Jun 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Louisville bans "no knock" warrants through "Breonna's Law"

Protesters ride aboard a vehicle with a smoke machine, with a sign reading 'Justice for Breonna', during a peaceful demonstration

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Louisville, Kentucky's Metro Council unanimously voted on Thursday to ban "no-knock" search warrants in the city, the Courier-Journal reports.

Why it matters: That warrant allows law enforcement to enter homes without warning, and was reportedly obtained by the officers who shot Louisville resident Breonna Taylor in her home on March 13. Her death has been protested by Black Lives Matter demonstrators following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

  • Police who entered Taylor's home were reportedly investigating two men believed to be selling drugs out of a house more than 10 miles from her home, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
  • No narcotics were found in her apartment.
  • Officers used a battering ram to break down Taylor's door and shot her at least eight times after her boyfriend fired his gun at an officer in self-defense.

The state of play: The new ordinance, named "Breonna's Law," allows Louisville police to only use no-knock warrants if there is an "imminent threat of harm or death," such as in cases of murder, hostage-taking, kidnapping, terrorism, human trafficking or sexual trafficking, per the Courier.

What they're saying: “Metro Council’s passage of Breonna’s Law is a small bit of justice for Breonna’s mourning family and our angry, heartbroken city," the executive director of the Kentucky ACLU said in a statement. "It’s an important, but small step in the fight to eradicate racist police violence that has taken too many lives."

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