No knock warrants: When and what makes authorities take action

Photo by: Fargo Police Department
Photo by: Fargo Police Department

(Fargo, ND) -- We're learning more about what area law enforcement's qualifications are for executing no knock search warrants.

Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner, who spent over a decade and a half with Red River Valley SWAT, says there is a system in place authorities use.

"The no knock warrants are mainly used when there is a real possibility the suspect or suspects could harm law enforcement," said Jahner, who told WDAY Radio's Bonnie and Friends about the 'Swat Matrix' that is used when determining the warrants. "Things like if the suspect is a risk to attack law enforcement gets a certain amount of points, or if the suspect is known to have a weapon gets certain points," said the sheriff.

Sheriff Jahner does say the the no knock warrants are rare in the Red River Valley, but are necessary in matters that protect law enforcement in high intensity situations with known dangerous suspects.

There is also a process in which law enforcement would get the warrant, but do detailed surveillance on the building or structure where the warrant will be served first well before making a move.

Questions arose after Amir Locke was killed during a no knock warrant was issued and carried out in the twin cities last month.