House Bill 5099 prohibits law enforcement officers from seeking or executing no-knock search warrants. The bill was already signed into law in October — but Northam took part in a ceremonial signing this week.
“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,” said Northam. “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.”
Police officers gunned down Taylor in her apartment in Kentuck after officers forced entry into the apartment as part of a drug investigation. Police officers reportedly failed to identify themselves, so Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a round, believing them to be intruders. They then fired “wantonly” into Taylor’s home — shooting her several times.
Months after her death, it was revealed that she lay dying for a minimum of five minutes without receiving assistance from officers on the scene.
Former officer Brett Hankison was the only person charged by the grand jury and is facing three counts of wanton endangerment. He fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s home. Former officers Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the other two officers, shot Taylor a combined six times, with one of the bullets fired by Cosgrove proving to be fatal.