The Mobile City Council voted Tuesday to lay over a vote on a police raid policy that would be citywide. The council will consider the ordinance again in two weeks.

The ordinance banning no-knock warrants and pre-dawn raids in Mobile states, "No law enforcement personnel employed by the City of Mobile shall seek, execute, or participate in the execution of a no-knock warrant at any location within the boundaries of the City of Mobile" and "No law enforcement personnel employed by the City of Mobile shall authorize or perform a pre-dawn raid."

The vote on the new ordinance was postponed in December over questions of legality. The Zoghby Act gave Mobile's government-specific roles and authority, and some legal experts say banning places could violate the act. Some council members suggested asking the Alabama Attorney General's Office for an opinion.

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On Monday, Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine said he wanted to know if the council had the authority to vote on the ordinance before they did so.

"Chief Prine seeks clarification on the legal framework that permits the council to modify the guidelines surrounding 'no-knock' and 'pre-dawn' operations," MPD stated in a press release.

The ordinance on raids would still allow for exceptions in limited circumstances following the approval of the chief of police and the director of public safety. In those situations, there would have to be probable cause to believe there is a risk of injury to law enforcement or citizens and that there is felony activity at the location.

Police already operate off these exceptions when authorizing and executing search warrants. A judge signs off on search warrants before entry is made on any premise.

Another part of the proposed changes was passed in January when the city council approved an ordinance making it a citywide policy to release body-worn camera footage to those who go through the proper request process. There are exceptions to that ordinance as well, such as video protected by a grand jury investigation.

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