House holds bill defining when police could forcibly enter buildings
Jordan Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — A House committee made up of mostly attorneys decided Monday to hold a bill that would set parameters on when police officers can forcibly enter a building.
HB70 would require more oversight on forcible entry and change the legal standard required for forcible entry from "reasonable suspicion" to "probable cause." The bill is intended to minimize risk to police officers and citizens.
The bill would allow a forcible entry warrant to be authorized only when evidence could "quickly and easily" be destroyed.
The legislation comes in response to concerns about raids conducted at wrong addresses and incidents such as the January 2012 Ogden shooting, when officer Jared Francom was killed and five officers were also shot while serving a no-knock search warrant.
To get a warrant, the bill would require a law enforcement agent to demonstrate whether there is a less invasive option and whether there has been sufficient investigation to know the warrant will be served on the right person at the right place.
After an hour-long discussion of various concerns, the committee decided it is a joint area of concern for both the courts and the Legislature. They voted to hold the bill to see if changes can be made through an amended rule by the Utah Judicial Council.
Bill sponsor Rep. Marc Roberts, R-Santaquin, said the bill isn't meant to be an attack on law enforcement.
"The legislation is not seeking to prevent law enforcement from using forcible entry to gain access to homes or other buildings, (it's) simply trying to introduce a little bit of caution to make sure it's done when absolutely necessary and we make sure we have the correct home, among other things when forcible entry is performed," Roberts said.
Email: email@example.com, Twitter: Madeleine6
- BYU grad strikes gold teaching via online...
- Searchers locate missing family of Olympian...
- San Diego Comic-Con tells Salt Lake...
- Healing souls, healing a mountain
- Draper man dies from injuries in house explosion
- Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City...
- Salt Lake bike share program doubles in size
- 2 killed in Uintah County crash identified as...
- Federal land managers criticized over... 24
- Renewable energy advocates decry... 18
- Habitual offender arrested in alleged... 16
- Student attitudes changing on healthy... 14
- 'No trespassing' sign may not stop... 13
- Ogden police shoot dog that was... 10
- Satellites track drought-driven... 9
- San Diego Comic-Con tells Salt Lake... 9