No-knock warrants will be back up for discussion at the Killeen City Council meeting Tuesday, and this time council members will be talking about putting a permanent end to the controversial police tactic.
No-knock warrants — in which police don’t announce themselves before forcefully entering someone’s home in order to arrest the person — have come under fire in Killeen in recent years.
Two people have died in the Killeen raids, which sometimes include broken glass, explosives to blow off doors, and a lot of guns — mostly in the hands of police, but sometimes in the hands of the residents inside.
Usually done in pre-dawn hours, the no-knock warrants can catch a criminal when they least expect it. However, sometimes things go horribly wrong.
Marvin Louis Guy, 56, is accused of shooting a Killeen Police Department detective, who later died, during a 5 a.m. no-knock raid on Guy’s residence on Circle M Drive in 2014. KPD SWAT Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie and three other officers were shot on May 9, 2014, and Dinwiddie died in a hospital two days later.
Nearly five years later, 40-year-old James Scott Reed, was killed by a single bullet during a no-knock narcotics raid at his home on Feb. 27, 2019. The family alleged that at least 22 rounds were fired by Killeen Police Department SWAT team members during the early-morning raid and that Reed was armed but did not fire his handgun.
Nearly seven years later, Guy is still awaiting trial in his case. In Reed’s case, his family has sued the city and the police department — a lawsuit that is still working its way in court.
Both cases — as well as national cases in the past year — have led to multiple discussions by the Killeen City Council about the issue.
“A request was made by Killeen City Council to prepare an ordinance to eliminate no knock warrants in the City of Killeen,” according to a city presentation that will made at the council’s workshop meeting Tuesday night.
The draft of that ordinance reads in part: “No peace officer employed by the City of Killeen, including the Chief of Police ... may request, execute or participate in the execution of any search warrant that does not require the officer to knock and announce his or her presence prior to execution.”
Although it’s unclear how the council will vote on the proposed ordinance, Councilmember Melissa Brown has been a vocal opponent of no-knock warrants, and pushed the city to draft the new policy.
Others on the council, including Councilman Ken Wilkerson, have expressed concern over the tactic which garnered nationwide attention last year in the case of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment.
“I think no-knock warrants are dangerous for police, innocent bystanders and assailants,” Wilkerson told the Herald last month.
Proposed state laws working their way in the state legislature this year could ban no-knock warrants statewide, if passed.
New guns for KPD?
In the other business at Tuesday’s council meeting, the council will discuss a city proposal for the police department to no longer use the dozens of Sig Sauer P320 pistols its officers are assigned, and replace them with Glock pistols — a trade out that will cost more than $158,000 to the city.
According to a city staff report on the topic, there is an unresolved potential safety issue with the Sig Sauer P320 “that may cause it to discharge unintentionally.”
Tuesday’s workshop meeting will be at 5 p.m. in the council chambers in City Hall, 101 N. College St.