Showing posts with label Kentucky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kentucky. Show all posts

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Kentucky partailly bans no-knock warrants

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed a partial ban on no-knock warrants Friday after months of demonstrations set off by the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in her home during a botched police raid last year.

The law signed by the Democratic governor is not the total ban many protesters and some Democratic lawmakers had sought -- a proposal that had been introduced as "Breonna's Law" -- but it also doesn't prevent individual cities and towns from banning the warrants completely.

The measure drew bipartisan support in the Legislature, where Republicans hold veto-proof supermajorities in the House and Senate. The law permits no-knock warrants only if there is "clear and convincing evidence" that the crime being investigated "would qualify a person, if convicted, as a violent offender."

Under the law that was passed, no-knock warrants must be executed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and officers are required to take additional steps to obtain warrants. Judges are also required to sign legibly when approving them and an EMT must be nearby during execution of the warrant.

Members of the Taylor family stood behind the governor during the bill signing at Louisville's Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, shed tears as she accepted the pen the governor used to sign the measure.

"While it's not the full legislation that they wanted in terms of a complete ban on no-knock warrants, they are satisfied that this is a start and a win in a deeply divided General Assembly," said the family's attorney, Lonita Baker.

Baker added that the family looks forward to working with lawmakers on future legislation to further restrict the warrants and increase police accountability.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Breonna Taylor grand jurors file petition to impeach Attorney General Daniel Cameron

Three grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case filed a petition with the state House of Representatives on Friday, objecting to the conduct of Attorney General Daniel Cameron and calling for his impeachment.

A press release indicated the attorney for three of the grand jurors in the Taylor case signed onto the petition on their behalf in order to protect their identities.

The petition alleges Cameron breached public trust and failed to comply with his duties by misrepresenting the findings of the grand jury in the Taylor case.

“The Grand Jurors did not choose this battle,” stated Kevin Glogower, the attorney for the three grand jurors. “This battle chose them."

"These are randomly selected citizens who were compelled to sit on a grand jury and were terribly misused by the most powerful law enforcement official in Kentucky. It is truly a testament to the Kentucky Constitution that they are able to be here today and to expose injustice and demand public accountability.”

House Speaker David Osborne confirmed lawmakers had "received notice of another petition for impeachment," but said in a statement he would "reserve further comment until our attorneys review it and the committee on committees has an opportunity to act."

The Committee on Committees will determine what committee will consider the petition. Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, who chairs the impeachment committee, said Friday he assumed his committee would get it once it's officially filed, which cannot happen until legislators return to Frankfort on Feb. 2.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Kentucky Democratic Party elects first African American chairman

The Kentucky Democratic Party will have an African American chairman for the first time in its history.

A party news release says Colmon Elridge was elected chairman of the party on Saturday after Gov. Andy Beshear nominated him for the position.

Elridge is a Cynthiana native and served as a special advisor to former Gov. Steve Beshear from 2007 to 2015. He also recently was the government relations director for the Kentucky Education Association and has served in Democratic Party-related roles.

Elridge will replace Ben Self, who became chairman in 2017 and announced in September that he would resign at the end of the year.

Elridge graduated from Transylvania University, holds an MBA from Sullivan University and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of the Cumberlands.

“As a Black man who was the first person in his immediate family to have been born with the right to vote, it is an honor to be able to make history today,” Elridge said in the news release.

In a statement, Beshear lauded Elridge as a “devoted father and husband who is committed to trying to build a better world for his kids and all of Kentucky’s kids.”


Friday, May 22, 2020

Prosecutor to dismiss charges against charges against Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor

Saying the case demands more investigation, Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine announced Friday his office will move to dismiss all charges against Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, firing a gun in her apartment and wounding a police officer.

Kenneth Walker, 27, was charged with attempted murder of a police officer and assault in the March 13 incident in which plain-clothes police officers executed a "no-knock" search warrant at Taylor's apartment and fatally shot her.

"I believe that additional investigation is necessary," Wine said.

But Wine said Walker's case could be presented to a grand jury a second time, depending on the results of investigations by the FBI and Kentucky Attorney General’s Office.

Still, Walker's attorney, Rob Eggert, said he was "thrilled" by the dismissal.

"Theoretically, they can bring it back," he said, "but now he is freed from home incarceration and can go on with his life."

Walker had previously been released from jail in March and placed on home incarceration.

Attorneys for Taylor's family, Ben Crump, Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker, said in a statement that the charges never should have been filed.

"This is a belated victory for justice and a powerful testament to the power of advocacy," they said. “Kenneth Walker and Breonna Taylor did everything right the night police ambushed their home."


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Sen. Kamala Harris calls for Dept. of Justice to investigate Breonna Taylor's death

During an appearance on MSNBC Sen. Kamala Harris called for the Dept. of Justice to investigate Breonna Taylor's death at the hands of Louisville police officers.

Taylor was a woman who was shot and killed in her Louisville, Kentucky home by police executing a "botched" search warrant who forced their way in, surprising the woman and her boyfriend who thought the officers were burglars. To make matters worse police were at the wrong address. Records show that the police investigation was centered around a "trap house" more than 10 miles from Taylor's apartment.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Kentucky elects first African American Attorney General

Republican Daniel Cameron, a former University of Louisville football player made history in a resounding win in the race for Kentucky attorney general, becoming the first African American in state history to win the office.

Cameron defeated Democrat Greg Stumbo, who served as attorney general from 2004 to 2008 and is also a former speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives.

"Now it's time to not only to talk the talk, but walk the walk," Cameron said in his victory speech Tuesday night. "And so we have a responsibility in the coming days to work with whomever, regardless if you have a Republican designation by your name or if you have a Democrat designation by your name."


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Kentucky city's first African American mayor sworn in

Hundreds of people came out to watch history being made. On Saturday afternoon, Beverly Chester-Burton was sworn in as the City of Shively's (Kentucky) first African American mayor.

Burton’s journey started as a sharecropper’s daughter from Hopkinsville, Kentucky. However, she made a pit stop in Shively, becoming the city’s first African American mayor.

“I like to think that I am modeling the way for a lot of others that are interested in taking this journey, “ Burton said.

Burton has been dedicated to Shively since her ten years as a city council member. She stayed dedicated after she lost her first mayoral campaign in 2008. Her former UofL classmate and city council member Maria Johnson said when Burton became the first African American on the city council, she knew that was just the beginning.