Breonna’s Law passed by Metro Council Committee

Councilwoman Jessica Green says the reason the city is in its current position is because city officials didn’t act with urgency.
Updated: Jun. 4, 2020 at 12:58 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Metro Council Public Safety Committee unanimously passed a proposal Wednesday to severely limit and monitor no-knock warrants in Louisville.

The proposal now heads to the full Metro Council for a vote on June 11.

“It needs more,” Activist Adrein Taylor said. “It can go in the right direction, but I need justice. If there’s no justice, there’s no peace.”

A call for the end of no-knock warrants, but does the Metro Council have the power to do that?

In other states, the order comes from the police department itself or the state.

“The bulk of no-knock warrants are simply going at low level drug offences,” Dr. Peter Kraska with Eastern Kentucky University said.

Metro Councils heard from a panel of experts Wednesday night before discussing amendments to the proposed ordinance.

Breonna’s Law would ban no-knock warrants in drug possession cases, leaving very few exceptions that officers would have to justify more thoroughly. That’s before it’s reviewed by the SWAT commander and police chief. If the chief is unable, he can designate someone no lower than the rank of major to do so.

The Metro Council Public Safety Committee would review all no-knock warrants four times a year with quarterly reports going beyond just numbers.

All officers serving any search warrant must have body cameras recording no less than five minutes before the warrant is executed and footage can be held for a minimum of five years.

“We’re not going far enough with this legislation,”Councilman Brent Ackerson said.

After three hours of discussion, the committee made quite a few amendments and had just as many questions.

“We need to be discussing that and make sure that we get something right. Anything short of that [and] we actually hurt the situation,” Ackerson said.

Councilwoman Jessica Green has been working with Breonna Taylor’s family every step of the way and says the reason the city is in its current position is because city officials didn’t act with urgency.

“There is a crowd of people standing outside of city hall at this exact moment expecting us to move with urgency, and I do not believe we honor her with delaying,” Green said.

The committee plans to work on the proposal all week until it hits the Metro Council floor during a special meeting on Monday.

“We are not going to fix all the systemic problems in LMPD or our society in one ordinance,” Councilman Bill Hollander said. “We are going to need help from the state legislature.”

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