Kentucky

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated March 5, 2020

You can contact Governor Beshear using the updated information listed here.

Phone: 502-564-2611
Email: use the link below

Summary

Key:

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Legislation Achieved

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Some Progress

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No Progress

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants. Locally, Louisville has passed "Breonna's Law" and banned no-knock warrants.

Pending Legislation: HB 21, introduced in January 2021, institutes multiple police accountability measures including banning no-knock warrants.

1033 purchases

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments.

Pending Legislation: HB 244, introduced in January 2021, prohibits the purchase of drones, grenades, silencers, and militarized armed vehicles. It also requires that law enforcement agencies publish a notice of any request to purchase surplus military equipment.

Military style training

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law refocusing training away from self-defense responses and towards community centered training like that offered by Blue Courage.

SWAT data

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law ending civil asset forfeiture. More than twice as many agencies disclosed how much cash and property they seized in 2018 than in 2016, but the state continues to retain up to 100% of seizure profits.

Quotas

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law ending quotas for low-level arrests.

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law decriminalizing minor offenses that do not threaten public safety such as spitting and loitering.

Objective justification for stops

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description).

Reporting stop details

Some Progress:

The Kentucky State Police release an annual Crime Report, with crimes broken down by age, gender, and race. However, the report does not address the intersections of those categories (i.e. white male vs black male).

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.

Independent investigation

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct. In the case of Breonna Taylor, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) asked the Attorney General to serve as an independent prosecutor, but the process of assigning a prosecutor outside of the local jurisdiction is not institutionalized.

Qualified immunity

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity. The case involving the shooting of Breonna Taylor was initially thrown out of court because the officers actions were protected by qualified immunity.

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

No Progress:

Kentucky has not yet enacted a law creating and funding a mental health task force available to respond to crisis calls (in lieu of police). Several departments across the state have partnered with Crisis Intervention Teams to encourage mental health training and discourage sending mentally ill individuals to jail. Locally, as part of the Breonna Taylor settlement, Louisville committed to integrate social workers to support and assist officers on dispatch runs.

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

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