The killing of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead in her Kentucky home by police, is now being investigated by federal authorities, officials announced. The update comes two months after the EMT was shot eight times in March.
The Louisville Metro Police Department was initially doing an internal investigation to see whether any criminal conduct occurred when police were executing a search warrant on March 13 at Taylor’s home and shot her eight times, killing her.
Taylor's family has filed a lawsuit against three officers with the department alleging Taylor and her boyfriend were home in bed and thought they were being burglarized when officers showed up at their home after midnight. Taylor’s boyfriend, 27-year-old Kenneth Walker, allegedly opened fire on cops with his licensed weapon and one officer was shot in the leg, police said. The lawsuit says police then fired more than 20 round into the home “blindly.”
Louisville police have since alleged they knocked on Taylor’s door several times while executing their warrant before entering and identified themselves as police before they were “immediately met by gunfire,” according to Lt. Ted Eidem.
In documentation obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were advised to carry out a “no knock” warrant on the home as part of a narcotics investigation on a home ten miles away. Neither Taylor nor Walker were the investigation's target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used to receive drugs.
Authorities have maintained they did identify themselves despite the “no knock” warrant. Neighbors of Taylor and Walker, however, said that isn't true, according to the family’s lawsuit. Walker called 911 during the ordeal and police informed him he’d shot an officer.
Now, people across the nation are calling for justice. Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing Taylor's family and who has also taken on Ahmaud Arbery’s case, the jogger killed by two armed white men in Georgia, said Taylor’s death was a “senseless killing.”
“Breonna Taylor was sleeping while black in the sanctity of our own home," Crump said at a Wednesday press conference. "We cannot continue to allow them to unnecessarily and justifiably kill our black women and escape any accountability.”
On Wednesday, Kentucky Gov. Andrew Beshear called the details in the case “troubling” and asked the state attorney general and federal prosecutors to review the initial internal investigation “to ensure justice is done at a time when many are concerned that justice is not blind.”
Neither Taylor nor Walker had any criminal history before the incident. No drugs were located in the home. Walker has been charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer.
Walker has pleaded not guilty and has been released to "home incarceration."