US Breonna Taylor Shooting: Kentucky Governor Orders Review of Louisville Raid
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Two months after Louisville police officers fatally shot a woman as they raided her home, Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky said on Wednesday that local, state and federal prosecutors should review the police investigation into the shooting.
Officers killed the woman, Breonna Taylor, 26, just after midnightduring a confrontation in which her boyfriend shot an officer in the leg, the Louisville police said. But only recently has nationwide attention been drawn to the case. Neither Ms. Taylor nor her boyfriend was a target of the police investigation that led to the drug raid.
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Ms. Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, filed a lawsuit in late April against three officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department, accusing them of wrongfully causing her daughter’s death.
Among the lawyers representing Ms. Palmer is Benjamin Crump, who also represents the family of, whose led to last week.
On Wednesday, Governor Beshear called reports about Ms. Taylor’s death “troubling” and said the public deserved to know everything about the March raid. He asked the state attorney general, the local prosecutor and the federal prosecutor assigned to the region to review the results of the Louisville police’s initial investigation “to ensure justice is done at a time when many are concerned that justice is not blind.”
Breonna Taylor died but she wasn't target of investigation. Police had 'no-knock' warrant, records show
The Louisville Metro Police investigation that led officers to Breonna Taylor's home centered around a "trap house" 10 miles from her apartment.The Louisville Metro Police investigation, records show, was centered around a "trap house" more than 10 miles from Taylor's apartment and two suspects police believed were selling drugs.
The Louisville police, who declined to comment for this article, have said little about the raid since a news conference on the day it happened.
that the police had been targeting two men who they believed were selling drugs out of a house more than 10 miles from Ms. Taylor’s apartment. However, a judge had signed a warrant allowing officers to search Ms. Taylor’s home — and to — in part because a detective said one of the men had used Ms. Taylor’s apartment to receive a package.
In the lawsuit, Ms. Palmer’s lawyers say that the man had already been apprehended before police officers entered Ms. Taylor’s home.
“They executed this innocent woman because they botched the search warrant execution,” Mr. Crump said in an interview. “They had the main person that they were trying to get in their custody, so why use a battering ram to bust her door down and then go in there and execute her?”
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Mr. Crump said that while there were many differences between the cases of Mr. Arbery and Ms. Taylor, both of whom were black, they were connected by the fact that neither case immediately attracted widespread attention, despite the efforts of local activists and family members.
Ms. Palmer has said that her daughter, who worked as an emergency medical technician at local hospitals, had planned to become a nurse and buy a house, and that she had stayed out of trouble.
“I’m not sure that they understand what they took from my family,” Ms. Palmer, referring to the police.
Athours after the raid, Chief Steve Conrad of the Louisville police said the officers involved had not been wearing body cameras. Lt. Ted Eidem, who leads the agency’s Public Integrity Unit, said the officers had announced their presence and knocked on the door before forcing entry.
A police spokeswomanthis week that the investigation into the shooting was continuing and that the police had disclosed everything they could at the original news conference.
Minute by minute: What happened the night Louisville police fatally shot Breonna Taylor
What happened at Breonna Taylor's apartment in Jefferson County has turned into a national debate on shootings of unarmed black Americans by police. © Provided Breonna Taylor's apartment after the shooting on March 13. Provided by Sam Aguiar, an attorney representing her family. Exactly what went down in the moments before Taylor died at 12:48 a.m. March 13 depends on who you listen to — there were no body cameras to record the events now under investigation by police.
The police have said that they returned fire after Ms. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot an officer in the leg. He later surrendered and has been charged with the attempted murder of a police officer.
Mr. Walker’s lawyer, Rob Eggert, has said that Mr. Walker did not know that the people entering the apartment were police officers, and that he fired one shot.
Mr. Crump said that neighbors had not heard the police officers announce themselves, and that Mr. Walker thought the officers — who he said were in unmarked cars and plain clothes — were intruders. He said Mr. Walker had called 911, believing that he and Ms. Taylor, who had been in bed together, “were in significant, imminent danger.”
The lawyers for Ms. Taylor’s mother said that Mr. Walker was licensed to have a gun and that the police officers had fired at least 20 shots into the apartment and a neighboring home.
Although whether the Louisville police knocked before entering is disputed, the use of “no-knock” warrants has, The Houston Police Department said last year that after two civilians were killed — and four police officers were injured — in one such raid, which the police had justified based on an officer’s lie about a supposed confidential informant.
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Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad announces retirement in wake of Breonna Taylor shooting .
Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad announced Thursday he is resigning after an eight-year tenure as the city's top cop."It has been the highlight of my professional career to be Louisville's police chief," Conrad, 63, said in a statement. "LMPD is full of amazing men and women who come to work each day to do their best for this community and has been a privilege to lead them.