July 26, 2021 13:23

Police Forced Entries ‘Routine’ in Kentucky

The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) conducted 72 forced entries from September 2019 through March 2020, according to a review of police records by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. Policing experts say officers rely on the element of surprise the strategy offers. But using that force to search for drugs carries risks that often outweigh the rewards, according to criminal-justice experts, police professionals and civil liberties advocates.  Police in Louisville have been under intense scrutiny since officers busted down Breonna Taylor’s door to execute a “no-knock” search warrant related to a drug investigation into her ex-boyfriend.

But LMPD used no-knocks rarely. Officers knocked, announced and forced entry far more frequently: more than twice a week, on average, from September 2019 through March 2020.Seventeen of the 72 forced entry reports said they were executing a warrant that had been sealed by a judge, and therefore hidden from the public. Those that aren’t secret describe evidence varying from anonymous crime tips or confidential informants to stake-outs and long investigations.at least 63 percent of the forced entries were to serve a narcotics search warrant, with the intention to seize any cash, guns, electronics or valuables that could be proceeds of drug dealing.Nearly half of the forced entries occurred in zip codes that include the west end of Louisville, which is predominantly Black.

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