Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator, Republican Mitch McConnell, said it’s not his job to weigh in on whether no-knock warrants should be banned statewide.
McConnell spoke in Lexington Tuesday, when the Kentucky Fraternal Order of the Police endorsed his re-election campaign. He addressed a bill, pre-filed by Democratic Rep. Attica Scott last month. It’s been called “Breonna’s Law for Kentucky” — Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in March by Louisville Metro Police officers carrying out a warrant with a provision that allowed them to enter her home without knocking.
“This whole debate over no knock warrants is a matter of law,” McConnell said Tuesday. “You either allow them or you don’t… whether it will be taken up at the state level, I don’t know. But that’s not an issue, I think, at the federal level.”
Advocates for the bill have expressed a desire to take this issue nationwide.
The Kentucky FOP has come out against the proposed legislation, posting on Facebook that “this bill is most certainly an attack and slap in the face to the great cops all across this Commonwealth.”
McConnell said he believes the federal government’s role is to provide funding support for law enforcement.
He also called demands for defunding the police “utterly nutty.”
“If you’re in danger, I don’t think the best solution is to call a social worker,” McConnell said.
Some groups, such as the ACLU, have said “defunding the police,” or redistributing funds to other social services will improve public safety by addressing the root cause of issues versus the symptoms.
McConnell spoke about protests in cities across the country.
He said he’s “fully supportive of police across the country,” also acknowledging they have to address problematic incidents like the police killing of George Floyd. He once again slammed Democrats for not supporting a federal bill called the JUSTICE Act, which Democrats did vote to block earlier this summer, saying it didn’t go far enough.
“The law is a good thing,” McConnell said, and “what you’re seeing… in some of these major cities, is a reluctance on the part of elected officials to enforce the law.”
He cited Portland specifically, which has been under the national spotlight and will now see heavier policing, including from federal law enforcement, after a man was shot dead Saturday, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.