Skip to Main Content

No-Knock Warrants

Renee Shaw talks with her guests about no-knock warrants and proposed legislation that would restrict their use. Guests: Sen. Robert Stivers (R-Manchester), President of the Kentucky Senate; Rep. Attica Scott (D-Louisville); Ryan Straw, governmental affairs director of the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police; and Jecorey Arthur, activist and Councilman of Louisville Metro District 4.
Season 28 Episode 8 Length 56:33 Premiere: 03/15/21


Kentucky Tonight

KET’s Kentucky Tonight, hosted by Renee Shaw, brings together an expert panel for in-depth analysis on major issues facing the Commonwealth.

This weekly program features comprehensive discussions with lawmakers, stakeholders and policy leaders that are moderated by award-winning journalist Renee Shaw. Often aired live, viewers are encouraged to participate by submitting questions real-time via email, Twitter or KET’s online form.
For nearly three decades, Kentucky Tonight has been a source for complete and balanced coverage of the most urgent and important public affairs developments in the state of Kentucky.

Viewers with questions and comments may send e-mail to or use the contact form. All messages should include first and last name and town or county. The phone number for viewer calls during the program is 1-800-494-7605.

After broadcast, Kentucky Tonight programs are available on and via podcast (iTunes or Android). Files are normally accessible within 24 hours after the television broadcast.

Kentucky Tonight was awarded a 1997 regional Emmy by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The series was also honored with a 1995 regional Emmy nomination.

To purchase a DVD:
Call 1-800-945-9167 or e-mail


KET Mondays • 8/7 pm


Watch on KET’s website anytime or through the PBS Video App.


The Kentucky Tonight podcast features each episode’s audio for listening.

Renee Shaw is Moderator and Director of Public Affairs for Kentucky Educational Television, currently serving as host of KET’s Kentucky Tonight, Connections, election coverage, Legislative Update and KET Forums.

Since joining KET in 1997, Shaw has produced numerous KET public affairs series and specials, including KET’s nationally recognized legislative coverage. Under her leadership, KET has expanded its portfolio of public affairs content to include Kentucky Supreme Court coverage, town hall-style forums, and multi-platform program initiatives around issues such as opioid addiction and youth mental health.  

As an award-winning journalist, Shaw has earned top awards from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, earning two regional Emmy awards, and an award from the Kentucky Associated Press for political coverage of the state legislature. She was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2017. She has been honored by the AKA Beta Gamma Omega Chapter with a Coretta Scott King Spirit of Ivy Award; earned the state media award from the Kentucky Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 2019; named a Charles W. Anderson Laureate by the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet in 2019 honoring her significant contributions in addressing socio-economic issues; earned the Anthony Lewis Media Award from the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy for her work on criminal justice reform in 2014; and, in 2015, received the Green Dot Award for her coverage of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.  

In 2018, KET earned a national media award from Mental Health America for its multi-dimensional content on the opioid epidemic shepherded by Shaw. That same year, she co-produced and moderated a six-part series on youth mental health that was awarded first place in educational content by NETA, the National Educational Telecommunications Association. In 2019, Shaw was recognized by The Kentucky Gazette as one of the 50 most notable women in Kentucky politics and government. In addition, Renee was awarded the Charles W. Anderson Laureate Award by the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in addressing socio-economic issues.

Host Renee Shaw smiling in a green dress with a KET set behind her.

Competing Bills in General Assembly Address a Controversial Law Enforcement Practice

In the last days of the 2021 Kentucky General Assembly session, the fate of a Senate bill to limit no-knock search and arrest warrants could hinge on floor amendments pending in the House of Representatives.

The warrants in which law enforcement are not required to knock and announce themselves came to public attention last March when Louisville Metro Police officers shot and killed Breonna Taylor as they forcibly entered her apartment to execute a search warrant in a drug case involving her ex-boyfriend.

Taylor’s death in the late-night incident sparked weeks of protest in Louisville and around the nation last summer. The 26-year-old EMT was Black, and the officers involved are white. In June the Louisville Metro Council unanimously voted to ban no-knock warrants. Breonna’s Law also requires police serving warrants to wear body cameras and to activate them prior to executing a warrant.

