General Assembly Committee Approves Bill Banning No-Knock Warrants

By Arianna Coghill
August 19, 2020

First police reform bill of special session clears key legislative committee.

A bill that would eliminate the use of no-knock warrants, limit the use of chokeholds and make it easier for officers to be decertified in Virginia was approved by a legislative committee on the first day of the General Assembly’s special session. 

This bill’s approval comes after historic, nationwide protests calling for police reform that followed the police killings of unarmed Black people, like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virginia General Assembly is holding this special session to not only retool the state’s budget but also address the needed criminal justice reform across the commonwealth. The recently approved bill is only one of several proposals that legislators will consider over the next few weeks, including bills seeking to end qualified immunity for officers. 

READ MORE: Police Reform and the State Budget During COVID: What You Need to Know About This Special Session

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to consider the bill on Tuesday. Legislators say they’re prepared for the session to last for two weeks. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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