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Victims of LMPD 'no-knock' warrant say they tried to change law months before Breonna Taylor's death

Mario Daugherty and Ashlea Burr had filed a lawsuit against LMPD just months before Breonna Taylor's death after a no-knock drug raid.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville family that fell victim to the controversial 'no-knock' warrant is speaking out after their close to death experience almost two years before the deadly police shooting of Breonna Taylor.

Mario Daugherty and Ashlea Burr had filed a lawsuit against LMPD just months before Taylor's death in efforts to change the law.

Police body camera footage shows LMPD SWAT officers broke into the couple's home on West Chestnut Street on the morning of October 26, 2018.

The video shows the couple and their three children, who were under the age of 16 at the time, being held at gunpoint during the raid.

RELATED: 'They sprayed gunfire with total disregard for the value of human life': Breonna Taylor's pregnant neighbor to sue LMPD officers

"They were very lucky that someone did not get shot and killed," their attorney, Josh Rose said. “You saw what happened with Breonna Taylor – things can turn out badly. A lot of law-abiding citizens have guns in their homes and when people bust in unannounced, gunfire results.”

The family filed a lawsuit in October 2019 highlighting the dangers this kind of warrant created.

"It was just so loud and it just caught everybody off guard nobody knew what was really going on," Daugherty said. "I thought I was actually ready to be killed that day."

Rose said 17 SWAT officers burst in because a detective smelled marijuana coming from the family's home.

"By the time I came through, [Daugherty] was on the floor and I had some kids screaming on the steps and it was just chaos," Burr said. 

Rose said the drug raid lasted about 20 minutes. No one was charged. 

The couple says when they heard about Breonna Taylor's death, they couldn't help but see themselves in her story.

"It was more hurt you know it was like pain because the main thing we wanted out of it was for them to change the law," Daugherty said. "Now they got Breonna's law, but we really wished that we could've made a change before the Breonna incident even really occurred."

The night Breonna Taylor was shot and killed during a no-knock drug raid, her boyfriend Kenneth Walker has said he shot at police in self-defense.

"The worst part of the whole experience is not being able to feel safe in your home and to be able to protect your kids in your home," Burr said. 

Ashlea Burr said since the incident, their three kids are terrified of police officers. 

"It's like when you go in your home and you lock your door, you should be able to feel safe and you should be able to let your kids know that they're safe and nothings going to happen to them in your home."

The city has filed a motion in this case to dismiss the lawsuit.  

"That's unfortunate we would like the city to acknowledge that there's a problem, there's an issue with the way these search warrants are issued and enforced," Rose said. "It’s a recipe for disaster."

LMPD did not get back to WHAS11 for comment.

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