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Crime 'Get your damn story straight': What we know about Louisville woman Breonna Taylor's death

17:25  12 october  2020
17:25  12 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

If you think Breonna Taylor's family got too much, how much is your daughter worth?

  If you think Breonna Taylor's family got too much, how much is your daughter worth? As soon as the settlement was announced, people on social media came out of the woodwork to attack Breonna Taylor's mother.It didn't take long after Mayor Greg Fischer announced Louisville has agreed to pay the family of Breonna Taylor $12 million to settle the family's lawsuit against the city for the attacks to start.

' Get your damn story straight ': What we know about Louisville woman Breonna Taylor ' s death . — Criticism of Louisville police is mounting as national attention turns to the March shooting death of Breonna Taylor , a 26-year-old EMT who was killed by officers in her own home.

The death of Breonna Taylor , a Black medical worker who was shot and killed “I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night,” Sgt. “ Breonna was a woman who was figuring everything out in her life, who had turned a corner,” said Sam Aguiar, a lawyer representing Ms. Taylor ’ s family.

Update on Oct. 12, 2020: Breonna Taylor’s occupation was updated to include she was an emergency room technician.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Criticism of Louisville police is mounting as national attention turns to the March shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician who was killed by  officers in her own home.

a group of people posing for a photo: Photos of Breonna Taylor were displayed during a vigil for her outside the Judicial Center in downtown Louisville, Ky. on Mar. 19, 2020. Taylor was shot and killed by LMPD officers last week. The family chose the vigil site because it is across the street from the Louisville Metro Police Department. © Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal Photos of Breonna Taylor were displayed during a vigil for her outside the Judicial Center in downtown Louisville, Ky. on Mar. 19, 2020. Taylor was shot and killed by LMPD officers last week. The family chose the vigil site because it is across the street from the Louisville Metro Police Department.

Taylor died March 13 after police entered her home in the early morning hours as part of a narcotics investigation. Police say they began shooting after one of the officers was shot and injured.

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Breonna Taylor , a 26-year-old unarmed African-American woman , was fatally shot in her Louisville , Kentucky apartment on March 13, 2020, when white plainclothes officers Jonathan Mattingly

Who was Breonna Taylor ?: What we know about the Louisville ER tech fatally shot by police. Hankison has also been accused of sexual assault by multiple women in viral social media posts. Louisville Metro Police have only identified the officers who fired their weapons at Taylor ' s apartment

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But a lawsuit filed against the Louisville Metro Police Department claims the officers weren't looking for Taylor or her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. And no drugs were found in their home.

Walker's defense attorney has claimed in court filings that Walker fired in self-defense, believing the home was being broken into because police didn't announce themselves.

Though Taylor was killed nearly two months ago, her case gained national attention recently after prominent activist Shaun King posted about her story on social media. Since then, Taylor's family has hired civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is also representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was shot and killed by two white men in Georgia in late February.

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What happened at Breonna Taylor ' s apartment in Kentucky has turned into a national debate on shootings of unarmed black Americans by police. Here's what know about the final fateful hours that cost Taylor her life. ' Get your damn story straight ':The latest on the shooting death of Breonna

USA Today-May 14, 2020 ' Get your damn story straight ': What we know about Louisville woman Breonna Taylor ' s death https WDRB.com -May 18, 2020 (Pictures in link) What we know about the LMPD officers involved in raid on slain EMT Breonna Taylor ’ s apartment https

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Attorneys for Taylor's family said Wednesday that Louisville police are "desperate" to cover up the shooting. "It seems to me like they're just trying to cover their tracks from day one," said Sam Aguiar, a Louisville-based attorney representing Taylor's family. "Get your damn story straight."

Spokespeople for the police department have declined to answer many questions about the case asked by The Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, citing an ongoing internal investigation into Taylor's shooting.

Here's the latest on the shooting:

Who was Breonna Taylor?

Taylor was an ER technician in Louisville. Her mother, Tamika Palmer, told The Louisville Courier Journal that Taylor was a young woman who adored her family above all else and who had made plans to succeed.

"She had a whole plan on becoming a nurse and buying a house and then starting a family. Breonna had her head on straight, and she was a very decent person," Palmer said. "She didn't deserve this. She wasn't that type of person."

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Family members said that she was kind, hardworking and honest.

"She really did not deserve to end her life so horrifically," said Taylor's aunt, Bianca Austin.

Mother of woman killed by Louisville police speaks out: Breonna Taylor 'didn't deserve this'

Why were police at Breonna Taylor's home?

Taylor was not the main target of the narcotics investigation that prompted Louisville Metro Police officers to enter her home. But officers had a search warrant for her and her apartment that included a "no-knock" provision, meaning that police could enter her house without identifying themselves as law enforcement.

Records show that police believed that a suspect in the narcotics investigation, Jamarcus Glover, used Taylor's home to receive mail, keep drugs or stash money earned from the sale of drugs.

However, according to the lawsuit filed by Taylor's family, police had identified Glover at a home more than 10 miles from Taylor's apartment before they executed the warrant at her residence.

There is no body camera footage available. Police Chief Steve Conrad said the Criminal Interdiction Squad does not use that equipment.

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MORE: What we know about Breonna Taylor ' s death and the ongoing fight for justice. People also turned to social media Wednesday to voice their frustration and anger. Chanelle Helm, an organizer of Black Lives Matter Louisville , said, " We shouldn't be too surprised at what's happening."

