Breonna Taylor: Another No-Knock Raid Legitimately Resisted by Armed Force

Image is a screenshot taken from video at WAV3.com. Cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- On March 13, 2020, at about 1 a.m., in Louisville, Kentucky, five police officers, at least three who were in plain clothes, without body cameras, executed a no-knock raid, with a warrant naming Breonna Taylor.

The warrant had the right address and person.  The officers were not wearing body cameras, because they were narcotics officers, and were exempt by policy.

From usa.today:

No body-camera footage is available because officers in the Criminal Interdiction Division who conducted the search warrant do not wear cameras, police chief Steve Conrad previously said.

The police started breaking down the door. They claim they announced themselves. Breonna's boyfriend Kenneth Walker had a concealed carry permit and was armed. Walker says he heard the banging on the door. It is not the same thing as hearing police announce themselves.  Neighbors say they did not hear the police announce themselves.  Kenneth Walker fired at the intruders breaking down the door at 1 a.m. He wounded one officer.

The three narcotics officers, in plain clothes, fired back, about 22 rounds, missing Kenneth Walker, but hitting Breonna eight times, killing her. The two other officers who were there did not fire. Kenneth Walker immediately called 911, believing a home invasion was occurring.

How were Breonna and Kenneth supposed to know it was police breaking down their door, and not a gang of criminals? Neither of them had criminal records. Many criminals claim to be police. Mere verbal claims of being police should not be sufficient identification.  A Louisville councilwoman, asked: How would a person know to comply? From wdrb.com:

Councilwoman Green, who described the case as a “damn shame,” asked how someone would know to comply if police burst in during the middle of the night.

The warrant claimed surveillance of the address showed a former boyfriend of Breonna, had visited the apartment several times, and retrieved packages. The warrant claimed this was sufficient probable cause to search the house for drugs, guns, money, and any sort of records that could be associated with drug trafficking.  Breonna had no criminal record. She was an emergency responder herself and had a good record at her job.

Jamarcus Glover, Breonna's former boyfriend, and a suspected drug dealer was arrested hours and miles away, before the raid on Breonna's apartment.

This raid seems an abuse of the no-knock warrant concept. Using the information in the warrant, anyone could be subject to police breaking down the door in the middle of the night, just from knowing someone with a criminal record.  The three officers who fired were placed on administrative reassignment

The three Louisville Metro Police officers who fired their guns that night — Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — have been placed on administrative reassignment while the department's Professional Integrity Unit investigates what happened.

At least two other police officers, a lieutenant and an officer, were on the scene as a part of executing the warrant that night. However, LMPD officials named only the three who used their guns.

The wide use of no-knock warrants is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Anyone breaking into an American home in the middle of the night can reasonably expect to be met with gunfire.  It should take extreme circumstances to justify a no-knock warrant. This raid was not justified by extreme circumstances. The warrant reads like boilerplate, looking for drugs, money, guns, and records. Except for the drugs, all the rest are things in more than half of American homes. I am not sure about the drugs.

Warrants are meant to protect the police as well as the suspects. If a warrant is legitimately presented, the residents of the house/apartment will know the police have a legitimate reason for their search. in our technological age, the subjects should be able to confirm the warrant by telephone.

The use of the excuse of “destruction of evidence” for no-knock raids should be severely curtailed. The amount of drugs that can be flushed down a toilet in five minutes does not justify the extreme risks involved in no-knock raids.

In January, the criminal abuse of no-knock warrants resulted in the death of an innocent couple in Houston. Breonna's death confirms the deadly danger of no-knock raids.

The officers have a duty to protect the public. How was the firing of 22 rounds, none of which hit Kenneth, justified?  Breonna was killed. She was not firing. Some bullets ended up in other apartments.

The Houston warrant was based on false testimony.  The Louisville warrant is being investigated. The warrant claims a postal inspector verified the delivery of suspicious packages.  No one has found a postal inspector who is willing to state they made any such verification.  From wdrb.com:

A day before the raid, a detective asked a judge to approve the warrant in part because he claimed a postal inspector verified that Glover was using Taylor's home to receive parcels, the affidavit says.

