One day after the Louisville, Kentucky city council unanimously voted to ban no-knock warrants in the city, racial justice advocates intensified calls for the arrests of the three police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor in March during such a raid.
Breonna's Law, approved by all 26 members of the council Thursday, will ban no-knock warrants in Louisville, forbidding officers at the Louisville Metro Police Department to enter a residence without identifying themselves or giving a warning. Under the law, which Mayor Greg Fischer is expected to sign, police will be required to wear body cameras when executing all warrants.
Officers Jon Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove used a no-knock warrant to enter Taylor's apartment using a battering ram in the middle of the night on March 13. They were investigating a drug case and believed a local drug dealer had received packages at Taylor's home. The police shot Taylor eight times.
The local ACLU chapter called Breonna's Law "a small bit of justice for Breonna's mourning family and our angry, heartbroken city."
"It's an important, but small step in the fight to eradicate racist police violence that has taken too many lives," said Michael Aldridge, the chapter's executive director, in a statement.
A crowd outside the Louisville Metro Council's meeting on Thursday cheered the vote after it was announced.
A Louisville crowd cheers the Louisville Metro Council’s unanimous passage of Breonna’s Law, a ban on no-knock warrants like the one that resulted in the death of 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor. The officers involved in her death have not been charged. pic.twitter.com/DDozFT2hYp
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) June 12, 2020
After the law was passed, advocates demanded that charges for the three police officers follow in short order, and said the officers should have been arrested weeks ago.
Breonna’s Law matters so much. It is a win-win and will save lives. Well done to all who pushed to get it passed.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) June 12, 2020
#BreonnasLaw requires Louisville Metro PD to:
-wear body cameras.
-turn body cameras on 5 min before an operation starts.
-discontinue no-knock warrants.
This is a welcomed step, but partial justice is not justice. Arrest the officers who took her life.https://t.co/nbrwH09Vdy
— Legal Defense Fund (@NAACP_LDF) June 12, 2020
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So far, the only person who's been charged with a crime in Taylor's case is her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who was at her home the night the police shot her. Walker exchanged gunfire with the police, Taylor's family maintains, believing the officers were breaking into the apartment. Walker, who had a license for his firearm, was arrested for shooting one of the officers.
"I didn't want to kill anyone," Walker said. "I just wanted to get them out of there."
No drugs were found at Taylor's apartment, and charges against Walker were dropped in May, but the police officers have only been placed on administrative reassignment.
Last week, Fischer told demonstrators at one of hundreds of protests over police brutality in recent weeks that he is unable to fire the officers until an investigation into Taylor's killing is complete, due to the Fraternal Order of Police contract.
More than 6.5 million people have signed a petition supporting Taylor's family's demand that the three officers be arrested. Supporters have made more than 4,500 calls to Kentucky lawmakers making the demand.
Advocates also rebuked a police report released this week regarding Taylor's shooting, in which the department left out major details and claimed there was no forced entry, contradicting Taylor's family's wrongful-death lawsuit and the accounts of neighbors.
Breonna Taylor was killed during a botched raid at her Louisville home on March 13.
Activists have been asking for answers and justice for months.
Louisville police just released the incident report.
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) June 10, 2020
"They used a battering ram to enter the apartment and shot her at least eight times," tweeted Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) after the report's release. "Arrest the officers NOW."