City Hall Reporter

Monique 'Mo' Brand joined the Herald in May 2019. Before that, she covered border coverage and county government in Arizona. She also worked as a reporter in Kerrville, Los Angeles, and Norfolk Virginia. The U.S. Navy veteran grew up in Killeen.

(2) comments

Alvin

Yep, 4 residents chose to ask the city council to end the use of no knock warrants. So there is supposed to be a committee to oversee the use of no knock warrants and to write I assume a mandate that is supposed to come up with an alternate plan of just how our Police Department to be reorganized.

Copy: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — Martin Luther King'. End of copy.

We all know what Justice is, but just what is injustice? Where does injustice begin and end for that is a philosophical type question just as 'who came first the Chicken or the egg? I don't believe you can a variety of people to completely agree on just how does the Police Department, or a committee of peers write a policy in which, 1. The Police Department comes to an agreement and makes the Police Department as secondary service as a voluntary group that reports to Social service, or 2. The Police Department comes to an agreement on continuing to make the Police Department as a law enforcement organization that enforces the criminal laws of this city, this state, this nation. Which will this select committee agree on.

Copy: “No-knock warrants are a risky and dangerous situation,” Reed said. “It’s also an infringement of citizens’ rights.” End of copy.

Well I think that just about covers what this writer thinks as it is said that 'No Knock Warrants are a ricky and dangerous situation'. Well what are the Police hired to do if not 'handle dangerous situations and they no that going in. And I do not agree that 'It is an infringement of citizens rights'. What are citizens rights in accordance with the breaking of a law? Does the citizen have any rights when it comes to an individual who is considered to be 'breaking the law'. I know the old axiom, innocent until proven guilty, but is that the correct use of that axiom?

Copy: “I think that anybody that understands and believes in the judicial system should know that during a no-knock warrant; we lost lives on both sides and our police officers shouldn’t be put in positions where they are ending somebody’s life before they get their day in court.” End of copy

I think that in the use of this sentence this writer started off by say 'We lost lives on both sides', but ends up saying, 'Police Officers shouldn’t be put in positions where they are ending somebody’s life before they get their day in court.' Who says 'in all cases does the end point become one of ending somebody's life'? Seems that this is jumping the gun so to speak by saying 'somebody's life is going to be lost and that it is a forgone conclusion. I believe we can safely say that 'in all cases, there will not be a loss of life.

Copy: 'Ken Wilkerson is among more than a dozen candidates running for an at-large seat on the Killeen City Council. He was the last to speak during the citizen petition.'

Continuation of copy: “I’ve had the chance to talk to several officers here in Killeen and other law enforcement officers across the state. And we talked about the pros and cons of no-knock warrants,” Wilkerson said. “Of course, we want to bring assailants to justice. However, that extraordinary benefit is not worth the lives of the assailant, innocent bystanders — particularly our police.” End of copy.

And a 3rd negative comment was presented that followed along the same lines as the last one in which the tone was basically cordial as to 'Of course, we want to bring assailants to justice. However, that extraordinary benefit is not worth the lives of the assailant, innocent bystanders — particularly our police.' Yep it follows that if the police are present then the implication is, there will be a loss of life, period.

Copy: 'Kimble was in the audience during the citizen petition portion of the meeting Tuesday and listened to all four residents.'

Continuation of copy: “I feel good and I feel positive about the community’s input and energy around no-knock warrants. I feel even more confident that a community wide solution is close at hand,” Kimble told the Herald after they spoke on Tuesday. “I look forward to working with everybody. In the council meeting tonight, I heard interest from the public in serving on the committee, but unfortunately, I can’t select everyone — but there will be a good cross-section representing the community. You pick fruit, you select people.” End of copy.

Quote: ' I heard interest from the public in serving on the committee'. Yes and it was all negative. You did not hear 1 positive comment. Now why is that do you suppose? They all, all 4 of them wanted to do away with the concept of 'No Knock' altogether and my feeling on that is 'Use a door where the policeman can have the protection of a shield, and do not use a window that affords the Policeman, or woman, no protection at all'. That will give the Police some sort of an edge in the capture of a criminal. And if the person is innocent then he should not put up any resistance at all and the innocent party will come out in the end. It doesn't to become a killing issue if the party is found to be innocent. Of course there is always the possibility that a mistake will be made, but there is always mistakes to be made, but it doesn't have to be 'I can't breathe, or Black lives matter' because 'all lives matter regardless of color.

Now as to the comment by Mark2588: I agree with Mark in that the Police are men and women who choose that line of work, who want to 'Protect and Defend' and I think that they are not getting their full measure of due in that respect. I also agree with Mark in that 'There are some pretty savory characters out there and it is getting worse as at one time, many years ago, the Police were given respect, but alas such is not the case now and if you announce yourself first, that just gives the bad guys a few second to dispose of whatever it is that needs to be disposed of, or in the critical case, draw the weapon and you have a knock down and drag out roaring gun battle on the Police sides of things. To me, it doesn't sound good at all.

Mark2588

First I would like to say I firmly support our hero's in blue. Thank you to each and every law enforcement officer. I also understand that when thee is good intel that there is a band of very bad people in a house, could have drugs, weapons or explosives knocking to announce yourself alerts the bad guys and officers could lose their lives. On the other side of the coin though, if the intel is wrong and you bust in on some good old boys with nothing to hide, they will shoot first and ask questions later. There has to be a fine line that the information about what and who the officers are looking at to issue a no knock warrant. Lives Matter. If you have to add a color in front of that, that strongly implies "ONLY". you are part of the problem, not the solution.

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