Sen. Rand Paul introduced legislation Thursday to stop the use of no-knock warrants, an idea that Democrats are also pushing in their calls for police reform.
The Kentucky Republican’s bill, titled the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act, requires federal law enforcement officers to give notice of their authority and purpose before entering a home.The law would also apply to state and local law enforcement agencies that receive money from the Justice Department.
The legislation comes after Taylor, a 26-year-old African American woman, was shot and killed in her home in Louisville by police who had a no-knock warrant.
“After talking with Breonna Taylor’s family, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s long past time to get rid of no-knock warrants,” Paul said in a statement. “This bill will effectively end no-knock raids in the United States.”
Paul’s legislation comes as both parties eye a range of police reform proposals, amid a national reckoning with police brutality since the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is taking the lead on crafting the Senate GOP bill in the Senate. While his proposal has not yet been finalized, he’s looking to improve data collection and provide incentives for police officers to reduce their use of force.
Democrats in the House and Senate meanwhile have proposed their own sweeping legislation that would include a chokehold ban, end no-knock warrants in drug cases at the federal level and limit “qualified immunity” in order to make it easier to sue police officers.
While Paul may find common ground with Democrats on no-knock warrants, he has also been an obstacle for the party in recent debates surrounding race. Paul engaged in a heated exchange last week on the Senate floor with Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) over a widely backed bill to make lynching a federal crime.
Harris and Booker attempted to pass the House anti-lynching bill by unanimous consent, but Paul blocked the effort, citing concerns that the bill’s language could lead to lynching charges for minor injuries. The move has frustrated members of both parties.
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