It is “possible” that Louisville police asked a mail inspector from another jurisdiction of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for help, Gooden said, but he said his office almost surely would have been notified of an outside agent's involvement.

On 21 May, 2020, the FBI announced it was launching an investigation.

 From courier-journal.com:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The FBI is launching its own investigation into the fatal police shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor following a rising chorus of calls for an independent inquiry.

“The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner,” the FBI Louisville Field Office said in a statement. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to comment further at this time.

No illegal drugs were found at Breonna's apartment. Kenneth's pistol was completely legal.

On 26 May, 2020, the charges against Kenneth Walker were dismissed, without prejudice, which means the charges could be filed again, with new evidence.

 From whas11.com:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Friday, Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine asked a judge to dismiss the case against Kenneth Walker. Walker, boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, was charged with attempted murder of a police officer after he started shooting at officers executing a no-knock search warrant at Taylor's apartment.

WHAS11 has learned the charges have been dismissed. According to a court document [Commonwealth of Kentucky vs Kenneth Walker III] dated May 26, 2020, a judge dismissed the indictment without prejudice.

Some police were outraged. Act like a criminal gang, and Americans will treat you as a criminal gang. From wdrb.com:

“Not only is he a threat to the men and women of law enforcement, but he also poses a significant danger to the community we protect!” River City FOP president Ryan Nichols wrote in a Facebook Post Friday. “Home incarceration was not designed for the most violent offenders!” “I call on the public to condemn the actions of Judge Olu Stevens.”

When you are serving a warrant, appear at a reasonable time, knock on the door, wear uniforms, be ready to present a warrant. If no one answers after three or four minutes, then you may break down the door.

It often takes three or four minutes to answer the door. People can be changing a baby, in the bathroom, taking items from an oven, making love. You have to allow a reasonable time to answer the door.  Don't expect people in the middle of the night to awaken, figure out what is going on, and answer the door, in the 20 seconds it takes to knock it down.  Don't assume yelling “Police” is a reasonable way to assure people that you are legitimate police. It isn't.

The tragic death of Breonna Taylor could have been prevented if no-knock raids were restricted to the tiny number of times they are needed.

It appears the Louisville Police are instituting reforms, such as requiring the Chief of Police to sign off on every no-knock warrant.  The policy exempting narcotics officers from wearing body cameras on raids has been changed.

Those reforms are a good start.

Use of bodycam footage of use of force by officers would be required by law, to be released to the public, by a bill in the Kentucky legislature.  From louisvillefuture.com:

Kentucky House Bill 373 would make it so that cities do not have to release all body camera footage from first responders to the public. But footage of certain types of incidents, including use of force by police, is required to be made available to the public.

The Lousiville City Council is considering eliminating no-knock warrants.  From wdrb.com:

At least one council member, Barbara Sexton Smith, called Wednesday for police to prohibit the no-knock warrants and is drafting an ordinance to do just that. The chair of the public safety committee, Jessica Green, is also collaborating on that effort.

“Several of us do have an appetite to draft an ordinance to either do away with no-knock warrants in their entirety or to drastically restrict them,” Green told WDRB News.

No knock raids put everyone at risk. Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas in Houston were white. Breonna was black. The Constitution and the law should be colorblind.

Following the limits on government power placed in the Constitution, is the way to allow all to exist in freedom under the law. It is called “ordered liberty”. We need to return to it.



About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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SweetOlBob
SweetOlBob
1 month ago

Thanks for an extremely well written and thoroughly explanitive article detailing what can happen to innocent citizens in the application of “no knock” invasions ! Definitely a violation of local law and constitutional rights ! This kind of force should NEVER be used, especially by officers not wearing uniforms or cameras recording their actions. The jerks referred to as officers here were evidently firing blindly, with no hard target chosen. They are fortunate they didn’t kill more innocent people living nearby. Instead of being “reassigned”, they all should be fired or at least put on duty where carrying a firearm… Read more »

Glocktarded
Glocktarded
1 month ago

“This raid seems an abuse of the no-knock warrant concept”

No-knock warrants are an abuse of our Fourth Amendment right. Drug laws are a violation of our rights too.

