Kentucky Police Union Criticizes Bill Banning No-Knock Warrants

Aug 17, 2020

Credit J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky’s statewide police union is speaking out against a proposal to ban no-knock search warrants and penalize officers who don’t activate body cameras while executing search warrants.

Louisville Democratic Rep. Attica Scott proposed the measure, which she named “Breonna’s Law” for Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by Louisville police executing a no-knock search warrant in March.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police said that the bill was “based on an incomplete investigation and no facts” and that it didn’t provide due process for officers.

“Yet again, emotion takes the day, not fact based evidence. The unintended consequences will be so severe, likely a mass exodus of great cops all across this Commonwealth. Yet again, cops have been made out to be the enemy of the people and used as no more than #PoliticalPawns,” the Kentucky FOP wrote on Facebook.

Kentucky FOP’s governmental affairs chair Drew Fox did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Scott’s bill would require police officers to knock and wait at least ten seconds before executing a search warrant.

It would also require drug and alcohol testing of officers any time they shoot their guns or are involved in a deadly incident.

And the bill would allow for disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal, if an officer fails to turn on their body camera while executing a search warrant.

In an interview on Monday, Scott said that police officers should feel protected by the bill because they can use body camera footage to defend their actions.

“If they actually read the bill and talked to me before they decided to attack me, they would have found that the elements of the bill protect them as well,” Scott said.

Scott proposed her bill on Thursday, which marked 150 days since Taylor’s death.

The Republican leader of the Kentucky Senate, Robert Stivers, announced last month that he was working on a bill that would ban most no-knock warrants in the state, except in hostage situations.

Stivers has not filed the bill yet, and his spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment Monday. The Kentucky FOP has not publicly commented on his bill.

Scott said she hopes her bill gets support in the Republican-led legislature.

“This is their opportunity to show some leadership, to show some humility and say let’s work together to pass a bill that the community is crying out for and be responsive to their needs,” Scott said.

Republicans currently control 28 seats in the 38-member Senate and 61 seats in the 100-member House.

Louisville’s metro council unanimously passed a local ordinance banning no-knock warrants and expanding the use of body cameras in June.