Senator Rand Paul is poised to file federal legislation, titled “Justice for Breonna Taylor Act,” prohibiting police officers nationwide from using no-knock warrants such as the one that led to the death of Breonna Taylor.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced last week that he was drafting a proposal, which he is calling the “Justice for Breonna Taylor Act” which seeks to enact a federal ban on the so-called no-knock warrants, the Courier-Journal reported.
Under the proposed legislation, federal law enforcement officers would be required to provide notice of their authority and purpose before they could execute a warrant. The bill also would require the same of any state or local law enforcement agency that receives funds from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Paul has named the measure after Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old unarmed black woman who was fatally shot by three Louisville police officers who executed a no-knock warrant. He says he began crafting the bill after talking with activists and members of Taylor’s family last week.
“After talking with Breonna Taylor’s family, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s long past time to get rid of no-knock warrants,” Paul said when he announced the legislation. “This bill will effectively end no-knock raids in the United States.”
“No one should lose their lives in pursuit of a crime without a victim, and ‘no-knock’ warrants should be forbidden,” Paul told The Courier-Journal last May. “Let’s hope the investigation provides justice.”
Breonna Taylor was shot on March 13, 2020, during an investigation into alleged drug-dealing operations. Two officers knocked and claimed to have announced themselves but then forced their way into her apartment. The warrant showed Taylor was not the main subject of the narcotics investigation, and no narcotics were found in her apartment, according to the Journal.
Plainclothes officers, executing a search warrant, forced their way into the apartment where Breonna Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shortly after midnight. Taylor’s boyfriend did not hear any announcement and thought intruders had broken into the apartment. Walker fired once, striking one officer from his licensed gun, later telling police he thought that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, had broken in, according to the New York Times. Officers returned 32 shots, striking Taylor with six bullets, killing her, according to a ballistics report from the FBI, the BBC reported. According to authorities, Taylor’s home was never searched. The city of Louisville agreed to pay $12 million to Taylor’s family, as well as reform its police practices.
Court records show police obtained a no-knock warrant before using a battering ram to enter Taylor’s apartment around 1 a.m. Police say they announced their presence before entering, but neighbors and Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who was in the apartment, dispute that.