Rand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants

Greg Nash

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation on Thursday to end no-knock warrants, a measure that has bipartisan backing as lawmakers debate broader police reforms.

Paul’s legislation, titled the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act, would prohibit federal law enforcement from carrying out a warrant “until after the officer provides notice of his or her authority and purpose.”

It would also apply to state and local law enforcement that receive funding from the Justice Department.

“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. This bill will effectively end no-knock raids in the United States,” Paul said in a statement.

Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was fatally shot in her home in Kentucky by police who were carrying out a no-knock warrant.

Paul’s proposal comes as Congress is debating how to respond to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed while detained by Minneapolis police.

A proposal unveiled by House and Senate Democrats earlier this week would ban the use of no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and tie law enforcement funding to state and local agencies on a similar ban.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is drafting a Senate GOP proposal which he is expected to unveil next week. 

Paul’s legislation also comes after he rankled some colleagues in recent weeks, sparring with Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) over an amendment to the bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime.

Paul said in a statement earlier this month that he was trying to add an amendment that would “apply a serious bodily injury standard, which would ensure crimes resulting in substantial risk of death and extreme physical pain be prosecuted as a lynching.”

But Harris and Booker accused him of trying to water down the bill.

Tags Breonna Taylor Breonna Taylor killing Cory Booker George Floyd George Floyd killing no-knock warrants police reform racial justice Rand Paul Tim Scott

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