Kentucky enacted a new law Friday that restricts the use of no-knock warrants. Several of Breonna Taylor’s family members stood behind Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear during the bill signing ceremony, and watched as he signed the bill into law.
Before it was presented to Governor Beshear, Senate Bill 4 passed overwhelmingly in a 34-0 vote. The new law states, “No arrest warrant or search warrant shall be issued authorizing entry without notice.” However, it provides an exception that allows no-knock warrants when six criteria are met. For example, the alleged crime must qualify a person as a violent offender, and relevant facts must show that prior notice would endanger the life or safety of any person.
The law requires officers executing a no-knock warrant to have training in high-risk situations, though some exceptions apply in counties with fewer than 90,000 people. Officers must also wear body-cameras, and be clearly identifiable as law enforcement officers. Additionally, a paramedic or emergency medical technician must be present while officers execute such warrants.
Mayor Greg Fischer signed Breonna’s Law last June banning no-knock warrants in Louisville, Kentucky. This state-wide law comes just over three months after two officers were fired for their roles in killing Breonna Taylor in March 2020.