Activists have since called for a statewide ban on no-knock warrants, following the lead of Florida, Oregon, and Virginia, which already prohibit their use. Two bills currently before the Kentucky legislature seek to address the issue: Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) and House Bill 21, sponsored by Rep. Attica Scott (D-Louisville).

While HB 21 calls for a complete ban on the practice, SB 4 seeks to limit it. Stivers says his measure establishes specific criteria by which a no-knock warrant can be attained, and restricts their use to between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., when most people would normally be awake. It also requires officers serving them to be specially trained, and to wear and operate their body cameras.

“It is probably one of the most significant and dangerous types of events that police officers can be involved in,” says Stivers. “Therefore it is dangerous to the suspects, or inhabitants, or innocent bystanders because of the nature and circumstance of entering in to someone’s residence without first announcing who you are.”

Under SB 4, no-knock warrants could only be issued for life-threatening situations, such as a hostage crisis or a terroristic threat involving weapons of mass destruction or biological weapons. They could not be used for drug-related crimes, as was the case in the Breonna Taylor shooting.

“It has to be a very extreme situation,” says Stivers. “I think most people when they think through actual happenings would understand why there would be very limited situations that you would have both no-knock search warrants and no-knock arrest warrants.”

In contrast to SB 4, HB 21 would require officers serving any warrant to knock, announce themselves, and wait at least 10 seconds before entering the premises.

“The Fourth Amendment [of the U.S. Constitution] is supposed to protect us from unreasonable searches and seizures,” says Scott. “We aren’t experiencing that with no-knock warrants. They are unreasonable, and so that’s why we have to ban them across the commonwealth of Kentucky in order to keep people safe.”

The House bill also requires officers to wear and activate body cameras when serving warrants, calls for mandatory drug and alcohol testing of officers involved in the use of deadly force, and expands the scope of actions that can be taken against an officer who violates the provisions.

Scott says banning no-knock warrants is critical to addressing trauma that individuals of color have experienced at the hands of law enforcement.

“The war on drugs effectively has destroyed Black communities and Black neighborhoods, and that’s where these no-knock warrants come from,” says Scott. “While the intention may have been to address low-level offenses, that is not what these no-knock warrants do today.”

Louisville Metro Councilman Jecorey Arthur says that it is hypocritical to allow no-knock warrants in a state where more than half of residents own guns and can use them to defend their home from a suspected intruder. He contends issuing a statewide ban on no-knock warrants is the minimum that lawmakers can do.

“This is a very dangerous game that we’re playing with having sometimes you can perform no-knock warrants, sometimes you can’t,” says Arthur. “We have to realize that civilians and also officers have been killed during these.”

House Members Propose Floor Amendments to Senate Bill

While Scott’s HB 21 stalled in a House committee, SB 4 gained unanimous passage by the Senate in late February. But in the House last week, representatives sought to add several floor amendments that could hinder final passage of SB 4.

House Floor Amendment 2 from Rep. John Blanton (R-Salyersville), who is a retired Kentucky State Police officer, would expand the hours that a no-knock warrant could be served until midnight. It also would allow any officers to serve the warrants if specially trained officers are not available.

Ryan Straw, governmental affairs director of the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police, says this amendment gives much needed flexibility to law enforcement in rural areas who may not have SWAT-trained officers on staff or who need extra time to allow outside backup to arrive.

“If we have to have the state police, which serve the majority of those [warrants] out in the rural parts, we’re not sure if they can make it in those times,” says Straw.

Straw adds that the FOP is open to amending no-knock warrant policies as long as the changes don’t hinder law enforcement from doing their jobs.

Another floor amendment to SB 4, this one Perry County Republican Rep. Chris Fugate, who is also a former state policeman, would allow no-knock warrants to be used for certain drug-related felony investigations.

Scott calls House Floor Amendment 3 a “deal-breaker” and the antithesis of what criminal justice reform activists are seeking.

“It basically says what happened to [Breonna Taylor] was justified,” says Scott. “I cannot support that amendment.”

A final floor amendment to SB 4 would require officers serving warrants to be clearly identifiable as law enforcement, and would require emergency medical personnel to be present during the execution of a no-knock warrant. Bowling Green Democrat Rep. Patti Minter’s proposed amendment would also allow no-knock warrants to be used in cases involving sexual offenses or serious physical injury.