More: Louisville police pursued 'no-knock' search warrant in fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in her home

What is a 'no-knock' warrant?

Police can seek no-knock entry, meaning they don't have to identify themselves before entering a residence or business, if there is a reasonable suspicion that knocking would be dangerous, futile or inhibit the "effective investigation of the crime," according to Louisville Metro Police policies.

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Civil rights advocates have long complained that "no-knock" warrants are dangerous and unnecessary.

In this case, police said it was necessary at Taylor's house because "these drug traffickers have a history of attempting to destroy evidence, have cameras on the location that compromise detectives once an approach to the dwelling is made, and have a history of fleeing from law enforcement."

Even with the no-knock warrant, Louisville police have said they identified themselves before using a battering ram to enter Taylor's residence. Representatives for Walker and Taylor's family say that isn't true and that neighbors have said the same.

More on the warrant: Louisville police pursued 'no-knock' search warrant in fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in her home

What happened when police entered?

The lawsuit claims that Taylor and Walker woke up to the unannounced entry and believed their home was being broken into.

"While police may claim to have identified themselves, they did not. Mr. Walker and Ms. Taylor again heard a large bang on the door. Again, when they inquired there was no response that there was police outside. At this point, the door suddenly explodes. Counsel believes that police hit the door with a battering ram," Rob Eggert, who is defending Walker, wrote in a motion.

Related: Family of Breonna Taylor hires lawyer from Ahmaud Arbery case in police lawsuit

Eggert said Walker acted in self-defense and fired one gunshot. The bullet hit Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, and police say officers then returned fire.

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The lawsuit says that officers "failed to use any sound reasonable judgment" and fired "more than 25 blind shots into multiple homes." Eggert has said he inspected the apartment building where Taylor lived and found evidence of 20 gunshots fired into the building, some of which entered other apartments.

During the gunfire, Taylor was struck at least eight times and died.

However, police may have initially believed it was Taylor, not Walker, who shot at police, according to a search warrant obtained for Taylor's home hours after she was killed.

The statement in the warrant's affidavit says a "subject inside the residence was armed with a(n) unknown gun and fired a shot striking a detective. In the course of protecting themselves and other civilians, detectives returned gunfire and struck the subject (an) unknown number of times. The subject collapsed inside the listed residence and subsequently (was) pronounced deceased on scene."

But according to Walker's arrest citation, he gave a statement shortly after the incident that said he was the sole person to fire a weapon in Taylor's apartment.

What happened after Taylor's death?

A day after Taylor's death, police said they were opening an internal investigation into the shooting and had placed the three officers involved on administrative leave. Officials, still calling Taylor a suspect, said she was shot and killed after three officers returned fire in her home.

Walker, 27, was charged with attempted murder of a police officer.

Conrad, the police chief, said at the time it wasn't known if Taylor was armed or how many shots the officers and the suspects fired.

Later that month, Walker was released from jail on home incarceration, infuriating local police union officials.

What do we know about the police involved?

Three Louisville Metro Police Department officers served the warrant on Taylor's home: Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove. They are all on administrative leave.

Breonna Taylor grand jury recordings released and filed

  Breonna Taylor grand jury recordings released and filed Audio recordings from the three-day grand jury hearings in the Breonna Taylor case were filed with the court on Friday. The recordings were filed just before the judge's noon deadline. This comes after a judge, during former police officer Brett Hankison's hearing, ordered the recordings be filed as part of the discovery.

Mattingly was shot in the leg and taken to a nearby hospital, where he underwent surgery.

Cosgrove was previously sued for excessive force by a man he shot in 2006 at a Speedway gas station after the man allegedly backed his car toward the officer at a high rate of speed. A federal judge eventually sided with Cosgrove in the case, according to court records.

The lawsuit also claims that  Hankison "has a prior history of unnecessary force and corruption within his employment," and that his use of force history documents "dozens of situations where he has sent citizens to the hospital for injuries from being tased, pepper-sprayed and struck repeatedly in the nose and eyes."

Kamala Harris and Kentucky's governor call for federal investigation

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and  U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., are among those calling for a federal investigation into Taylor's death.

Police have said an internal investigation is being conducted, but a federal investigation would instead assign that responsibility to investigators outside the city.

Beshear called on attorneys at the local, state and federal level to review the police internal investigation's results to "ensure justice is done at a time when many are concerned that justice is not blind."

On Wednesday, Jefferson County commonwealth's attorney Tom Wine recused himself from reviewing Louisville police officers' conduct, citing conflict of interest – he is prosecuting Walker, Taylor's boyfriend.

A spokeswoman for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron confirmed his office had been asked to serve as a special prosecutor.

Rising calls for a federal investigation into Taylor's death have ramped up pressure on Louisville police in recent days, with more people across the country demanding answers about why police gunned down Taylor in her own home.

Contributing: Louisville Courier Journal staff; Jay Cannon, USA TODAY

Darcy Costello: dcostello@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @dctello. Tessa Duvall: tduvall@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @tessaduvall.

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This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: 'Get your damn story straight': What we know about Louisville woman Breonna Taylor's death

Breonna Taylor grand jury recordings released and filed .
Audio recordings from the three-day grand jury hearings in the Breonna Taylor case were filed with the court on Friday. The recordings were filed just before the judge's noon deadline. This comes after a judge, during former police officer Brett Hankison's hearing, ordered the recordings be filed as part of the discovery.

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