PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Kentucky grand jury Wednesday brought no charges against Louisville police for the killing of Breonna Taylor. Prosecutors said Wednesday that two officers who fired their weapons at the woman were justified in using force to protect themselves. Wednesday evening, two Louisville police officers were shot as protesters marched following news.
The only charges brought by the grand jury were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into Taylor’s neighbors’ homes during the raid on the night of March 13. The FBI is still investigating potential violations of federal law in the case.
Officers shot Taylor multiple times when they entered her home on a no-knock warrant. But on Wednesday, State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the investigation showed the officers did announce themselves.
Since the shooting, no-knock warrants have been banned in Louisville.
In Arizona, they are legal.
"No-knock warrants are definitely an exception rather than the rule, and we’d like to think police reserve such a request for situations where there’s a real danger to their safety," said criminal defense attorney Jason Lamm. "It’s not something a judge should be giving out like candy every day."
Usually when officers have a search warrant, Lamm said they have to announce they are police and that they have a warrant to enter. In some situations, a judge can give officers permission to bypass that. To get a no-knock warrant, officers would give a judge an affidavit explaining why there would be danger if they knocked and announced who they were.
"In other words, 'Judge, if we give notice to the occupants we are there, evidence could be destroyed, or our lives could be in danger,'" said Lamm.
Back in June, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul introduced a bill called the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act, which would ban no-knock warrants for federal law enforcement.
That bill is still in committee.
"No-knock warrants are designed to protect police, and the reality is there hasn’t been a gross abuse shown here in Arizona, so our legislature in all likelihood would be very reluctant to make any changes to the law because that would put officers at greater risk," said Lamm.