“It’s not a war on drugs, it’s a war on personal freedom.”
– Bill Hicks

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
1 month ago

Another well written and well researched piece by Mr. Weingarten.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago

Ok, I hate this no knock policy B.S. My answer, post a sign on your door that says (entrance without permission by current occupant after sunset is considered invasion and shall be met with deadly force) If they are too stupid to understand that or too belligerent to think it applies to them then they have already been warned of the consequences. They can very easily surround your house, call your home or cell phone, Yah, they have your number, tell you they are outside and they have a warrant and are requiring you to come outside with your hands… Read more »

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

How about: “If you can read this, you’re in range.”

Arm up, carry on.

james
james
1 month ago

If they needed the no knock, why not put on vests? They were looking for lots of drugs and associated hardware right? Most likely illegally owned firearms since drugs were the main item of interest from the warrant? Need to updated policy that all wear vests for no knocks until no knocks are outlawed.

SweetOlBob
SweetOlBob
1 month ago
Reply to  james

James:
Yes ! Vests with visible badges displayed.

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago

Given the facts as detailed in this fine piece, there was another way to have dealt with this that would have posed NO RISK to any of the active principals.. the cops, the two residents of the raided house, and all the nighbours who may have had to dig a bullet or three out of the studs in the walls of their apartments. They claim to have enlisted the help of a Postal Inspector. OK Fine. Sending contraband through the post is a federal crime. Enlist further help from this “inspector”, also involving the mail sorters and the carrier on… Read more »

a.x. perez
a.x. perez
1 month ago

No Knock warrants are an act of war. They were basically adopted as part of the war on drugs, which really meant war on the American people using drugs as an excuse. Combined with Red Flag laws, or even without them, they can be used by corrupt anti-gun authorities to murder gun owners one at a time. Then they can be used to go after Republicans as Alt Right terrorists and/or Democrats as Antifa terrorists. This hole in our Constitutional liberties needs to be plugged.

Wass
Wass
1 month ago

It needn’t be about drugs, money or guns. Just ask Roger Stone.

Mack
Mack
1 month ago

Breaking news: “Rand Paul unveils bill to end no-knock warrants” See Politico. “The Kentucky Republican’s bill, titled the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act, requires federal law enforcement officers to give notice of their authority and purpose before entering a home.The law would also apply to state and local law enforcement agencies that receive money 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,” Paul said in a statement. “This bill will effectively end no-knock raids in the United States.” ================= Did everyone catch… Read more »

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Mack

God bless him. He is one of the few that still has a brain. I love listening to Kennedy from Kentucky. He has a funny sense of humor which is wonderful and he has a brain too. I don’t think either of them are RINO like Romney and a obvious handful of others. Hopefully their seats are up and they are replaced by common sense people or they retire, cut their losses because of the swamp drain and leave room for someone that wants to Make America Great Again. I say that because right now with all the rioting it… Read more »

WhiteRose
WhiteRose
1 month ago

@DW thank you….good article

TexDad
TexDad
1 month ago

No-knock warrants need to be more than restricted, they need to become a thing of the past. If you think there is any suspicion of crime that gives you the authority to invade a private household, you are wrong. If you are met with deadly force when you decide to invade a private household, then all of the resulting deaths and injuries are on you.

Doszap
Doszap
1 month ago

No knock raids should BE BANNED esp at dawn thirty!.
One more example of Government over reach.PLUS ALL LE, I do not care WHAT dept should be required to wear body cams.NO EXCEPTIONS.
This type of crap reminds me of Nazi Germany style tactics, no wonder people distrust the Police.WAY too much of this happening.
STOP IT NOW.
Anyone knocking my door down yelling Police!, or otherwise, will get 60 rounds of lead asap.

