Ky. Senate passes bill to ban some no-knock warrants

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 11:25 AM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A bill that was filed in the wake of the deadly police shooting of Breonna Taylor has passed the Kentucky Senate.

It’s Senate Bill 4 and will ban some no-knock warrants. The bill is not the same bill being pushed by a state representative from Louisville that’s called Breonna’s Law.

That vote was unanimous in the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday morning and then the full Senate Thursday afternoon.

This is the bill that is being pushed by Senate President Robert Stivers. He says it does not allow no-knock warrants unless a lot of checks and balances are followed first.

Retired police officers Danny Carroll and John Schickel are co-sponsors of the bill. Another co-sponsor is Senator Reggie Thomas of Lexington, who is a Black attorney.

This bill isn’t Breonna’s Law, that is a House bill being pushed by Rep. Attica Scott that seeks an all-out ban to no-knock warrants. It also requires drug and alcohol testing for officers in deadly incidents. She believes Senate Bill 4 ignores too much of the work done in Louisville.

“Oh, definitely. Senate Bill 4 doesn’t go far enough,” Rep. Scott said. “Why is it you’re erasing the work of Black people. The work of people crying out for justice? "

Stivers says, in his bill, if one judge does not issue the no-knock warrant, police can’t go to another one or do judge shopping. It also requires officers to wear body cameras while executing the warrants.

Sen. Stivers says no matter what an individual is involved in, they have certain rights.

“This young lady was denied that by a series of bad police judgments,” Sen. Stivers said. “And this bill hopes to correct that.”

Senator Thomas said since this is the state where Breonna Taylor’s death occurred, it would be a negative mark on the General Assembly if something isn’t done this session. He said the eyes of the nation are on us to act.

Supporters of Senate Bill 4 say no-knocks should still be used for terrorist and hostage situations.

The bill now goes to the full House. Rep. Scott says she is not sure if or when her bill, which has multiple co-sponsors, will be heard in committee.

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