Scott says she’s uncertain whether she can support SB 4 when it comes to a House vote, depending on what happens with the various floor amendments. Plus there’s no guarantee the Senate would concur with a House-amended version of SB 4 should it clear the lower chamber.

Lawmakers have limited time to complete their work before the session ends at midnight on March 30. Stivers says legislators should continue to discuss the bill to make sure everyone is comfortable with it, even if that means waiting until the last minute to give it final passage. That would mean Gov. Andy Beshear could veto the measure and lawmakers would have no chance to override. it. But Stivers doesn’t believe that will be a problem.

“If there’s uniformity in belief that this is a fair bill and it happens to come out on day 29 or 30 [of the session], I think the governor would probably sign it,” says Stivers.

Bills on Riot-Related Offenses and Police Misconduct

Two other high-profile law enforcement-related measures await final passage by the General Assembly.

Sen. Danny Carroll’s Senate Bill 80 would make it easier to decertify police officers for misconduct, and make it harder for those accused of inappropriate behavior to simply leave their job and find work with another police department.

As of now, a misconduct investigation of a police officer ceases if that officer retires or resigns, according to Stivers. He says an officer could simply move to another agency and avoid any ramifications of his or her inappropriate actions. He says SB 80 would end that practice.

“Other agencies need to know what their conduct was and why they left,” says Stivers. “We do not need to be certifying officers to go into other policing agencies if they have violated various codes of conduct.”

Carroll, a Republican who served for two decades as policeman in Paducah, is also the sponsor of Senate Bill 211, which would make it a crime to taunt or insult a police officer. It also increases the penalties for crimes committed in or near a riot or public disturbance.

Straw says the FOP supports both measures. As someone who worked as a police chaplain during the demonstrations in Louisville over Breonna Taylor’s death, he says there is a significant difference between rioters and protestors. He says police need the ability to intervene with people who seek to elicit a physical response from law enforcement.

“Part of [Senate Bill] 211 that benefits the police is being able to remove a person or persons from that situation so that if people are peacefully protesting they don’t take away from that protest because we very much believe that that is a cornerstone of our democracy,” says Straw.

Arthur calls SB 211 “silly” and “outright unconstitutional.”

“It sends a statement that some of our law enforcement, some of the people across this commonwealth care more about white feelings than Black killings,” says Arthur.

Stivers says Carroll bears no ill will towards protestors, he simply sees the issue through the lens of a law enforcement veteran who wants to protect police, public safety, and private property. Stivers says SB 211 would apply just as strongly to individuals who protested COVID-19 restrictions at the state capitol and governor’s mansion last year as it would to Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

But Scott sees 211 as a “direct attack” on those seeking racial justice.

“Our entire society is set up to the benefit of law enforcement: They have an entire bill of rights in Kentucky, they have qualified immunity, there is very little accountability,” says Scott. “When do police get held accountable for their actions? Why are we as Black people always under attack because we speak up for our rights and because we are marching for justice?”

SB 211 passed the Senate 22-11 and awaits action by the House. SB 80 on police misconduct cleared the Senate 28-0. It passed the House 91-0, but with a floor amendment. It awaits concurrence by the Senate.

Sponsored by:

The show hosts and the show logo.The show hosts and the show logo.

