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Rand Paul seeks to end no-knock warrants

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Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul wants to put an end to no-knock warrants after the shooting death of one of his constituents in Kentucky earlier this year.

The Justice for Breonna Taylor Act would stop federal law enforcement officers from using force to enter a home before announcing their presence and issuing their warrant.  

Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old resident of Louisville, was shot eight times after police used a battering ram to enter her home. The officers were executing a drug warrant for a male suspect who had already been detained.

“After talking with Breonna Taylor’s family, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s long past time to get rid of no-knock warrants,” said Paul. “This bill will effectively end no-knock raids in the United States.”

A statement from Paul’s office says the senator held a call earlier this week with Breonna Taylor’s aunt, Bianca Austin, Game Changers Executive Director Christopher 2X, and others fighting for criminal justice reform, where he reiterated his long-standing commitment to ensuring a just and fair system that respects all Americans’ rights, including the need to end no-knock warrants.

The bill would apply to all federal law enforcement agencies, as well as local law enforcement that receive funding from the federal government.

The Louisville City Council recently banned the use of no-knock warrants.

“No-knock warrants are not tools that officers have to use with any regularity to get their job done,” Louisville Councilwoman Jessica Green said.

Ben Crump, the lawyer for the Taylor family applauded the city councils action on Twitter.

“Bre, this is for you! #BreonnasLaw not only BANS no-knock warrants in Louisville, but also requires the use of body cameras by anyone executing a search warrant. Thank you all for your support in advocating for justice!! Let this be part of #BreonnaTaylor’s legacy. #SayHerName,” Crump tweeted.

Paul’s bill comes amid growing calls from Americans to reform police departments and the justice system after the murder of George Floyd. His death has put racial injustice front and center in the U.S. for the last several weeks.

Many law enforcement agencies have used no-knock warrants to make sure suspects do not destroy evidence upon their arrival and before they can seize the evidence.

PHOTO: AL DRAGO – NEW YORK TIMES

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