The sister of a man killed in an officer-involved shooting in Mobile addressed the city council Tuesday and got a response from city leadership on search warrant policies.
La'Kenda Jones said her brother, Kordell Jones, 24, was fatally shot during the execution of a search warrant at their family home on Charles Street. The incident happened in early March.
"The sounds, the visuals and the fear we felt that day will never leave us because they are eternally sketched in our hearts and in our minds," said La'Kenda Jones.
The Mobile Police Department said the warrant was connected to an armed robbery investigation involving Kordell Jones' brother, Jason Jones. 19-year-old Jason Jones was arrested during the search warrant, but Kordell Jones, who police said tried to escape the home from a window in the back of the house while armed with a pistol, was shot by officers.
The officer who shot Kordell Jones was placed on administrative leave pending investigations by MPD's Criminal Investigations Unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Mobile County District Attorney's Office.
Tuesday, La'Kendra Jones asked the city council to establish a policy against no-knock warrants, which she claimed this was.
"While my standing here today will not bring my brother, Kordell Jones back, my standing here today is a call for change to eliminate no-knock search warrants and to say to this city, 'never again," she said. "Never again the fear, never again the pain, never again the disrespect and never again the feeling of helplessness by those sent to serve and protect us."
MPD Cpl. Katrina Frazier told 1819 News that the department's practice is to always announce their presence and to knock before entering.
"During our press conference on March 9, 2023, Chief Prine addressed the issue of the 'no-knock warrant' and clarified that our officers did indeed identify themselves as law enforcement before entering the residence of Charles Street, as well as informing the surrounding neighbors in the area," Frazier said. "This is consistent with our standard operating procedure, which prioritizes the safety and effective execution of search warrants. Additionally, officers did not enter until everyone was out of the residence."
During the council meeting Tuesday, the city administration's chief of staff James Barber, a former Chief of Police for the city of Mobile, said he agreed with La'Kendra Jones on the dangers no-knock search warrants pose for citizens and officers. He said he and current Chief Paul Prine had discussed the matter and agreed not to execute no-knock warrants in the city.
"We think that no-knock search warrants are a danger to the people in a residence as well as the officers' safety," Barber said. "But it's a law that is through the state, not the city council. The judges do issue that as an option on high-risk warrant. But it is our position from administratively that we will not execute no-knock warrants. You have my assurance of that. As long as I'm here, we will not do that."
The Mobile Police Department has not confirmed if the search warrant that ended in the death of Kordell Jones was a no-knock warrant.
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