LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Just two months after Louisville’s Metro Council unanimously passed Breonna’s Law banning no-knock warrants in the City of Louisville, lawmakers across the country are working to pass similar legislation.
Breonna’s Law was sparked by the death of Breonna Taylor, 26, who was shot and killed by Louisville police in March as they served a no-knock warrant at her home.
In Kentucky, state Rep. Attica Scott announced her version of Breonna’s Law Monday at Jefferson Square Park. Scott’s bill would ban no-knock warrants across the state and require officers to take a drug and alcohol screening following a deadly incident or after they discharge their firearm while on duty.
“People closest to the pain should be the closest to the solutions. That’s why it’s important that Breonna’s Law for Kentucky is born from legislators in Jefferson County,” Scott said.
As the support spreads for laws inspired by Taylor’s death, there is also criticism. In a statement, Kentucky’s state Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) called Rep. Scott’s proposal a slap in the face:
“This bill is FAR more than no-knock search warrants. The contents of this bill are most certainly an attack and slap in the face to the great cops all across this Commonwealth. If this legislation were to pass, many of those great cops would leave. Maybe this misguided push should be focused on the actual problem, violent criminals and drug dealers.”
Currently, only Florida and Oregon ban no-knock warrants statewide. In Virginia, lawmakers have gathered for a special session this week to address police reform among other issues; one bill being considered would ban no-knock warrants.
In Pennsylvania, state Sen. Tim Kearney introduced his bill named after Taylor on Wednesday. Kearney’s bill would require law enforcement officers to knock and announce themselves when serving a warrant, waiting at least 15 seconds for a response. It requires officers to wear body cameras during a search, as well as five minutes before and after the operation. Officers would also have to wear clothing that clearly identifies themselves as law enforcement.
“There’s no doubt that the black community, everywhere, is affected more,” he said. “The tragedy that happened with Breonna, it’s a national problem, it’s not just a Louisville problem. It’s not a Kentucky problem. It’s a problem across the entire nation.”
Major cities like Indianapolis and Orlando have already banned no-knock warrants this year.