On Thursday (June 11), Louisville, Kentucky city council unanimously passed a ban on no-knock search warrants. The new measure is named “Breonna’s Law” for Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot back in March after police used a no-knock search warrant to raid her home.
The ban still needs to be approved by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who promised to pass it 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,” Fischer tweeted on Thursday (June 11). “This is one of many critical steps on police reform that we’ve taken to create a more peaceful, just, compassionate and equitable community.”
The ordinance prohibits any search warrants that allow police to enter a home without announcing themselves and identifying themselves as officers. Additionally, all Louisville Metro police officers are required to knock and wait at least 15 seconds for a response.
According to NBC, Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer praised the passage of the ban.
This is one of many critical steps on police reform that we’ve taken to create a more peaceful, just, compassionate and equitable community. 2/2— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) June 11, 2020
“I’m just going to say that Breonna, that’s all she wanted to do was save lives,” she told the outlet. “So with this law, she’ll get to continue to do that.”
Taylor was a 26-year-old award-winning EMT. On March 13, police executed a no-knock search warrant to raid her home in a drug investigation. According to The Louisville Courier Journal, police believed that two suspects involved in a drug case had been sending packages to Taylor’s home. However, no drugs were found in her house. Furthermore, Taylor’s family’s lawyer says police had already located the main suspect in the investigation before executing the warrant.
Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker says that police did not identify themselves or knock on the door before barging into the home. Fearing they were intruders, Walker — a licensed gun owner — called 911 and shot one of the officers in the leg. Police reportedly fired back at least 20 shots, hitting Taylor — who was unarmed — at least eight times.
Neither Walker nor Taylor had any criminal history or drug convictions. At a news conference, Lt. Ted Eidem claimed the officers identified themselves as such as said they “were immediately met by gunfire.”
Since Taylor’s death, Det. Joshua Jaynes has been placed on administrative reassignment. Taylor’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the other three officers involved — Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — none of whom have been fired.
There is also an ongoing investigation into how Jaynes secured the no-knock search warrant for Taylor’s home.