Breonna Taylor might be alive today if a judge had done her job with more scrutiny, a Louisville councilwoman argues. According to reports, Judge Mary Shaw gave approval for five deadly no-knock warrants in 12 minutes in relation to the drug bust that Taylor had no involvement with, but which cost her life when police invaded her home.
For context, no-knock warrants have been debated by the Supreme Court because of how frequently they lead to false arrest and violence, and are meant to be approved with great scrutiny and only in dire circumstances, according to the Washington Post.
Judge Mary Shaw signed the warrants for Taylor's apartment on Springfield Drive, a suspected drug house, two vacant homes nearby Taylor’s residence and a suspected stash house elsewhere in the city, according to court documents obtained by USA Today. The warrant for the suspected stash house was not executed.
Police have said they did identify themselves, but defense attorney Rob Eggert noted in a court filing this week that neighbors did not hear the announcement and in Walker’s call to 911, he told a dispatcher that someone "kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend,” according to WDRB.
Louisville Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith helped propose and push legislation to ban "no-knock" warrants in Louisville. Earlier this month, Louisville announced such warrants were banned with the passage of "Breonna's Law."
"I was very surprised to learn how easily and quickly the deadly 'no-knock' search warrants were signed by Judge Mary Shaw," Smith tells Inside Edition. "It was shocking to read the warrant information and see similar wording used multiple times. The justification used to convince the judge was based on old information. For these reasons along with my desire to save lives, I sponsored 'Breonna's Law.'"
“This is so much bigger than Breonna Taylor,” she adds. “She will be celebrated in death more than she was in life and that is when you know your purpose on this Earth was well-planned and you know your legacy will live on.”
Officers Jon Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison, who killed Taylor on March 13, have not been charged with any crimes. Hankinson was fired on Friday (June 19) after intense public pressure.
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