Finnky
Finnky
1 month ago
Reply to  Doszap

@Doszap – At least Nazi soldiers answered to the country’s leaders. I see us moving more towards a feudal system like Europe of the dark ages. Knights can do no wrong, take what they want, and anyone opposing them is outcast or killed. We need police and other governmental services, from fire suppression to road repair. We have allowed police tactics and immunity to create a situation where they are seen by far too many as enemies of the people. This creates a situation where cops are unable to do their jobs, while costs escalate. Much as we need real… Read more »

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
1 month ago
Reply to  Finnky

Finnky, the problem is that people like Chauvin gravitate to that type of employment. And honestly the only people truly qualified to regulate such individuals are the people who work around them. Real distrust of law enforcement comes not just from the bad apples but also from those who do nothing about them.

uncle dudley
uncle dudley
1 month ago

Most apartments only have a front door so the police don’t need to use a no knock tactic, if they didn’t witness the person enter the apartment that they were looking for then they should have done a stakeout to verify his presence in the apartment.
Bad police work and an innocent person died, they need to be held accountable.

joefoam
joefoam
1 month ago

Wait until they get a national ‘red flag’ law enacted and see the body count rise.

Doszap
Doszap
1 month ago
Reply to  joefoam

On both sides, Patrol Officers will be sitting ducks Americans are only going to tolerate this for not much longer.IF they try and confiscate or BAN any more weapons, then I feel for LE.

Will
Will
1 month ago
Reply to  joefoam

A national red flag law? What? When did you hear about that?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Will

, No national red flag laws, yet. Just thinking about the future and how our elected employees will have made the police our enemies if our elected employees manage to enact a national red flag law.
Red flag laws violate the Second, Fourth, and Sixth Amendments, so I doubt that a national red flag law would pass in either house of Congress, avoid veto, or be approved of by the courts.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

I am not sure about that. President Trump has talked about it and legislature has kicked it around so there is no seceret that the thought is out there. How about Constitutional carry and reciprocity instead.

Sisu
Sisu
1 month ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

, while I am not a fan of NBC News a quick search yielded the following article which summarizes Trump positions (from the hip statements) consistent with my recollection; scroll down and you will see that Trump did express interest in Federal and state ERPOs. Trump is pretty weak on the 2nd when not campaigning.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/gun-violence-what-trump-said-vs-what-trump-did-n855756

Will
Will
1 month ago
Reply to  Sisu

,maybe Trump read (and understands) this,….”No person shall be deprived of life,liberty,or property without due process of law;nor shall private property be taken for public use ,without just compensation” Sisu,thanks for your comment and attached link.. I removed what I said to music.

Sisu
Sisu
1 month ago
Reply to  Will

@wjd, Trump’s strenght is also his weakness – he doesn’t hesitate; which is needed when dealing with bully lawyers and union bosses. And, he’s not deferential to “law”, I expect as he realizes there are too many – most arbitrary (unlawful) administrative regulations given disproportionate emphasis because politicians have been “criminalizing” everything for the last 60yrs. … As such it appears he is mostly focused on combating, disfusing / resolving transaction based conflicts – which I suspect is why he sees no contradiction in “I will protect your 2nd” while (without hesitation) ignoring “due process” when focusing on domestic violence,… Read more »

Operator Z
Operator Z
1 month ago

If you’d like to talk to me you’d better come during the day in a marked car in uniform and politely knock on the door. No knock warrants need to stop; they are more dangerous for everyone involved. This situation could have been avoided.

Will
Will
1 month ago

This young woman seemed to be well on her way to having a very successful life. This really is a tragic situation.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

It’s hard to believe no-knock policies haven’t been heard by the Supreme Court by now. It is THE reason why the Founders made it part of the Bill of Rights.

Doszap
Doszap
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Reasonable suspicion is an infringement on the Constitution and our BOR.
You had best KNOW what the hell is going in before proceeding.
This crap never hardly happened when I was a kid or anytime until after 9-11.
Also, MAKE SURE you have the correct address!. How many Americans are dead from this same crap because of BAD Intel.

Finnky
Finnky
1 month ago
Reply to  Doszap

@DZ – It did happen before 9/11/01 – frequency has just increased dramatically, while public awareness has increased even more.

BigJim
BigJim
1 month ago

Regardless, the judge who issued it needs to dangle frow the gallows.

Rock
Rock
1 month ago
Reply to  BigJim

Agreed.

Bill
Bill
1 month ago

Cams should be required in no- Knick warrentsw protect the police!

Finnky
Finnky
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill

– If I’m on a jury, I would certainly insist on it. There is no reason a court should ever have to take a cops word for anything. Knee jerk assumption is that if they don’t have video, it is because they don’t want anyone to know the truth. Video is too cheap and easy for them to have any excuse.

