KEY POINTS

  • Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and model citizen
  • “Breonna’s Law” was unanimously voted for by the Louisville, Kentucky City Council, and bans “no-knock” warrants in the city
  • Sen. Rand Paul said the law would apply to state and local law enforcement that receive funding from the Justice Department

On March 13, Breonna Taylor's name was added to the list of black people killed by police actions that went horribly wrong. Taylor was an award-winning EMT and a model citizen who loved her family and community. She also worked at two hospitals as an essential worker during the pandemic.

In addition to a legacy of helping people, her death will be associated with “Breonna’s Law” that was unanimously voted for by the Louisville, Kentucky City Council. The new law bans so-called “no-knock” warrants in the city.

The events of March 13 unfolded after three plainclothes policemen, armed with a no-knock warrant that allows authorities to forcefully enter a person’s home, pounded on the door of Taylor’s house but did not verbally identify themselves as police.

They were looking for a suspected drug dealer named Jamarcus Glover who had made "frequent trips" to Taylor's home and had been receiving packages there, according to a June 10 WDRB.com online article. The warrant said Glover used Taylor's address as his home address, and the police saw him pick up a package there in January before driving to a "known drug house."

Instead of Glover, Taylor was with her friend Kenneth Walker, who is a licensed gun owner and like Taylor, a law-abiding citizen. The two thought they were being set upon by burglars so Walker grabbed his gun and began firing when the police entered the dwelling using a battering ram, hitting one officer in the leg.

The police fired off about 20 shots, hitting Taylor eight times and killing her. Walker was arrested for attempted murder with the charges later being dropped.

The case may not have garnered much attention, but the killing of George Floyd on May 25 at the hands of police caused a national outcry against excessive use of force by cops particularly against African Americans.

On Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) introduced legislation to end no-knock warrants, a measure that has bipartisan backing as lawmakers debate broader police reforms. The law was titled the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act and aimed at stopping federal law enforcement from carrying out a warrant "until after the officer provides notice of his or her authority and purpose."

Paul commented in a statement that the law would also apply to state and local law enforcement that receive funding from the Justice Department. He said, “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. This bill will effectively end no-knock raids in the United States.”  

Many questions remain for the police and people who find themselves in situations like Taylor and Walker did on that tragic night. The police will need to answer about their techniques and overzealousness to make an arrest that put innocent people at risk. Citizens will need to curb their instinct to grab a gun first and begin firing that will cause the police to return fire as they are trained to do.

Rand Paul Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to reporters after Senate Republicans unveiled their version of legislation that would replace Obamacare on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 22, 2017. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters