Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Legislature on Friday gave final passage to a bill that requires police officers to knock and demand admission to a home multiple times when executing a search warrant.
HB124, sponsored by Rep. Matthew Gwynn, R-Farr West, also requires that officers audibly identify themselves and allows departments to use controversial "no-knock" warrants only when there is "reasonable suspicion to believe exigent circumstances exist due to the physical safety of an officer or individual."
"This is an inherently dangerous job and we will never be completely safe," said Gwynn, who is also police chief of Roy.
The bill also prohibits no-knock warrants for misdemeanor charges, and requires warrants for misdemeanor charges to only take place during "daylight hours," between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., in most cases.
"We'll certainly do what we can to be more safe, and I think this bill strikes a balance," Gwynn has said.
He said the bill codifies what most law enforcement agencies throughout Utah already do.
"They will repeat the commands over and over and over again, and they will continue to repeat those commands even when the door is being breached," he said.
During a committee hearing for the bill, Rae Duckworth, with the Black Lives Matter Utah chapter, said she believes such a bill could have prevented killings like Breonna Taylor's, who was killed by police conducting a no-knock search warrant in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2020.
Last year, Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, sponsored a similar bill that ultimately failed in committee.