26-year-old Breonna Taylor,a first responder was killed in her own home in March,months before tensions related to racial injustice in the United States reached a boiling point.
Her case has since come under renewed focus with protesters across the U.S carrying signs with her name along those of George Floyd who died in Minneapolis on May 25.Officers responsible for her death:Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove,are all on administrative leave and are yet to be charged.
Investigation of the circumstances surrounding Taylor’s death was launched on May 21,more than two months after she died, by the FBI’s Louisville office,and there has been very little progress on the case.
What happened the night she died.
On March 13, shortly after midnight, Louisville police executed a search warrant at a residence they believed was connected to a narcotics investigation.They were investigating two men believed to have been selling drugs at a house 10 miles from Taylor’s apartment.
Police suspected that one of the two men had used her apartment to receive packages.
A judge had signed off a “no-knock” provision-a warrant which allowed officers to enter Taylor’s home without warning and without identifying themselves as law enforcement.
Police allege that the officers were “immediately met by gunfire” from Walker. According to the family’s wrongful death lawsuit, Walker, a licensed gun owner, shot an officer in the leg.The officers returned gun fire,firing dozens of times,shooting Taylor eight times.
The officers did not find drugs in the apartment when they entered.
According to Louisville police, the officers identified themselves before forcing their way into her house,however, a lawsuit filed by her family claims otherwise as does one filed by her neighbor,Chelsey Napper.
In the transcript from the 911 call, Walker told a dispatcher that “somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”
There is no known body camera footage from the incident because the officers on the criminal interdiction squad do not use that equipment.
The account by police has been disputed by Taylor’s family and their lawyers. Taylor’s family has also filed a lawsuit for charges of battery, wrongful death, excessive force, negligence and gross negligence.
According to the law suit,Walker was licensed to carry a gun,he only fired that night in self-defense believing people were trying to break in.
The lawsuit goes on to say the officers “failed to use any sound reasonable judgment” and fired “more than 25 blind shots into multiple homes.” It also claims that the suspect they were looking for was already in custody.
Walker was initially charged with the attempted murder of a police officer, but the charge has since been dismissed.
Following her case,the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department announced on May 21 that it would require all sworn officers to wear body cameras. The department also said it would change how it carries out search warrants, including requiring a sign-off from the chief of police or their designee before they go to a judge for approval. There has been pushback, however, on implementing a full ban on no-knock warrants.Also,the police chief, Steve Conrad, announced the same day that he would retire before July.