Season 28 Episodes

City and County Issues

S28 E38 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 12/13/21

Compensating College Athletes: Name, Image and Likeness

S28 E36 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 11/22/21

Trends in State and National Politics

S28 E35 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 11/15/21

Abortion Rights and Restrictions

S28 E34 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 11/08/21

Kentucky's Social Services System

S28 E33 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 11/01/21

School Choice in the Commonwealth

S28 E32 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 10/25/21

Historical Horse Racing: A Growing Pastime in Kentucky

S28 E31 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 10/11/21

New Developments and the Unknowns of COVID-19

S28 E30 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 10/04/21

COVID and the Classroom

S28 E29 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 09/27/21

Remembering 9/11, 20 Years Later

S28 E28 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 09/13/21

Kentucky's Response to COVID-19

S28 E27 Length 56:35 Premiere Date 08/30/21

Discussing the Surge of COVID-19 Cases in Kentucky

S28 E26 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 08/23/21

Fancy Farm Preview and State Politics

S28 E25 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 08/02/21

Back-To-School Issues in Kentucky

S28 E24 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 07/26/21

Childcare Challenges

S28 E23 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 07/19/21

The Urban-Rural Divide in Kentucky

S28 E22 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 07/12/21

Work Shifts: Kentucky's Labor Shortage and Hiring Challenges

S28 E21 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 06/28/21

Public Infrastructure: What Kentucky Needs

S28 E19 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 06/21/21

Debating Critical Race Theory

S28 E18 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 06/14/21

Kentucky's Rebound From COVID-19

S28 E17 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 06/07/21

Jobs and the Economy

S28 E16 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 05/17/21

The Future of Policing in America

S28 E15 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 05/10/21

President Biden's First 100 Days

S28 E14 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 05/03/21

Mass Shootings and Gun Laws

S28 E13 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 04/26/21

Voting Rights and Election Laws

S28 E12 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 04/20/21

The 2021 General Assembly: Debating Major Legislation

S28 E11 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 04/12/21

Wrapping Up the 2021 General Assembly

S28 E10 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 03/29/21

School Choice in Kentucky

S28 E9 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 03/22/21

No-Knock Warrants

S28 E8 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 03/15/21

Debating Legislative Priorities in the 2021 General Assembly

S28 E7 Length 56:35 Premiere Date 03/08/21

Proposed Legislation to Modify Kentucky Teachers' Pensions

S28 E6 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 02/22/21

Debating Historical Horse Racing Legislation

S28 E5 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 02/08/21

New Lawmakers in the 2021 Kentucky General Assembly

S28 E4 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 02/01/21

A Nation Divided

S28 E3 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 01/18/21

Recapping the Start of the 2021 General Assembly

S28 E2 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 01/11/21

Previewing the 2021 General Assembly

S28 E1 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 01/04/21

See All Episodes

caret down

TV Schedules

Jump to Recent Airdates


2024 Legislative Session Preview - S30 E33

Renee Shaw hosts a 2024 legislative session preview. Scheduled guests: State Representative Chad Aull (D-Lexington); State Representative Stephanie Dietz (R-Edgewood); State Senator Cassie Chambers Armstrong (D-Louisville); and State Senator Amanda Mays Bledsoe (R- Lexington). A 2023 KET production.

  • Wednesday December 6, 2023 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 6, 2023 5:00 pm CT on KETKY

Kentucky Tonight - S30 E34

  • Monday December 18, 2023 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday December 18, 2023 7:00 pm CT on KET
  • Tuesday December 19, 2023 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 19, 2023 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 19, 2023 2:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 19, 2023 1:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 19, 2023 11:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 19, 2023 10:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 20, 2023 2:00 am ET on KET
  • Wednesday December 20, 2023 1:00 am CT on KET
  • Wednesday December 20, 2023 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 20, 2023 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
Jump to Upcoming Airdates


2024 Legislative Session Preview - S30 E33

  • Wednesday December 6, 2023 1:00 am ET on KET
  • Wednesday December 6, 2023 12:00 am CT on KET
  • Tuesday December 5, 2023 11:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 5, 2023 10:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 5, 2023 2:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 5, 2023 1:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 5, 2023 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 5, 2023 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday December 4, 2023 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday December 4, 2023 7:00 pm CT on KET

2024 Legislative Preview - S30 E32

  • Wednesday November 22, 2023 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 22, 2023 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday November 22, 2023 1:36 am ET on KET
  • Wednesday November 22, 2023 12:36 am CT on KET
  • Tuesday November 21, 2023 11:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 21, 2023 10:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 21, 2023 2:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 21, 2023 1:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 21, 2023 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 21, 2023 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday November 20, 2023 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday November 20, 2023 7:00 pm CT on KET

2023 Election - S30 E31

  • Tuesday November 7, 2023 2:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 7, 2023 1:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 7, 2023 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday November 7, 2023 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday November 6, 2023 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday November 6, 2023 7:00 pm CT on KET


Explore KET