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'We Heard Her Name': No-Knock Warrant Bill Signed A Year After Breonna Taylor's Death

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

New laws governing the use of no-knock warrants are on the books in the commonwealth, following a signing ceremony at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville.

The death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of Louisville police in 2020 marked a turning point in the racial justice movement, making Kentucky a new focal point in the widespread protests.

"That pain wasn't just felt in Louisville. It was felt in my hometown of Lexington, across the nation, and across the world," Lexington Democratic Sen. Reggie Thomas said at Friday's bill signing, with Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, in the audience. "We were asked repeatedly to say her name. I think we heard her name. But I hope with the signing of this legislation today that there will be no other names ever here in Kentucky that we'll have to say or hear again."

The bill stops short of a full ban on the type of no-knock warrant involved in the Taylor case, but it creates new steps police must go through to obtain one, including proving that there is "clear and convincing evidence" of a violent crime.

Gov. Andy Beshear signed the no-knock bill alongside other legislation aimed at improving the economic outlook in Louisville's west end and supporting teacher prep programs at historically black colleges.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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