FRANKFORT, Ky. — Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) signed an executive order Thursday that established the Search Warrant Task Force, a body that aims to "examine the process for securing, reviewing, and executing search warrants in Kentucky."
Search warrants in Kentucky have received a substantial amount of attention after the death of Breonna Taylor in March 2020, when she was shot and killed by police during the execution of a drug-related search warrant.
The officer responsible for obtaining the search warrant in the Taylor case, Detective Joshua Jaynes, was fired for allegedly violating department standards when he lied on the warrant.
Cameron said in a statement that the creation of the task force follows through on his promise to create best practices for search warrant procedure in the commonwealth.
“We made a promise to Kentuckians that questions and concerns raised about search warrants would be thoroughly considered, and today we’re delivering on that promise by launching the Search Warrant Task Force,” Cameron said. “We’ve assembled a group representing every aspect of the search warrant process to conduct a top to bottom review and provide recommendations. Our goal is to establish Kentucky as a national model for how search warrants should be pursued and executed. It is my responsibility as Attorney General and the Chief Law Enforcement Officer to bring this important group together, and we look forward to soliciting input from Kentuckians as we undertake this process.”
The Attorney General's Office will chair the task force. Members will include, among other appointees:
- Two representatives of the Kentucky Court of Justice appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky;
- Singular appointees from the Fraternal Order of Police of Kentucky, the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association, and the Kentucky Conference of the NAACP; and
- Three citizens representing the Commonwealth at large appointed by the Attorney General.
Cameron's statement said organizations involved will submit names of appointees no later than Feb. 5.
Once formed, the task force will consider law enforcement's role in the advancement of public safety along with personal protections guaranteed to all citizens by the U.S. Constitution.
According to the order, the task force will convene "as often as necessary" to examine the search warrant process, solicit public input, and develop recommendations. All meetings will be accessible to the general public, consistent with COVID-19 health guidelines.
The task force is expected to conclude its work no later than Dec. 31, 2021. The first meeting of the task force will be set in the coming weeks..