On Sunday (July 5), Breonna Taylor’s family filed a new lawsuit in Jefferson Circuit Court that alleges the search warrant that led to her death was part of a plan to clear out a block of residents and make way for a multi-million dollar redevelopment. To speed up the area’s gentrification, the Place-Based Investigations police squad “deliberately misled” narcotics detectives to search a home on Taylor’s street under the impression that the area housed extremely dangerous criminals and drug rings, lawyers now claim.
“The execution of this search warrant robbed Breonna of her life and Tamika Palmer of her daughter,” attorney Benjamin Crump told The Courier of the new suit. “Its execution exhibited outrageous recklessness and willful, wanton, unprecedented and unlawful conduct.”
The suit further states that the drug investigation was designed to target a “primary roadblock” to the new development, Jamarcus Glover — Taylor’s ex-boyfriend.
In the affidavit used to obtain the No Knock Search Warrant for Taylor’s house, Detective Joshua Jaynes claimed that he had seen Glover leave Taylor’s home in January with a USPS package before taking the package to a “known drug house.” He also wrote that a US postal inspector had confirmed to him that Glover had been receiving suspicious packages at Taylor’s house.
However, after Taylor’s death, a Louisville postal inspector told WDRB News that Jaynes never asked inspectors to verify whether or not Glover was receiving packages at Taylor’s house. Furthermore, postal inspectors had already looked into the claim — at the request of a different agency — and determined that he wasn’t.
Jaynes is currently on administrative reassignment, following an investigation into how he obtained the search warrant using this allegedly false information. The new lawsuit brought forth by Taylor’s family’s lawyers connects the search warrant to the redevelopment plan.
“Breonna’s home should never have had police there in the first place. When the layers are peeled back, the origin of Breonna’s home being raided by police starts with a political need to clear out a street for a large real estate development project and finishes with a newly formed, rogue police unit violating all levels of policy, protocol and policing standards,” the lawsuit reads. “Breonna’s death was the culmination of radical political and police conduct.”
“The reality was that the occupants were not anywhere close to Louisville’s versions of Pablo Escobar or Scarface,” the complaint continues. “And they were not violent criminals. They were simply a setback to a large real estate development deal and thus the issue needed to be cleaned up.”
According to The Courier, a spokesperson for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has called the allegations “outrageous” and “without foundation or supporting facts.”
“They are insulting to the neighborhood members of the Vision Russell initiative and all the people involved in the years of work being done to revitalize the neighborhoods of west Louisville,” Deputy Director of Communications for the mayor’s office Jean Porter said in a statement. “The mayor is absolutely committed to that work, as evidenced by the city’s work to support $1 billion in capital projects there over the past few years, including a new YMCA, the city’s foundational $10 million grant to the Louisville Urban League’s Sports and Learning Complex, the Cedar Street housing development, new businesses, down payment home ownership assistance and of course, the remaking of the large Beecher Terrace initiative.”
So far, one officer involved in Taylor’s death has been fired from the police department.