Hundreds of Pennsylvania Citizens Show Support for Police Reform
HARRISBURG – March 15, 2021 – Senator Tim Kearney (D – Delaware/Chester) today re-introduced “Breonna’s Law” to ban no-knock warrants, which allow law enforcement to forcibly enter a person’s home without warning. Senate Bill 296 comes on the first anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death, which occurred on March 13, 2020.
“It’s been one year since Breonna Taylor was killed, and our work isn’t done to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again,” said Kearney. “I am re-introducing Breonna’s Law because I’m not giving up this fight. 20,000 no-knock raids take place every year across America, putting countless lives at risk. We cannot allow our neighborhoods and our families to endure this violence any longer.”
Kearney originally introduced the bill in the 2020 legislative session, but it was not given a vote. The bill is named after Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African American woman who was fatally shot eight times by police after three plainclothes officers used a no-knock warrant to enter her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky.
The bill would require law enforcement officers to knock and announce themselves when serving a warrant, waiting at least 15 seconds for a response. It requires officers to wear body cameras during a search, as well as five minutes before and after the operation. Officers would also have to wear clothing that clearly identifies themselves as law enforcement.
SB 296 currently has seven co-sponsors: Senators Amanda Cappelletti (D – Montgomery), Maria Collett (D – Montgomery), Jay Costa (D – Allegheny), Wayne Fontana (D – Allegheny), Vincent Hughes (D –Philadelphia), Katie Muth (D – Montgomery), and Judy Schwank (D – Berks). If passed, Pennsylvania would join three other states – Oregon, Florida, and Virginia – in banning no-knock warrants.
Kearney has also launched a Citizen Co-Sponsorship Campaign, where residents of Pennsylvania can add their name to support Breonna’s Law. So far, more than 700 Pennsylvanians from 31 different counties have added their name. Those who want to become a citizen co-sponsor can go to www.senatorkearney.com/breonnaslaw
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from every corner of Pennsylvania,” said Kearney. “Change will only happen if people demand it, and I’m happy to see hundreds of citizens are making their voices heard. I hope other legislators will join us in listening to the people and ending no-knock warrants once and for all.”