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Kentucky Attorney General Forms Task Force to Review State Search Warrant Process

The task force was formed by executive order after the death of Breonna Taylor – a Louisville EMT who was killed by police in March 2020 after executing an arrest warrant.
Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron tasked the group with reviewing the Kentucky search warrant process.

The task force includes members of the judiciary, lawmakers, law enforcement, prosecutors, public counsel, local officials, a representative of the NAACP, and member citizens. They are expected to develop best practices for “the efficient and safe execution of search warrants in the Commonwealth with the goal of establishing the Kentucky search warrant process as a national model,” according to its office.

“I appreciate the men and women who have agreed to join the task force and give their time and knowledge in the service of the Commonwealth,” Cameron said. “I hope that the group’s review of our search warrant process will improve public safety by ensuring Kentucky uses best practices when obtaining and executing search warrants.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear last month signed a bill that places restrictions on warrants allowing entry without notice, more commonly known as no-type warrants. The legislation came a little over a year after Taylor’s death.

While there are conflicting reports from police and passers-by that police came forward during the incident, his death has sparked a nationwide conversation about the use of this type of warrant.

Kentucky Attorney General Forms Task Force to Review State Search Warrant Process

The new law doesn’t outright ban interdiction warrants, as the city of Louisville did last summer, but it does limit the circumstances in which those warrants can be used.

Some of the more notable changes from the current process include the reservation of restraining warrants for situations that could be considered violent or an emergency, such as kidnapping.

It leaves some room for interpretation for these scenarios, but it requires that these mandates be approved by a supervisor and the department’s most senior official. Consultation with the county attorney for the jurisdiction is also required. And all agents must have clear identification and some type of body camera or audiovisual equipment activated during the process.

The working group will announce the date of its first meeting in the coming days.


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