Council Ackerson calls for further real comprehensive changes to Louisville Search Warrants

June 8, 2020

Louisville - Councilman Ackerson is calling for the following change to Breonna’s Law.  First, he is in favor of banning “no knock” warrants and “quick knock” warrants in their entirety.  In its present state, the current proposed legislation bans “no knocks” for the most part, but permits them in limited circumstances.  The current legislation does nothing to address what Dr. Peter Kraska has identified as a “quick knock” warrant, where law enforcement knocks, announces their presence, and break through the door, all simultaneously. 

To the end, Councilman Ackerson is proposing the following amendment to the current proposal before the Public Safety Committee.  It clearly defines a “no knock” warrant in a manner that also preempts the “quick knock” warrant as described by Dr. Kraska at last week’s Public Safety Committee meeting.

Definition of No Knock Warrant:

All search warrants issued by a judge and executed upon a premises which do not involve: (1) physically knocking on the door; (2) clearly and verbally announcing in a manner loud enough to hear and understand that it is law enforcement and the execution of a search warrant; and (3) waiting a minimum of fifteen (15) seconds, from knocking and clearly announcing, before forced entry into the premises.

With this definition, it is made clear that any search warrant not including an actual knock at the door and clear announcement that it is law enforcement serving a search warrant, followed by waiting at least fifteen (15) seconds before breaking in the door (which affords the persons inside the chance to understand what is happening and respond) will be considered a banned activity under this legislation, except for the limited exceptions created therein.

Ackerson states: “It does not make sense to address only ‘no knock’ warrants and not address ‘quick knock’ warrants, when trying to bring public safety changes as to how warrants are executed.  Even a ban on ‘no knock’ warrants in their entirety, without addressing ‘quick knock’ warrants leaves a safety loophole in what we are trying to achieve.  We need to expand our community demands beyond just ‘no knock’ warrants about this issue of protecting the public.”

Questions on this matter should be address to Tony Hyatt at 502-574-4137 or Councilman Ackerson at 502-648-2072.