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Bill to ban most “no-knock” warrants moves forward

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 6:07 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - It is almost one year since a young EMT was killed inside her home in Louisville when police were serving a warrant.

Since Breonna Taylor’s death, there are calls for police reform.

At least one bill to ban most no-knock warrants, or unannounced police entries, is moving forward. But the bill named for Taylor was not heard in a legislative panel until Wednesday -- just six days left in the session.

“I filed Breonna’s Law in August of 2020 so that people would have plenty of time to tear the bill apart and provide good and important feedback,” Rep. Attica Scott, D-Louisville, said.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced a similar bill that easily cleared the full Senate two weeks ago.

“There would have never been a warrant issued to search that night, that house, that Breonna Taylor died in because it would not have complied with this statute,” said Republican Senate President Robert Stivers.

Senate Bill 4 requires limited use of no-knock warrants but does not ban them entirely.

But Representative Scott says she will support it if amendments are filed, one that would require an EMT to be present when no knocks are issued.

“I’m much more optimistic because this is the first time I’ve ever had a bill get a hearing. So now we have had a hearing. We had Senate bill 4 passed, We have had a number of members say they want to work together on those amendments,” Scott said.

Scott’s House Bill 21 would have also required drug and alcohol testing for officers in deadly incidents. She knows that bill will not pass now but believes parts of it could still survive.

“But at least having it heard means that there are elements of it that members of the committee want to see in Senate Bill 4,” Scott said.

She says that is what is important for Taylor’s family and the community.

The full House will now vote on Senate bill 4 and if amendments are added and approved, the bill would go back to the Senate for its approval on the changes.

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