Virginia’s law banning no-knock warrants, other police reform laws now in effect

Capitol Connection

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Virginia is now the third state in the country to ban no-knock warrants. The new measure, along with several other police reform laws, took effect on March 1.

The measure, named ‘Breonna’s Law’ after Breonna Taylor, bans police from executing no-knock search warrants. Officers must make their presence known and once they are inside, officers must read the warrant and leave a copy.

Related coverage: Virginia bans no-knock warrants and chokeholds as Northam signs new police reform laws

Another new law puts limits on the use of neck restraints. The measure bans officers from using them unless the use of it is “immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person.”

A third measure taking effect is the implementation of the Marcus Alert system. The system would dispatch mental health providers along with police to help those in crisis situations.

Related coverage: Gov. Northam signs laws advancing sentencing reform, implements ‘Marcus’ alert system

It’s named after 24-year-old Marcus-David Peters who was shot and killed by Richmond Police while experiencing a mental health crisis in 2018.

Other measures that took effect include statewide de-escalation training efforts and a strengthened law enforcement decertification process.

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