Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

A protester holds up a painting of Breonna Taylor during a rally on the one year anniversary of her death, at Jefferson Square Park, in Louisville, Ky., on March 13, 2021.

Timothy D. Easley/The Associated Press

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed a partial ban on no-knock warrants Friday after months of demonstrations set off by the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in her home during a botched police raid last year.

The law signed by the Democratic Governor is not the total ban many protesters and some Democratic lawmakers had sought – a proposal that had been introduced as “Breonna’s Law” – but it also doesn’t prevent individual cities and towns from banning the warrants completely.

The measure drew bipartisan support in the legislature, where Republicans hold veto-proof supermajorities in the House and Senate. The law only permits no-knock warrants if there is “clear and convincing evidence” that the crime being investigated “would qualify a person, if convicted, as a violent offender.”

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville emergency medical technician studying to become a nurse, was shot multiple times in March, 2020, after being roused from her bed by police. No drugs were found, and the warrant was later found to be flawed.

“This is meaningful change,” Mr. Beshear said. “It will save lives, and it will move us in the right direction. I know more needs to be done. I know the fight is not over.”

Members of the Taylor family stood behind the Governor during the bill signing, at Louisville’s Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. Ms. Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, shed tears as she accepted the pen the Governor used to sign the measure.

“While it’s not the full legislation that they wanted in terms of a complete ban on no-knock warrants, they are satisfied that this is a start and a win in a deeply divided General Assembly,” said the family’s lawyer, Lonita Baker.

Ms. Baker added that the family looks forward to working with lawmakers on future legislation to further restrict the warrants and increase police accountability.

“Breonna’s Law” would have banned all no-knock warrants, outlined penalties for officers who misuse body cameras and mandated drug and alcohol testing of officers involved in “deadly incidents.”

Under the law that was passed, no-knock warrants must be executed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and officers are required to take additional steps to obtain warrants. Judges are also required to sign legibly when approving them and an EMT must now be nearby during execution of the warrant.

Story continues below advertisement

In the Taylor case, a no-knock warrant was approved as part of a Louisville Metro Police Department narcotics investigation. Nonetheless, officers said they did knock and announce their presence before entering Ms. Taylor’s apartment, though some witnesses have disputed that claim.

In September, a grand jury indicted one of the officers on wanton endangerment charges for shooting into a neighbour’s apartment, but none was charged in connection with Ms. Taylor’s death. That was based in part on the presentation of Republican Attorney-General Daniel Cameron, who recommended no charges against the officers who shot into Ms. Taylor’s apartment.

One of those officers, Myles Cosgrove, was fired. Federal ballistics experts said they believe the shot that killed Ms. Taylor came from Mr. Cosgrove. The police department also fired officer Joshua Jaynes, who secured the warrant.

Virginia passed a ban on all no-knock warrants last year. The warrants are also not permitted in Florida and Oregon.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies