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WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is naming her congressional attempt to limit no-knock warrants after Amir Locke, following the police shooting death of the 22-year-old Black man during a no-knock raid.
Omar unveiled the legislation, called the Amir Locke End Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act, hours before President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
“Sadly, nationwide pleas for justice and meaningful change have seemingly gone unheard, unmet and unaddressed as policing reform negotiations failed here in Washington,” Omar said during a call with reporters. “Congress must also act to ensure no more lives are lost due to unnecessary, risky police raids.”
The Minneapolis Democrat’s bill would create “strict limitations on the use of no-knock warrants in drug-related investigations,” according to Omar’s office. The legislation focuses on federal activity, but if passed it would also use grant funding as a route for changes at the state and local level.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police declined to comment Tuesday when asked about Omar’s bill. Family members of Locke, George Floyd and Deshaun Hill Jr. joined Omar during the call with reporters Tuesday.
“While the Amir Locke End Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act is not a complete ban, we support all efforts to restrict this dangerous and deadly practice to save even one other innocent life, and to hold law enforcement accountable when the service of warrants goes terribly wrong,” Locke’s parents, Karen Wells and Andre Locke, said in a statement.
Major work in Congress on police reform failed to become law over the past year despite public calls for action. House Democrats passed a wide-ranging package last year named after Floyd, but it stalled in the Senate amid GOP opposition.
During a speech to a joint session of Congress last April, Biden called for agreement on police reform by the late May anniversary of Floyd’s death. A bipartisan trio of lawmakers were unable to meet that deadline, and by the end of September talks had publicly fallen apart.
Omar’s legislation is likely to meet similar obstacles. Democrats are facing a difficult midterm election year, and public safety will be a major issue for voters at a time when control of the House and Senate is in play.
This content was originally published here.