See below for video of Gov. Northam ceremonially signing “Breonna’s Law,” prohibiting the use of no-knock search warrants in Virginia. As Gov. Northam writes, “we are welcoming members of Breonna Taylor’s family and Attorney Ben Crump to Virginia as I sign ‘Breonna’s Law,’ sponsored by Delegate Lashrecse Aird and Senator Mamie Locke.” As Virginia Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Janice Underwood explains:
“[Breonna Taylor was a] healthcare worker from Kentucky, who spent her life caring for others. Well today, we are showing how much we care about Breonna Taylor and 8.4 million Virginians. So we stand here today somewhat reassured and in solidarity with Breonna Taylor, who is undoubtedly with us in spirit, that going forward, the Commonwealth of Virginia – only the third state in the nation – has taken a bold stand against no-knock warrants, an institutional mechanism that disproportionately terrorizes people of color. Virginia is getting it right.”
Gov. Northam says:
“Today is a somber occasion…We’re here today because when the country saw what happened in March, people said that’s wrong, we need to do something…Today, we’re taking a step forward, to making sure other families don’t suffer the same loss as your family…Virginia becomes the first state to take this action since Breonna’s death in March. This is the right thing to do…”
Sen. Mamie Locke quotes civil rights heroine Fannie Lou Hamer: ‘I’m Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.” Sen. Locke adds that Virginia is not immune to injustice, and that we don’t want what happened to Breonna Taylor in Kentucky happens here in Virginia. One reform that was at the top of the (long) list of needed reforms was ending no-knock warrants.
Del. Lashrecse Aird says today is “validation for the many leaders and advocates that took to the streets right here in…Virginia to fight for the change that we will make today.” Del. Aird notes that communities of color have “borne the brunt of police misconduct” and that this issue is “deeply personal” to her. Del. Aird declares that Breonna Taylor’s life mattered, and that everyone’s life should matter.
Attorney Ben Crump thanks Gov. Northam and Virginia leaders for being “proactive” in passing this law *before* there’s a tragedy, such as what happened to Breonna Taylor.