'Breonna’s Law' Banning No-Knock Warrants in Louisville Passes in the Wake of the Killing of Breonna Taylor
“Breonna’s Law” says no cop can use a no-knock warrant for an investigation.
The Louisville City Council voted Thursday night to ban no-knock warrants, passing a law named in honor of Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead by police on March 13. The bill will now go to the mayor's office to be written into law.
What is being called “Breonna’s Law” says no cop can use a no-knock warrant for an investigation. A no-knock warrant is a search warrant approved by a judge that permits police to enter a home without permission and without first knocking and announcing their presence or purpose prior to entering the premises.
"I'm just going to say, Breonna, that's all she wanted to do was save lives, so with this law she will continue to get to do that," Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, said at a press conference following the law being passed. “She would be so happy.”
Taylor was a 26-year-old EMT who was asleep in her bed when police entered her apartment as part of a drug investigation.
“I plan 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 Council that the risk to residents and officers with this kind of search outweigh any benefit,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher said on Twitter. “This is one of many critical steps on police reform that we’ve taken to create a more peaceful, just, compassionate and equitable community.”
On March 13, Police obtained a no-knock warrant before using a battering ram to enter Taylor's apartment at around 1 a.m. as part of a narcotics investigation, according to court documents.
“Let's ban no-knock warrants nationally," Lonita Baker, an attorney representing Taylor’s family, said to Inside Edition Digital ahead of the bill's passing. "Let's make sure officers are wearing body cameras for that and have to active the body cameras. She wanted to save lives, and she's continuing to do that.”
It was announced last month that the FBI is now investigating the death of Taylor.
Taylor's family has filed a lawsuit against three officers with the department, alleging Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were home in bed and thought they were being burglarized when officers showed up at their home after midnight. Walker allegedly opened fire on cops with his licensed weapon and one officer was shot in the leg, police said. The lawsuit says police then fired more than 20 round into the home “blindly.”
Louisville police claim they knocked on Taylor’s door several times while executing their warrant before entering and identified themselves as police before they were “immediately met by gunfire,” according to Lt. Ted Eidem.
Neighbors of Taylor and Walker, however, said police did not identify themselves, according to the family’s lawsuit. Walker called 911 during the ordeal and police informed him he’d shot an officer.
No one has filed a response to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Breonna Taylor's family, the Jefferson Circuit Court has told Inside Edition Digital.
Neither Taylor nor Walker were the investigation's target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used by another person to receive drugs. Neither Taylor nor Walker had any criminal history and no drugs were located in the home.
Walker, 27, had been charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer. Walker had previously pleaded not guilty and been released to "home incarceration” before a judge dismissed his case last month.
The police officers have not been charged in the case and have been reassigned.
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