Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has penned a letter to his city’s Metro Council to inform them he cannot turn over documents involving the Breonna Taylor case.
The Metro Council recently asked the mayor to turn over all documents regarding the case and on Sunday, he declined to do so, citing the ongoing investigation by various law enforcement agencies including the FBI, Department of Justice and attorney general.
"While I take your requests in good faith, I must misunderstand your request for the release of all documents that relate to the Breonna Taylor case, given the fact that your request would include the investigative materials currently being reviewed by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the attorney general for potential criminal prosecution,” he said in a letter.
Last week, lawyers representing Taylor’s family filed an amended lawsuit against the city claiming that Taylor’s death was part of a gentrification plan. Following the accusations, which the city has denied, Metro Council said that if the mayor didn't release all documents from the case, including recent allegations that her death was tied to gentrification, there would be "clear and decisive action by the Metro Council."
In his letter to the Metro Council, Fischer commented on the plans the city has for the neighborhood Taylor lived in.
"Your communication also requests information on the work along Elliott Avenue and the Place Based Investigations ('PBI') unit, which we are happy to provide in great detail. The PBI unit is based on the PIVOT model from Cincinnati, Ohio. The Elliott Avenue work to combat vacant and abandoned properties is one small piece of the larger Russell neighborhood revitalization and stabilization work we’ve been doing for years, including through three (3) HUD Choice Neighborhoods grants and the Vision Russell initiative."
The amended lawsuit, obtained by The New York Times last week, says that the raid was motivated by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s desire to clear a block in one of Louisville’s most troubled areas, on which Taylor and boyfriend Kenneth Walker lived, for redevelopment as part of a gentrification plan.
Fischer has not responded to Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment.
In a statement to The New York Times, Jean Porter, a spokeswoman for Mayor Greg Fischer, called the claims, “outrageous allegations without foundation.”
City officials pointed out that the project was no secret and was funded with the help of three federal grants totaling more than $30 million, and began more than six years ago, the Times reported.
In documentation previously obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were authorized to carry out a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s home on March 13 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 their home was used to receive drugs.
Authorities initially said they identified themselves despite the “no-knock” warrant. Police said the officers were “immediately” met by gunfire when they entered Taylor and Walker's home, at which point they returned fire.
But Taylor's family said in their original lawsuit filed against the three officers involved that Taylor and her boyfriend were home in bed and thought they were being burglarized when officers showed up at their home after midnight. 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 rounds into the home “blindly.”
Walker called 911 during the ordeal and he was informed him he’d shot an officer. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but his charges were later dropped.
In the wake of Taylor's death, the city has banned "no-knock" warrants.
In June, Officer Brett Hankison was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department. Officer Myles Cosgrove and John Mattingly have been reassigned. None of the officers have been arrested or charged in Taylor’s death. Each officer has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. Hankison is appealing his termination.
There has so far been no response filed to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Taylor's family, the Jefferson Circuit Court said. The attorneys representing Hankison, Cosgrove and Mattingly declined to comment to Inside Edition Digital on the amended lawsuit.