Georgia House of Representatives

09/25/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/25/2020 07:14

Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas Stands in Solidarity with Breonna Taylor’s Family, Works to End No-Knock Warrants

ATLANTA - State Representative 'Able' Mable Thomas (D-Atlanta) stands in solidarity with Breonna Taylor's family's call for peaceful protests throughout the country, and she continues to work to end the issuance of no-knock warrants in the state. During the 2020 legislative session, Rep. Thomas co-sponsored House Bill 1209, which would prohibit warrants with no-knock provisions.

'It is time for the Georgia House of Representatives to pass legislation to address the dangerous, and sometimes deadly, use of no-knock warrants,' said Rep. Thomas. 'I strongly believe that neither Breonna Taylor nor Kathryn Johnson, who was my constituent, deserved to die at the hands of state and police misconduct. It is time to demand justice for Breonna Taylor as we did for Katheryn Johnston. The state of Georgia needs to follow Atlanta City Council's lead on this issue and pass House Bill 1209 to repeal the deadly no-knock warrant process.'

House Bill 1209 would prohibit the use of a search warrant that contains a no-knock provision, which authorizes the executing officer to enter without giving audible or verbal notice of such officer's presence, authority and purpose.

Additionally, Rep. Thomas led the community response to the death of Kathryn Johnston, who died at 92-years-old when Atlanta police officers returned fire in her home on November 21, 2006. Three officers ultimately pled guilty to conspiring to violate the civil rights of Katheryn Johnston, resulting in her death. The officers also pled guilty to state charges of voluntary manslaughter and making false statements. As a result of the Johnston case, the Atlanta Police Red Dog unit was abolished, the DC 6-disorderly conduct law was overturned, and the Citizen Police Review Board was reinstated by Atlanta City Council. Kathryn Johnston's family also received a $4.9 million settlement.

In 2019, the City of Atlanta, along with green activists and neighbors, opened the Kathryn Johnston Memorial Park on Proctor Street in the English Avenue/Vine City neighborhood. The park was established to recognize tragic death of Johnston, create a neighborhood recreational site and implement green water mitigation, which was brought to the table by Rep. Thomas and Tony Torrence, who is a community organizer.

For more information on House Bill 1209, please click here.

Representative 'Able' Mable Thomas represents the citizens on District 56, which includes portions of Fulton County. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1985 and again in 2002 and in 2012. She currently serves on the Economic Development & Tourism, Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment, Natural Resources & Environment and Science and Technology committees.