LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) – A Kentucky search warrant task force established following the deadly Breonna Taylor police shooting is recommending additional training for officers, an electronic database, and tracking of zip codes where search warrants are carried out.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron promised that creation of the task force last year after his office completed a review of Taylor’s fatal shootings on March 13, 2020. Police used a narcotic drug warrant to enter Taylor’s apartment just before the 26-year-old medical technician was shot dead by officers.
Cameron said the task force’s goal was to “conduct a thorough review of the search warrant process” in Kentucky. He announced in a press release on Tuesday that the 18-member panel had completed its work and made several recommendations.
“The final recommendations reflect the role of law enforcement agencies in promoting public safety and recognize the personal protection guaranteed by our constitution,” said Cameron.
Cameron, a Republican, was the special attorney who investigated the police on the night of Taylor’s death. This investigation culminated in a grand jury ruling that none of the officers were charged with her death. The “no knock” warrant used at Taylor’s home and how it was obtained was not part of Cameron’s investigation, but a state investigation into the process is ongoing.
The task force recommended that all state and local authorities use an electronic platform operated by the State Administrative Bureau of Courts to record the use of search warrants and that the authorities keep track of the locations where search warrants are used.
“The format should allow the public to compare the number of search warrants issued in different postcodes and regions of the Commonwealth,” said the Cameron statement.
It also recommended that search warrants be examined and approved by prosecutors; increased training of officials through search warrants; and taking into account the time of day the warrants will be used and whether children might be present.
The task force consisted of state lawmakers, Kentucky Supreme Court appointed agents, police officers, citizens, and a member of the Kentucky NAACP.
Taylor was killed by officers who fired 32 shots at her home after Taylor’s boyfriend fired one shot at her. Taylor’s friend said he thought a burglar was going to break in. No drugs were found in her home.
The warrant for entering Taylor’s home was obtained from a police officer who later admitted that he had failed to confirm to the post office officer whether an alleged drug trafficker had packages sent to Taylor’s home. The warrants, which allow officers to break into a home without notice, have since been banned by the Louisville Metro Council in a law named after Taylor.
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