“Breonna’s Law” named after 26- year- old EMT Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot eight times in a police raid, just passed in Louisville, banning the police from conducting no-knock warrants. Going forward, the police will have to announce themselves and their purpose at the premises. All recorded data will be retained for five years following an execution action. Additionally, it requires the use of body cameras for anyone executing a search warrant. Body cameras are required to be on 5 minutes before and after the search.
All 26 members of the Louisville Metro Council voted unanimously on Thursday to pass the ordinance, which is expected to be approved by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “This is one of many critical steps on police reform that we’ve taken to create a more peaceful, just, compassionate, and equitable community,” Fischer said on Twitter Thursday. Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor’s mom, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that her daughter “would have been amazed to see the world-changing.”
Police typically use no-knock warrants in drug cases concerning that evidence could be destroyed if they announce their arrival. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R) also introduced federal legislation Thursday, called the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act, that would ban the use of no-knock warrants nationwide. Louisville council member Jessica Green, who co-wrote Breonna’s Law, said the city’s police typically use the no-knock warrants about 20 to 25 times a year. “No-knock warrants are not tools that officers have to use with any regularity to get their job done,” Green said. She was also critical of an incident report in the Taylor shooting released by Louisville Police this week.
The four-page incident report lists Breonna Taylor as the victim. However, it lists her injuries as “none.” Also, under a section for notes on the incident, the report only lists that it is under internal investigation. It also omits most identifying details about the three officers involved in Taylor’s death and is essentially blank.
Green said Taylor would “never be forgotten; she will never be erased, no matter what an incident report said.”
Kelly Washington is a freelance writer and blogger living on the southside of Chicago. You can follow her on social media @ Sunrise and Sugar (Facebook).