Anger and shock continue to build across the country over the killing of a Black woman, emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor, 26, who was shot in her home by Louisville Metro police in an apparent narcotics raid of the wrong house.
According to news sources and Taylor’s family, Taylor was home asleep in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker in the early morning hours of March 13 when police burst into her home unannounced with a “no-knock” warrant.
Walker sought to defend himself from what he assumed was an intruder who had broken down his door. Police say Walker, a registered gun owner, shot at them. They recklessly returned fire spraying 25 rounds into the home and nearby homes, prompting witnesses to speculate that they were surprised that Taylor was the only person shot. Taylor was struck at least eight times and died. Police say one officer was shot.
There is no known video evidence of what happened and the members of the Criminal Interdiction Division who conducted the search warrant do not wear body cameras.
Walker was charged with first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer. Police were supposedly serving a search warrant as part of a narcotics investigation, but no drugs were found at the home.
A lawsuit filed by the Taylor family against members of LMPD states police were searching for a man named Jamarcus Glover, who was already detained by police that morning.
In court filings of Rob Eggert, a defense attorney for Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker, the police team—which included two officers and one sergeant—didn’t knock or announce themselves when entering the apartment, the Courier-Journal reported.
Police claim that despite having the no-knock warrant they “knocked on the door several times and announced their presence as police who were there with a search warrant.” But the lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family said multiple neighbors provided statements that police did not knock or identify themselves.
“While police may claim to have identified themselves, they did not,” Eggert wrote in the filing reported by The Courier-Journal. “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.”
“For weeks, the City treated Breonna like she was a criminal, calling her a ‘suspect’ before finally admitting that she was an innocent, crimeless victim,” stated a change.org petition calling for justice for Taylor. “She had no drugs. She committed no crime. Yet, she is dead, and the perpetrators are facing no charges.”
Neither Walker, who was a postal worker, and Taylor, who worked two hospital jobs, had a criminal history.
The Taylor family filed a wrongful death suit in April and have hired Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump to represent them.
“We stand with the family of this young woman in demanding answers from the Louisville Police Department,” Crump said in the statement. “Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding her death, the Department has not provided any answers regarding the facts and circumstances of how this tragedy occurred, nor have they taken responsibility for her senseless killing.”