Governor Signs Bipartisan Law Limiting No-Knock Warrants

( Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky just signed new bipartisan legislation that will tighten up the rules on no-knock warrants – a kind of warrant issued by a judge that allows law enforcement officers to enter a property without knocking or alerting the owner or residents.

It’s the kind of warrant that officers in the Breonna Taylor had, though it was very well publicized that the officers involved in that tragic drug raid, that resulted in Taylor’s death, still knocked before entering.

The mother of Breonna Taylor, Tamika Palmer, attended the signing of the legislation. It follows months of demands from protestors calling for no-knock warrants to be banned completely, but under the new law, judges are given less scope to provide them. Now, law enforcement needs “clear and convincing evidence” that a violent crime took place in order to be granted such a warrant.

“On Friday, at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Gov. Andy Beshear signed three bills that will help build a better Kentucky by supporting postsecondary education, economic development and public safety in the commonwealth,” Beshear’s Twitter account reads.

Beshear praised legislators from both parties for coming together to pass Senate Bill 4.

“I cannot imagine the depths of the pain of losing a child,” he added. “As a parent, I’ll admit to you it’s my greatest fear.”

The governor was joined by Senate President Robert Stivers, Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, various senators and representatives from both parties, and members of Breonna Taylor’s family.

Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, the president of Kentucky State University who was also in attendance, described bill SB 270 as a “game changer.”

With the stroke of a pen, the Commonwealth of Kentucky will put our money where our mouth is. We are not asking our citizens to ‘pull themselves up by their bootstraps’ when we know they have no shoes,” Brown said. “We are offering a helping hand in standing up and walking forward. This is the best of state government.”

The tragic death of Breonna Taylor occurred when police officers knocked at a property before entering, only to be shot at from somebody inside. Taylor got caught in the crossfire and died.

A ban on no-knock warrant was previously introduced to the United States Senate by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, but the legislation has not yet been taken up for procedural advancement. The legislation is named after Breonna Taylor.