Louisville Officials Vote to Ban 'No-Knock' Warrants Following Breonna Taylor's Death

Police killed an unarmed Taylor on March 13 after entering her home unannounced and without identifying themselves as law enforcement.

Breonna Taylor protest

Image via Getty/Giacomo Cosua/NurPhoto

Breonna Taylor protest

The Louisville Metro Council has voted to ban the use of "no-knock" search warrants in Jefferson County, as officials face growing calls to pass police reform measures. 

All 26 council members voted in favor of the ordinance, also known as "Breonna's Law"—named after 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor, who was killed during a "no-knock" police raid back in March. The Courier Journal reports the measure also requires all Louisville Metro officers to wear body cameras while serving a warrant, and states all cameras must be turned on at least five minutes prior to executing the warrant.

Per the ordinance: "No Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) police officer, Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC) officer, or any other Metro law enforcement or public safety official shall seek, execute, or participate in the execution of a no-knock warrant at any location within the boundaries of Jefferson County."

During the early hours of March 13, three officers in plainclothes allegedly raided Taylor's home unannounced as she was in bed sleeping with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Moments later, Walker—a registered gun owner—began exchanging shots with the officers, who failed to identify themselves as law enforcement. Taylor was wounded eight times during the shootout and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers reportedly obtained the no-knock warrant as part of a drug investigation centered on two men. No drugs were found inside Taylor's home.

"All Breonna wanted to do was save lives," Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, told the council before Thursday night's vote. "So it's important this law passes, because with that, she'll get to continue to do that, even in her death."

Mayor Greg Fischer took to Twitter on Thursday reassuring the public he was signing Breonna's Law.

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. 1/2

— Greg Fischer (@GregFischerLou) June 11, 2020

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

— Greg Fischer (@GregFischerLou) June 11, 2020

Though the FBI is investigating the case, the three officers who were involved in Taylor's fatal shooting have not been charged, arrested, or fired.

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