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Breonna’s Law is step in right direction, but not enough has been done

Breonna’s Law is step in right direction, but not enough has been done

Breonna’s Law is step in right direction, but not enough has been done
June 27
10:45 2020

On March 13, Breonna Taylor was killed by plainclothes Louisville police officers during a no-knock search warrant. Police involved in the shooting were investigating men believed to be selling drugs at another location but suspected one of them of using Taylor’s address to receive packages, so the warrant was signed by a judge. As a result of further investigation into Taylor’s death, the “Breonna’s Law” was passed on June 11, which banned the use of all no-knock search warrants for the Louisville Metro Police Department.

No-knock search warrants allow police to enter certain premises without having to knock, announce their presence or purpose before entry. This type of warrant is usually issued in situations where the safety of the police officer or an individual is of concern or if doing otherwise could lead to the destruction of evidence police are looking to obtain. 

Although it is understandable why a no-knock search warrant could be useful in certain situations, it seems like the potential consequences can far outweigh the potential benefits, as was the case with Taylor. Additionally, the officers involved in the search did not find drugs in her home.

Anyone can see how dangerous and scary no-knock search warrants can be. Typically there is a group of officers usually wearing helmets, bulletproof vests, yelling, and carrying large guns. It is a time of high stress for everyone involved and things can escalate quickly or turn deadly. 

“Breonna’s Law” also makes it mandatory for officers serving warrants to wear body cameras and have them on at least five minutes before and after serving the warrant. During Taylor’s search, none of the officers had a body camera on. But would them wearing one have changed what happened to her? 

There is a great chance it would not have. 

In September 2015, the United States Department of Justice disbursed $23.2 million in grants to expand the use of body-worn cameras. Police body-worn cameras are supposed to increase police accountability, and in turn, strengthen public trust. However, that does not appear to be happening.

There have been many unjust police killings, and events leading up to them, that were caught by a police body-worn camera. A recent instance of this was with the killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta on June 12. If police are aware they are being filmed while doing their job and still dare to wrongfully kill a person, how can the public ever put their trust in them?

Determining if the three officers that served the no-knock search warrant at Taylor’s house would have felt more accountable for their actions by wearing a body-camera is not hard to decide when taking into account things seen before.

It took nearly three months after Taylor’s death for this law to be passed but this should be looked at in a positive way. There is no doubt it took far too long for her wrongful-death to be brought to the light, but once it finally did change came because of it. 

Hopefully, with the city of Louisville passing this law in their city, it will rub off on other places. The death of Taylor should not be forgotten, this could have been any of us. She did not deserve the death she got, and the police officers who took her life need to be held accountable. 

The “Breonna Taylor Law” is a start in the right direction, especially in regard to police reform, but there is still a long way to go. For the future, a question remains, will this law make a difference or not? Right now we should just continue to say her name.

Featured Illustration: Olivia Varnell

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Alexandria Northington

Alexandria Northington

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