Since the death of Breonna Taylor, there has been some progress moving search warrant reform along. Kentucky enacted a law restricting usage of “no-knock” warrants in April, and the Justice Department moved to limit them in September. The firings of two former Kentucky officers, Joshua Jaynes and Myles Cosgrove, have been upheld by the Louisville Metro Police Merit Board.
However, there’s still no movement on a national referendum to change no-knock warrants on a large scale. Not to mention, it seems like the mass calling for police reform that occurred last summer feels dormant. Most importantly, no one has been charged with the killing of Breonna Taylor. Taylor’s family won a civil suit against the city of Louisville last year, but there is still no criminal accountability. So, what are we doing here?
In theory, Kentucky is trying to make something happen, looking at the execution of search warrants as a whole. According to NBC News, the Kentucky task force assembled in the wake of the Breonna Taylor has concluded its extensive review on search warrants.
This task force comprised of Kentucky Senate and House judiciary committees, two representatives appointed by the Chief Justice of Kentucky’s Supreme Court, police members, a member of the Kentucky NAACP, and three citizen appointments gave recommendations. Some of them include are additional training for officers, an electronic database, and tracking zip codes where search warrants are executed.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron had this to say about the recommendations:
“From the beginning, the goal of the Task Force has been to conduct a top to bottom review of the search warrant process and to make recommendations for establishing Kentucky as a national model for how search warrants should be pursued and served,” the attorney general said in a statement.
He added: “The final recommendations reflect law enforcement’s role in advancing public safety and acknowledge the personal protections guaranteed by our Constitution.”
The panel also pushed for further supervision over search warrants, with prosecutors reviewing and approving the warrants. They also recommend for police to take into account the time of day or if children might be present in consideration of when to execute a search warrant.
This is a start, but these suggestions need to be enforced. Remember, after midnight, Taylor was killed by gunfire while sleeping in her apartment. Not only should Kentucky continue with this process, but task forces should be put together nationwide to make sure things like this don’t happen again.