Virginia is the first state to ban no-knock search warrants in response to Breonna Taylor’s death

northam no-knock search warrants

Gov. Ralph Northam ceremonially sign “Breonna’s Law.” Photo courtesy Office of the Governor of Virginia.

Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday ceremonially signed “Breonna’s Law,” making Virginia the third state in the country to ban the use of no-knock search warrants — and the first to do so since the tragic March death of Breonna Taylor.

Northam was joined at the ceremony by Bianca Austin and Tahasha Holloway, aunts of Taylor, 26, who was killed during the execution of a no-knock search warrant of her Louisville home.

Also participating was civil rights advocate and attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family of Taylor in ongoing litigation, and has represented the families of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery and Jacob Blake.

“Virginia is leading the way on policing reforms like this one, which will make our communities safer and our criminal justice system more fair and equitable,” Northam said. “While nothing can bring back Breonna Taylor, and so many others, we honor them when change laws, when we act to right long-standing wrongs, and when we do the work to make sure more names do not follow theirs.”

Northam formally signed House Bill 5099 and Senate Bill 5030, sponsored by Del. Lashrecse Aird and Sen. Mamie Locke, on Oct. 28.

The measures passed during the special session of the Virginia General Assembly that began in August.

This year, Virginia passed sweeping new laws to advance police and criminal justice reform, including reducing the militarization of local policing, strengthening law enforcement training and the decertification process, and limiting the use of neck restraints.

Additional information on these measures can be found here.


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