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Ky. lawmaker hurt, angry after decision in Breonna Taylor case

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 4:35 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Anger, frustration and sadness. Just a few of the emotions many are feeling about the decision made in the Breonna Taylor case.

Some say justice was not served, a grand jury only charging one person, former detective Brett Hankison, and not for her death.

Despite the jury’s decision, some things have come from her death, including police reforms and new legislative proposals.

One of those proposals being a ban on no-knock warrants statewide.

We spoke with Rep. George Brown Jr. Thursday afternoon about possible new legislation on the table. He said, although small in number, the Kentucky Black Caucus will make their voices heard in the upcoming general session.

The 77th District state representative also expressed his disappointment with Wednesday’s grand jury decision.

“I am concerned deeply. I’m hurt. I’m angry,” Brown said.

He’s co-sponsoring a bill known as “Breonna’s Law” in honor of Breonna Taylor. Prefiled by fellow caucus member Rep. Attica Scott, the bill requires officers to wear body cameras during search warrants. It also requires the drug and alcohol testing of officers involved in shootings and deadly incidents.

But Brown says his caucus is taking legislation further by also addressing systemic issues in the commonwealth.

“Dealing with health disparities is one of the things we talked about yesterday. Why people of color and poor people have to work and they have to be subjected to disparities or being in the eye of the storm," Brown said. "Breonna Taylor was a first responder and this kind of jobs you don’t have the ability to do from home.”

He said other issues include restoring voting rights, helping the formerly incarcerated regain entry into the workforce, and public housing.

He says he’s hoping for productive conversations about these issues next year.

Lawmakers reconvene in January.

It’s up to the governor to decide if there will be a special legislative session on police reform. Brown says the Kentucky Black Caucus has met with the governor about what that session may entail.

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