no knock warrants

Kate Howard

Moments after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron acknowledged a grand jury wasn’t charging the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor for her death, he made a promise.

He stood at a podium last September, surrounded by reporters from across the world, and pledged to form a task force to review the process for securing and executing search warrants like the one that led to Taylor’s death.

Cameron indicated a sense of urgency, saying he would issue an executive order “in the coming days.”

But that didn’t happen until four months later. And nearly eight months later, the task force has yet to even meet.

Beshear Signs Law Limiting No-Knock Warrants

Apr 9, 2021
Governor's Communications Office

Bills limiting no-knock warrants, increasing support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and investing in west Louisville became law in Kentucky on Friday.

Gov. Andy Beshear signed the three bills at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville, in front of an audience that included Tamika Palmer. Her daughter, Breonna Taylor, was shot and killed last year by Louisville police who were authorized to raid her apartment by a no-knock warrant.

Palmer wiped tears from her eyes and stood behind Beshear as he signed Senate Bill 4. The measure puts limitations on no-knock warrants, but falls short of the all-out ban on such warrants that protesters and some lawmakers preferred. No-knock warrants were already banned in Louisville last summer as protesters demanded accountability for Taylor’s killing.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky lawmakers revived a bill limiting no-knock warrants on the last day of the legislative session.

Senate Bill 4 falls short of what people protesting the death of Breonna Taylor have been calling for — a total ban on no-knocks. Taylor was shot and killed last March during a middle-of-the-night raid authorized by a no-knock warrant. Police officers were attempting to conduct a search related to a broader narcotics raid.

Rep. John Blanton, a Republican from Salyersville who helped write the final version of the bill, said it’s a compromise that will make people safer.

“Nobody got everything they wanted, but everybody got a little something. But I don’t feel like we changed the purpose for what we’re trying to do here,” said Blanton, a former state trooper.

Stephanie Wolf

The city of Louisville will pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor and adopt several policing reforms to settle the family’s wrongful death lawsuit, the city announced Tuesday afternoon.

The payment — the largest for police misconduct in city history — follows a months-long firestorm of protests, police reforms and demands for justice after the police shooting death of Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman and emergency room tech, who Louisville Metro Police officers shot and killed in March during an early morning raid at her apartment.

“Justice for Breonna is multilayered. What we were able to accomplish today through the civil settlement against the officers was tremendous, but it’s only a portion of a single layer,” said Taylor family attorney Lonita Baker. “It’s important to note here that a financial settlement was non-negotiable without significant police reform.”

Sydney Boles | Ohio Valley ReSource

Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator, Republican Mitch McConnell, said it’s not his job to weigh in on whether no-knock warrants should be banned statewide.

McConnell spoke in Lexington Tuesday, when the Kentucky Fraternal Order of the Police endorsed his re-election campaign. He addressed a bill, pre-filed by Democratic Rep. Attica Scott last month. It’s been called “Breonna’s Law for Kentucky” — Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in March by Louisville Metro Police officers carrying out a warrant with a provision that allowed them to enter her home without knocking.

“This whole debate over no knock warrants is a matter of law,” McConnell said Tuesday. “You either allow them or you don’t… whether it will be taken up at the state level, I don’t know. But that’s not an issue, I think, at the federal level.”

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.

LRC Public Information

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers says he is working on a bill that would ban most no-knock warrants in the state—the process that Louisville police used to raid Breonna Taylor’s apartment in March.

Police shot and killed Taylor during the raid, prompting massive protests in Louisville and across the country.

Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, said that legislation would include exceptions, allowing no-knock warrants to be issued in hostage situations. But he said that the bill would ban the warrants from being used in cases like Taylor’s.