Kentucky passes bill that limits use of no-knock warrants in the state following death of Breonna Taylor

The Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, signed a bill to limit the use of no-knock warrants in his state.

Friday morning, Kentucky’s governor signed into law Senate Bill 4, which limits the use of no-knock warrants by law enforcement. This bill comes in response to the death of Louisville resident, Breonna Taylor, in March of last year. 

Taylor’s death was the result of a police raid on her apartment. Taylor’s boyfriend, who was at her apartment at the time, mistook the police for intruders and fired his gun at the officers. The police returned fire and shot Breonna eight times. According to CNN, an attorney representing Taylor’s family said, “Breonna Taylor’s family is encouraged by the legislation that was passed significantly limiting the use of no-knock warrants throughout the state of Kentucky.”

Senate Bill 4 prohibits warrants “authorizing entry without notice”. There are exceptions to this, including cases in which, “the crime alleged is a crime that would qualify a person, if convicted, as a violent offender,” or “giving notice prior to entry will endanger the life or safety of any person”. Representative Attica Scott, the primary sponsor of a similar bill introduced in the Kentucky House last summer, commented in regards to the Senate bill, “It falls short of the people’s demands and is another example of performative politics.”

Since March of last year, many have been advocating for an all-out ban of no-knock warrants. This demand was partially granted in Louisville last spring when the Metro Council unanimously voted to ban no-knock warrants with legislation entitled, “Breonna’s Law”. However, people are still calling for legislation that goes further. The bill signed by the governor on Friday isn’t the total-ban that many lawmakers were hoping for, but, for many activists and lawmakers, is a step in the right direction. According to NPR, the Kentucky American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement that the law is, “an excellent first step in reimagining the role of police in community safety,” and that, “this is a win, but the fight is not over.”





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