Family of Kentucky woman is suing Louisville Metro Police Department launched botched raid on home of Breonna Taylor, 26, in March
Cops got warrant to conduct botched raid that led to fatal shooting of sleeping black EMT by ‘giving a judge false information that dealers were using the house to stash cash and drugs’
Officers executed ‘no-knock’ raid on her home just before 1am on March 13, Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker
Walker, who was licensed to carry gun, shot at cops, thinking they were burglars and one of the three officers who raided the home was hit in the leg
Cops then returned fire, shooting at 25 rounds, killing Taylor who was shot at least 8 times
Kenneth Walker was arrested and charged with attempted murder, but his attorney argues it was self-defense
Raid was launched based on search warrant that was approved by a judge that cited detective claim that drug dealer used home to receive packages
The suspect in the case, Jamarcus Glover, lived 10 miles away, a postal inspector said that no suspicious packages were ever sent to home and the LMPD made no inquiries
Police claimed that Taylor’s home was used by a suspected drug dealer, Jamarcus Glover [photo], to receive suspicious packages. The suspect lived 10 miles away from Taylor. The postal dept insist they never delivered suspicious packages to Taylor’s address. Police never inquired from them, either
Breonna Taylor was shot eight times on March 13 by officers of Louisville PD. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has called for an outside review into the killing of Taylor, the black EMT slain by police during a botched drug raid two months ago which has sparked national outrage.
Police suspected Taylor’s home was used to receive drugs, and a judge signed off on a ‘no-knock’ warrant allowing law enforcement officials to raid her home.
Just before 1am, Louisville police said they identified themselves before using a battering ram to enter Taylor’s home, where she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were in bed.
Taylor’s neighbors and her family dispute this.
Police never identified themselves and Walker, who was legally allowed to carry a firearm, shot at the cops thinking that he was being robbed, they said.
Police responded with gunfire, killing Taylor, who suffered eight gunshot wounds. A member of the raiding party, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, was hit in the leg.
Walker was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer after Sgt. Mattingly was injury the raid.
Mattingly, Officer Brett Hankison, and Officer Myles Cosgrove were the three detectives who raided Taylor’s home.
All three officers are named as defendants in the lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family.
Taylor had no criminal record and worked for two local hospitals. The lawsuit alleges that police fired at least 20 rounds into the home.
The warrant which was approved by a judge the day before Taylor died was based on a detective’s belief that one of the drug suspects in Russell, Jamarcus Glover, used Taylor’s residence to receive mail, keep drugs, or stash money from the sale of drugs.
Glover was arrested in a separate raid that same night more than 10 miles away from Taylor’s home.
A Louisville detective wrote in an affidavit that he saw Glover leave Taylor’s apartment two months before the raid with a United States Postal Service package which he then transported to a ‘known drug house,’ according to the Courier Journal.
The three officers in the case – [L-R], Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly stands next to Officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove – The three officers have been placed on administrative leave, but no one has been charged
The detective wrote that he verified the information ‘through a US Postal Inspector.’
But the inspector, Tony Gooden, told WDRB-TV that he was never asked by the Louisville Metro Police about any suspicious packages being sent to Taylor’s apartment.
Gooden said a different law enforcement agency asked his office in January to investigate whether any suspicious mail was going to Taylor’s resident.
After looking into the request, Gooden said his office found there was nothing suspicious linked to Taylor’s home.
‘There’s no packages of interest going there,’ Gooden said.
Benjamin Crump, a Florida-based lawyer who specializes in high-profile cases involving police shootings of African Americans, said that Gooden’s statement ‘directly contradicts what the police stated in the affidavit to secure a no-knock warrant for her home.’
‘Gooden further stated that “no packages of interest were going there”,’ Crump said.
Crump who is now part of a team of lawyers representing Taylor’s family added ‘We will continue to demand transparency from the Louisville police on behalf of Breonna’s family.’
Supporters of the practice say that it prevents suspects from destroying evidence during the time that authorities use to identify themselves, but opponents say that it poses various dangers.
No-knock raids have resulted in officers being shot because residents who are legally permitted to carry firearms believed they were being burglarized.
Houston police stopped the practice of no-knock raids last year after two civilians were killed and four officers were shot during a drug raid that was launched based on faulty information.
Several states, including Kentucky, have ‘stand your ground’ laws that allow the use of lethal force in case they fell victim to crimes such as assault, rape, and burglary.
The death of the 26-year-old emergency medical technician sparked a national uproar and calls for federal intervention.
Louisville officials have now asked the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI to review the police department’s internal investigation of the killing of Taylor.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad announced their request for additional federal help on Thursday. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear also called for an outside review into the killing of Taylor. The results would be forwarded along with the findings of the police integrity unit to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron,, they said.
‘My priority is always that the truth comes out,’ the mayor said. ‘We can be transparent with the people of our city. And we can and we must also talk about the relationship between our police and our communities of color: past, present and future.’
Changing tides: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (left) and Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad announced their request for additional federal help on Thursday. They said the results would be forwarded to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
Wine also asked state officials to appoint a special prosecutor for the case on Wednesday to avoid a conflict of interest since he is prosecuting Taylor’s boyfriend, Walker, for the shooting of the officer.
Taylor’s family has hired Crump, the prominent civil rights lawyer who also represents the family of Ahmaud Arbery, the black jogger who was shot dead in Georgia in February. On Wednesday Crump called Taylor’s death an execution.
‘You can’t walk while black. With Ahmaud, you can’t jog while black. Driving while black. But Breonna Taylor was sleeping while black in the sanctity of her own home,’ Crump said during a news conference.
A lawyer for Walker said he fired in self-defense because the officers did not announce themselves, a point disputed by Louisville police.
‘One reason the news of this case hits people so hard is because it reopens old wounds – the history of racism and the mistreatment of people of color in our community,’ said Fischer.
She ‘had posed no threat to the officers and did nothing to deserve to die at their hands’, the lawsuit says. ‘More than 25 bullets hit objects in the home’s living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, hallway, both bedrooms in Taylor and Walker’s apartment and into the adjacent home, where a five-year-old child and pregnant mother lived,’ the lawsuit states.
An online petition called #StandWithBre seeking to arrest and charge the police officers involved in the shooting, terminate them, and pursue charges has gained over 171,000 signatures.
Mayor Fischer said in a statement Tuesday: ‘Police work can involve incredibly difficult situations. Additionally, residents have rights. These two concepts will and must be weighed by our justice system as the case proceeds.’