Louisville Council Unanimously Approves Breonna’s Law, Banning No-Knock Warrants

The Louisville Metro Council voted unanimously on a law named after Breonna Taylor that bars the use of no-knock warrants in the metro area, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The council unanimously approved the new ordinance, named after the former unarmed black EMT who was fatally shot by police in her bed while they attempted to execute a search warrant with a no-knock clause.

Police broke into Taylor’s home, prompting her boyfriend to fire a warning shot because he thought it was a break-in. Police returned fire, killing Taylor. She was shot eight times, though a police report listed her injuries as “none.” No drugs were found in the apartment.

Officials have claimed that the officers knocked and announced their presence. But her boyfriend has denied that claim. Neighbors have also said they did not hear police announce their presence.

A new report from the Justice Collaborative Institute called to end the use of no-knock warrants, which are allowed in nearly every state, because "minor tweaks to policies controlling how no-knock raids are carried out are not enough to protect people from injury and death."

Bill praised:

Mayor Greg Fischer vowed to sign Breonna's Law "as soon as it hits my desk."

"I suspended use of these warrants indefinitely last month, and wholeheartedly agree with (the) council that the risk to residents and officers with this kind of search outweigh any benefit," he tweeted.

"All Breonna wanted to do was save lives," Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, told the council ahead of the vote. "So it's important this law passes, because with that, she'll get to continue to do that, even in her death."

But local police union chief Ryan Nichols argued that no-knock warrants are "a valuable tool to law enforcement when properly used,” adding that the council should not legislate police rules.

"They're doing that because they don't have faith in the mayor to adequately do that," Nichols said. "I think there's other steps they should be taking, not legislating what he can and can't do, policywise, but they should be looking at, should he be the mayor?"

Rand Paul calls for nationwide ban:

Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, said he will file a federal bill named after Taylor banning no-knock warrants across the country.

"After talking with Breonna Taylor's family, I've come to the conclusion that it's long past time to get rid of no-knock warrants," he said. "This bill will effectively end no-knock raids in the United States."

"I think it's just the beginning, but I'm definitely satisfied," said Palmer. "I definitely think it will help families after mine."


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