Nearly three years after 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police while asleep in her apartment, the Department of Justice has revealed shocking information about those involved. Today (March 8), the DOJ released a report that stated the Louisville Metro Police Department frequently used “an aggressive style of policing” against Black people and vulnerable individuals throughout the city, according to CNN.
“LMPD cites people for minor offenses, like wide turns and broken taillights, while serious crimes like sexual assault and homicide go unsolved,” the report mentioned. “Some officers demonstrate disrespect for the people they are sworn to protect. Some officers have videotaped themselves throwing drinks at pedestrians from their cars; insulted people with disabilities; and called Black people ‘monkeys,’ ‘animal,’ and ‘boy.'”
During their investigation, the DOJ found that along with using senseless tactics such as “unjustified neck restraints, police dogs and tasers,” Louisville law enforcement also executed search warrants without proper protocol. “This conduct is unacceptable,” Merrick Garland, attorney general, said at a Wednesday news conference. “It is heartbreaking. It erodes the community trust necessary for effective policing. It is an [insult] to the vast majority of officers who put their lives on the line [daily] to serve Louisville with honor. And it is an [insult] to the people of Louisville who deserve better.”
The DOJ‘s investigation was launched after a failed raid resulted in Taylor’s death. On the night of March 13, 2020, officers forced their way into Taylor’s apartment, believing that her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who was at the center of a drug investigation, was using Taylor’s place to receive packages. Walker mistook their entry as a home invasion and fired shots at police. Louisville police returned fire, fatally shooting Taylor. “But Louisville Metro’s and LMPD’s unlawful conduct did not start in 2020,” the report continued. “As an LMPD leader told us shortly after we opened this investigation, ‘Breonna Taylor was a symptom of problems that we have had for years.'”
In August 2022, two years after the horrific ordeal, former cop Kelly Hanna Goodlett admitted to falsifying records that led to the 26-year-old’s passing. She and three other officers were arrested by the FBI and charged with violating Taylor’s civil rights by submitting a false affidavit to search her home. March of that year, ex-Louisville policeman Brett Hankison, one of the three cops who fired shots into the aspiring nurse’s apartment, was found not guilty on three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting in her home and possibly endangering her neighbors. In December 2022, Taylor’s boyfriend, Walker, was awarded a $2 million settlement from two lawsuits he filed against the city of Louisville for the careless raid. “He will live with the effects of being put in harm’s way due to a falsified warrant, being a victim of a hailstorm of gunfire, and suffering the unimaginable and horrific death of Breonna Taylor,” Steve Romines, one of his attorneys, said.
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