Gov. Northam signs ‘Breonna’s Law’, banning use of no-knock search warrants in state
Virginia becomes third state to sign into law
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam has signed ‘Breonna’s Law’, which is a measure that will ban police from using no-knock search warrants in the commonwealth.
Virginia is the third state to sign the bill into law.
“The Commonwealth of Virginia. Only the third state in the nation has taken a bold stand against no-knock warrants, an institutional mechanism that disproportionately terrorizes people of color. Virginia is getting it right,” said Dr. Janice Underwood, Virginia’s Chief Diversity Officer.
The bill was passed after Breonna Taylor was shot and killed inside her Louisville, Kentucky apartment by police during a no-knock search.
“Thank you for taking that power and just using it in the right light and being on the right side of this fight for justice for Breonna Taylor,” said Bianca Austin, Taylor’s Aunt.
Under the new law, search warrants can only be served during daylight hours unless law enforcement can show a judge or magistrate a reason to serve a warrant at night. The bill was passed during a special session of the Virginia General Assembly.
“These are not anti police measures. These are pro people laws. They’re about making our justice system fair and more equitable and they’re about rebuilding trust between our law enforcement and the communities they serve,” said Northam.
Northam says Virginia became the first state to have Taylor’s name on the law since her death in March.
“We honor them when we act. We honor them when we change laws and we honor them when we continue the work,” said Northam.
The governor was accompanied by Attorney Benjamin Crump, Senator Mamie Locke, and members of Breonna Taylor’s family.
“I am so thankful that you all in the state of Virginia stood up for Breonna Taylor and her legacy,” said Crump.
VACP President Chief Maggie DeBoard released the following statement:
Governor Northam signed the measure at the Patrick Henry Building at 11:15 a.m. Monday, December 7.
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