State lawmaker pre-files “Breonna’s Law” to end no-knock search warrants

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Saying she wants to make sure that what happened to Breonna Taylor never happens again, Democratic state Rep. Attica Scott announced Sunday that she has pre-filed legislation that would end the use of no-knock search warrants in Kentucky and would increase police accountability.

She unveiled the proposed Breonna’s Law at Injustice Square Park, the central point of protests calling for justice after Taylor was shot and killed in her home by police carrying out a no-knock search warrant in early March.

“There was never a need for no-knock search warrants like the one used in Breonna’s case, and while this type of warrant is now banned here in Metro Louisville and appears to have little use elsewhere, I want to make sure statewide law keeps it from ever coming back,” said Rep. Scott, who serves the 41st House District.

“In addition, I want to make sure a judge specifically approves any use of violent entry when a warrant is carried out, and I want all law enforcement officers to have to wear body cameras and be required to use them when serving any warrant.  This video would then have to be available if a complaint is filed, and those violating these new camera and search warrant requirements would be subject to being fired or suspended.  The last major provision of Breonna’s Law is to make sure law enforcement officers undergo drug and alcohol screening following a deadly incident or after they discharge their firearm while on duty.  Frankly, I’m surprised this is not already standard procedure.”

Those appearing with Rep. Scott included Keturah Herron, the policy strategist for ACLU of Kentucky, and Sam Aguiar, the attorney for Breonna Taylor’s family.

“After getting unanimous support for a ban on no-knock warrants in Louisville, it is now time to expand Breonna’s Law statewide to ban no-knock warrants across the commonwealth,” Herron said.  “After Breonna’s Law passed in Louisville, Ms. Tamika Palmer, Breonna’s mother, said, ‘With the passing of Breonna’s Law, Breonna will be able to continue to save lives. That’s all she wanted.’  At its core, Breonna’s Law is about ensuring all Kentuckians are safe. We have to ban policing tactics that endanger lives.”

“Breonna’s Law was an important step for reform for the City of Louisville, and it is an even more important step for statewide reform,” Aguiar said.  “Unannounced home invasions are dangerous and deadly for people in homes and for law enforcement. The research and data on no-knock warrants confirm that far too often they end up in tragic results. This legislation would eliminate this from happening in Kentucky. Its support and passage are critical for the safety of everyone.”

Rep. Scott’s legislation is expected be considered by the General Assembly when legislators return to the Capitol in January.

Senate President Robert Stivers also plans to introduce a bi-partisan bill in the next legislative session that would effectively ban police use of most no-knock search warrants in the state.

The only exceptions in the Republican’s bill would be for arrest warrants, hostage situations or threats to life.

Stivers says a no-knock warrant at 1 a.m. is “bad policing.”

Too see a copy of Rep. Scott’s pre-filed bill, click here.

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