After the killing of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old black woman that was killed by police in her home, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer made a major change regarding the practices of the city’s police department almost two months after her death. Fischer announced that the use of no knock warrants have been suspended indefinitely, the Los Angeles Times reports. A no-knock warrant allows police to enter someone’s home without announcing themselves and it was used the night Taylor was killed. Those warrants are usually implemented when police are investigating drug cases.
Now that the no-knock warrant has been suspended, council members are working to get the rules around the use of the warrant changed. The Louisville Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee voted yesterday (June 3) to pass Breonna’s Law, which would require all police officers to wear body cameras when executing no-knock warrants if passed, WLKY reports. Also, no-knock warrants would only be issued for cases involving murder, kidnapping, hostages, sex trafficking and terrorism. The Metro council will vote again on June 11th, 2020.
When three policemen busted into her home on March 13, they were investigating Adrian Orlandes Walker and Jamarcus Glover. Police suspected that they had used Taylor’s address to receive and transport packages that could have been drugs. Glover had been arrested earlier that day. No drugs were found in her home.
When they entered the home, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, became alarmed because he didn’t know who was entered his home since the police didn’t announce themselves. Walker, a licensed gun owner, shot at the police first and the police fired back multiple rounds hitting Taylor eight times.
Taylor’s Family Filed a Lawsuit Against the Louisville Metro Police Department Last Month
The announcement of the suspension of the no-knock warrant comes after Taylor’s family filed a lawsuit against the Louisville Police Department for wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence.
“The officers then entered Breonna’s home without knocking and without announcing themselves as police officers,” reads the lawsuit documents according to CBS. “The Defendants then proceeded to spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life.”
Louisville criminal prosecutor reportedly believes that the police officers did indeed knock and announce themselves.
“Simply because the police get a no-knock warrant does not mean they can’t knock and announce,” Wine said according to the L.A Times.
Kenneth Walker Was Later Charged With Attempted Murder of a Police Officer
After his girlfriend’s death, Kenneth Walker was hit with attempted murder charges due to allegations that he shot a police officer in the leg when they entered Taylor’s home. The charges against him were later dropped after the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened their own case.
“I believe that additional investigation is necessary,” Wine said at a news conference according to the New York Times. “I believe that the independent investigation by the attorney general’s office in Kentucky, the F.B.I. and the U.S. attorney’s office must be completed before we go forward with any prosecution of Kenneth Walker.”
Despite Walker saying that police didn’t announce themselves, the officers claim they announced themselves repeatedly before breaking Taylor’s door down with a ram.