CJP Students Give Public Testimony Before House Committee

March 18, 2021 / By: Tori Kee, Faculty Fellow

“The Community Justice Project Knock First Minnesota team, Jon Troe and Sarah Murtada, gave remote public testimony last week before the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee regarding proposed bill HF1762. The bill seeks to regulate the use of no-knock search warrants throughout Minnesota.

Representative Athena Hollins of St. Paul is the chief author of the bill, which would limit the use of no-knock warrants and require law enforcement agencies to make quarterly reports on their use of no-knock warrants to the commissioner of public safety. Representative Hollins is a 2011 graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law and a Community Justice Project Clinic alumni. Additionally, 1L Johnathon McClellan, President of the Minnesota Justice Coalition, was a primary testifier on the bill.

“No-knock warrants that don’t allow individuals to answer the door endangers the lives of community members who believe that their houses are being illegally broken into and may who respond with violence not realizing that it is law enforcement breaking into their homes,” Murtada says. “Members of the community who […] utilize their second amendment right to bear arms also cause a dangerous situation for the officers who are executing these warrants.”

"I believe the proposed regulation will increase safety for both civilians and law enforcement." said Troe, the founding member of Knock First Minnesota.

Watch the committee hearing at https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hjvid/92/893640, Murtada and Troe’s testimony begins at timestamp 55:58.

To find out more information about Knock First Minnesota, check out their change.org petition at http://chng.it/ZdDjWtwtVt and interact on Twitter at https://twitter.com/knockfirstmn.”