By Tanya Decendario
PHOENIX – This week, Arizona State Rep. Alma Hernandez initiated Arizona’s version of the “Justice for Breonna Taylor” Law, a bill prohibiting law enforcement from using no-knock warrants.
The bill was first introduced in Louisville, Kentucky, after Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American woman, was fatally shot by two police officers. The officers used a no-knock warrant and barged into her residence, shooting her six times.
The death of Breonna Taylor sparked groups of lawmakers to impose a plan to ban no-knock warrants.
In the midst of last summer’s events, the Louisville City Council voted to pass the ban on no-knock warrants in the state of Kentucky, and the first ever “Justice for Breonna Taylor” law was mandated, demanding police officers wear body cameras.
The no-knock warrant had been authorized in the state of Arizona since the year 2000.
In Arizona, two petitions on Change.org began circulating in the hope to ban the no-knock warrants in Arizona. Both petitions were designed to reach the city and state lawmakers.
“What happened to Breonna Taylor was a travesty and a miscarriage of justice, and we must do all we can to prevent anything like that from happening here,” said Hernandez (D-Tucson).
Rep. Hernandez authored the bill, requiring police officers to verbally announce their intention to search before executing a warrant. Another crucial aspect of the search is providing a copy of the search warrant to the resident or the owner of the location.
She added, “This is common-sense law enforcement reform that protects officers and the public from tragic mistakes. We know that this is a non-partisan issue to protect all Arizonans.”
On Twitter, Hernandez posted a picture of herself holding the bill with the caption: “Today I dropped the #BreonnaTaylor bill to remove the authority to execute a no-knock search warrant and requires a uniformed p.officer to provide an audible notice before a search warrant is executed and requires they be given a copy of the search warrant #AZleg #SayHerName.”
Tanya Decendario is a third-year student studying Legal Studies at UC Berkeley. She is originally from Sonoma, CA, but currently resides in Albany, CA.
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