Some guy
Some guy
1 month ago

You can rest assured that the FBI will exonerate all law enforcement personnel involved. The FBI is literally THE most corrupt “law enforcement” organization on the planet.

3l120
3l120
1 month ago
Reply to  Some guy

In case you haven’t noticed, the FBI don’t like the police. When your agency is made up of lawyers and accountants, anyone in a uniform is second class.

That said, this is another stupid incident that begs the question, “Why”?. There has to be more but I am sure not seeing it.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  3l120

@3l, That is true. Wasn’t the LAPD under some kind of control by the FBI as the result of some kind of perceived LAPD “misconduct”, back in the 90’s. Who would ever want to be under the thumb of the Fat Boy Institute.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@3l120, Come back. I want to talk about the LAPD academy grounds and their gun store!

Will
Will
1 month ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@WB,LAPD has their own gun store?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Will

, Yep, they sure do! 1880 Academy Dr, L.A., Ca 90012! I bought the groovyiest Beretta Tomcat there.

Will
Will
1 month ago
Reply to  3l120

@31120,the FBI might not like the police but nobody likes the FBI!

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Will

, Yeah, they can take credit for someone else’s investigation. They can attempt a coop on a president. But they can not catch one skinny antifa kid.

Doszap
Doszap
1 month ago
Reply to  Some guy

Before Trump leaves office, (IF he wins a second term), needs to clean house IN ALL the ABC agencies, all they way down to the street agent level and hire PEOPLE with a record of at least having read and comprehending the
BOR, and the Amendments, to the Constitution.
I never used to look at LE in a bad light, but since the seizure of assets BS went into effect more and more people have died and lost all their possessions over little or nothing.

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
1 month ago

Another tragedy. This woman was murdered, maybe not murder one but murder non the less. If the ex boyfriend was suspected in drug abuse or dealing, why did they not get him first? This just does not make sense as to why the cops did what they did. With the information at hand, it smells fishy at best and corrupt at worst. All of this over SUSPECTED DRUG OFFENCES? Is there no better way to judge the possible crime against the possible outcome? What would you do, how would you react, if someone broke down your front door at 1… Read more »

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago

“If the ex boyfriend was suspected in drug abuse or dealing, why did they not get him first?”

Bill, one of (the many) sad things about this is that they did just that. They had arrested this guy elsewhere and had him in jail at the time they initiated the home invasion and murder at Breonna’s home.

Rock
Rock
1 month ago
Reply to  Grigori

Just the FBI and a pompous judge showing their out of control “SHOW OF POWER”. These break the door down warrant deals should be outlawed OR the house should be lit up like a Christmas tree and an announcement made for at least a half hour on LOUD hailers… No dead of night door kick ins and rushed, either side can and probably WILL, end up dead….

Doszap
Doszap
1 month ago
Reply to  Rock

When it comes to NO KNOCKS, ALL LIVES MATTER.

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  Doszap

I keep seeing morons on other boards saying that is somehow “racist”.

Rock
Rock
1 month ago

The boyfriend could have been picked up outside the house leaving or returning. He wasn’t wanted for MURDER. Hell, with the libtard rules in place now, the murderer is set free in minutes.

Doszap
Doszap
1 month ago

Same thing on a much large scale WACO.The FBI could have picked up David Koresh a hundred times, without one dead person, or Agent.
BUT, NO!,they had to make a show, funding was coming up for the Dept and they needed to show a reason for more $$$$.Also,FBI Agent/Sniper Lon Horiuchi was there and up to his old tricks as a sniper ready to murder innocents IN THE name of the law.
Well they got it.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Doszap

Too bad the guy killed commited a crime that they baited and entraped him into. Once they had that on him, he was stuck. He should have bit the bullet and did the time or instead never have done the crime of sawing off the barrel. But, sawing off the barrel shouldn’t be a felony anyway. it should be my choice how long the barrel of the gun is. In additiion, this SBR stuff is a bucnh of horse pucky. i see pistols for sale with butt stocks and fore grips and it is my job to know if my… Read more »

ras52
ras52
1 month ago
Reply to  Doszap

Horiuchi, the man who shot Vickie Weaver with child in her arms!