Louisville Bans ‘No-Knock’ Raids Three Months After Breonna Taylor Was Killed In One
The city council of Louisville, Kentucky, has voted to ban ‘no-knock’ raids, three months after Breonna Taylor was killed by police officers in her own apartment.
Emergency medical technician Breonna, who would have turned 27 last week, died in her bed during a raid on March 13 after officers broke down the door using a battering ram, shooting her at least eight times.
The officers had been carrying out a no-knock search warrant – a judge-approved search warrant that allows police to enter a residence without prior permission – as part of a drugs investigation.
Two months after Breonna’s death, her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming charges of battery, wrongful death, excessive force, negligence and gross negligence, as per BBC News.
Police officers have stated that, despite having obtained the no-knock search warrant, they did knock on the door before raiding the apartment. Both Breonna’s family and a neighbour have disputed this version of events.
Breonna’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who is a licensed gun holder, reportedly shot an officer in the leg in self-defence, believing the raid to be a break-in. He had reportedly called 911 for assistance, not realising who the people coming into his home actually were.
Breonna had been unarmed and died after being shot multiple times when officers opened fire. The tragedy led to an FBI investigation and widespread outcry, with Breonna’s story used to highlight police brutality and racial injustice in the wake of the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
You can find out more about Breonna’s story in the following news clip:
For many weeks, the Louisville Metro Council has been debating changing police department’s no-knock practices, and have now come to a unanimous decision.
This new legislation, named Breonna’s Law, will ban police from forcibly entering a residence without first announcing their presence, even if they have obtained a warrant.
Passed unanimously by the 26-member council, this new order also means officers will now be required to wear body cameras when serving warrants, turning the cameras on five minutes before the start of such operations.
Showing support for Breonna’s Law, Mayor of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted:
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.
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 three police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor have since been put on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.