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Louisville bans no-knock warrants with ordinance bearing Breonna Taylor's name


She was shot eight times by police and killed in her Kentucky home

Breonna Taylor (Image source: CBS News video screenshot)

The Louisville Metro Council voted Thursday night to ban no-knock search warrants and named the ordinance after Breonna Taylor, the woman who was shot eight times and killed in March by police serving a no-knock warrant at her home in the middle of the night, the Courier Journal reported.

The ordinance also requires the use of body cameras by officers when serving warrants.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he will sign the ordinance, known as Breonna's Law, as soon as possible. No-knock warrants in the city had already been suspended following Taylor's death.

Taylor's mother, Tanika Palmer, said the law is a way for her daughter to continue making a lifesaving impact even in death. Taylor, 26, was an EMT.

"All Breonna wanted to do was save lives," Palmer said before the vote at Thursday night's meeting. "So it's important this law passes, because with that, she'll get to continue to do that, even in her death."

Louisville outlaws no-knock warrants after shooting death of Breonna Taylor youtu.be

Although relatively more national media focus has been given to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Taylor's death and the response from the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department in the months since she was killed has been concerning.

Police officers — Myles Cosgrove, Jonathan Mattingly, and Brett Hankison — claim they identified themselves before breaking in Taylor's home after midnight on March 13. But, they asked for and were granted a no-knock warrant, and numerous witnesses from the apartment complex have contradicted that claim. Taylor was believed by police to be connected with drug trafficking activity. No drugs were found at the residence.

Officers broke down the door with a battering ram (although the police report claims there was no forced entry) and were met with one gunshot from Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend, who was a legal gun owner. Walker said he didn't know they were police and that he was firing a warning shot, not shooting to kill. The officers were not in uniform. They had reportedly been assigned body cameras, but they were not active during the incident. Walker's gunshot hit one officer in the leg.

The officers returned fire from outside the apartment into Taylor's apartment, with some of the gunfire going into a neighbor's apartment as well. Taylor was shot eight times. Walker was left inside the apartment with Breonna's dead body. When he called 911, it's unclear whether he was aware that the men who killed his girlfriend were police. He was charged with attempted murder shortly after the incident, but the charges were later dropped. None of the officers has been charged or fired. They are on administrative reassignment, with pay.

The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department recently released an incident report that listed Taylor as having suffered no injuries and included no details of the incident in the narrative section of the report. The Courier Journal is suing LMPD for the investigation file on the case.

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