The ‘Justice for Breonna Taylor Act’ and ending ‘no-knock’ raids is a good start to finding common ground with folks who are otherwise assholes.
By David Icke Turner
Oddly enough, Texas Senator Rand Paul might be an ally in the movement against police violence. But only in that. Paul comes from a quintessentially Texan line of Libertarian-Right, Red-Dirt honkies. Son of former Senator and perennial Presidential candidate Ron Paul, the anomalies of him and his father’s ideology have often been serendipitously congruent with otherwise leftist sentiments. Other than an antipathy towards gay rights and a desire to dismantle just about every federal agency, self-styled ‘progressives’ and ‘radicals’ have much to agree with him on. He has consistently opposed just about every foreign adventure, opposes extra-judicial killings, supports marijuana legalization, and has fought against the militarization of police forces. He has pulled a rare Super Mario move in politics– he has basically gone so far down the right-wing warp pipe that he has come out on the opposite side of the screen. Sometimes his votes put him in alone in a corner with Bernie Sanders. In July 2017, Sen. Paul voted against the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act that put additional sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. 98 senators voted for the law and Senator Bernie Sanders was the only other one to oppose. Part of me wants to give the guy a hug and the other part wants to smack him around. What do we do with ‘sometimes-allies’ like this?
They say politics makes strange bedfellows. And if you wake up next to Sen. Rand Paul, you may want to ask yourself ‘what the fuck just happened?’
Yesterday, Sen. Paul introduced a bill to the House that would prohibit federal and local law enforcement from entering homes without warning through what is colloquially referred to as a “no-knock” warrant. According to the bill, law enforcement agencies which refuse this policy would lose much needed federal funds. The officers that shot Louisville resident Breonna Taylor in her home on March 13 were performing a ‘no-knock’ raid.
Around 20,000 of these raids are done every year in the U.S.
According to the Louisville Courier Journal, the cops who entered Taylor’s home were ‘investigating’ two men believed to be selling drugs out of another house some distance away. A battering ram was used to break down the door door. Then they shot Taylor eight times following her boyfriend’s self-defense shots at officers.
It goes without saying, if cops break into people’s homes without so much as an announcement they are bound to be mistaken for an intruder and get shot. Naturally, it is a recipe for disaster and Rand Paul seems to get it.
The Justice for Breonna Taylor Act bars law enforcement officers from executing a warrant “until after the officer provides notice of his or her authority and purpose.”
“After talking with Breonna Taylor’s family, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s long past time to get rid of no-knock warrants. This bill will effectively end no-knock raids in the United States,” Senator Paul said.
With political, racial, and economic divisions reaching dangerous levels, a little bi-partisan consensus goes a long way. The ‘no-knock’ raid is emblematic of the unspoken, shared common ground between ‘the left’ and constitutionalist, conservative types: opposition to state violence. Both share a qualified distrust of the federal and local law enforcement for albeit different reasons. It is also possible that the events of the law two weeks have moved the left further away from a stance of rigid opposition to the Second Amendment. A few months ago, leftist circles were declaring the founders intentions regarding the 2nd Amendment as purely towards ‘well regulated militia.’ Suddenly, after 10 days of horrific abuse by riot police onto crowds, those same people are calling for arming marginalized communities. Again, how do we reconcile supporting a bill we agree with that is introduced by a Senator we vehemently oppose on other issues? It seems like right now is no time for purity tests. With people shot in their own beds by officers without so much as a warning, getting rid of ‘no-knock’ raids is urgent. This is well beyond performative factionalism. Let’s move the needle with people we usually disagree with and leave the ‘us versus them’ for the culture warriors. Our disagreements will be right there waiting for us when we are done.