Probe Launched to Investigate Louisville Officials' Handling of Breonna Taylor’s Shooting Death
A bipartisan probe will review the mayor's handling of Breonna Taylor's death.
Louisville Metro Council's government oversight committee announced that they will be investigating how the mayor and his administration handled the events which led to the shooting of Breonna Taylor’s death on March 13, as well as the aftermath of what has transpired.
Bipartisan members such as Government Oversight and Audit Chair Brent Ackerson, a democrat, and Vice-Chair Anthony Piagentini, a republican, held a news conference Monday to announce a probe into Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s handling of the Breonna Taylor case.
"The citizens of this community, including members of this Metro Council, have been very upset with the perceived lack of transparency by the city," Ackerson said. "It's our intention, as a committee, to formally begin an investigation, to bring people in and get legitimate answers and legitimate documentation."
The scope of the investigation has not yet been determined but the duo said it will involve how Taylor’s death was handled as well as the events leading up to her shooting. It will also cover government transparency or the lack thereof, events surrounding the death of David McAtee, who was killed during a protest, and use of force by police during protests.
"The best that we can do with Breonna Taylor is to establish a clear timeline of the events that took place. Who was involved, who knew what when, who were the decision makers," Ackerson said.
"The government accountability committee is there specifically to hold these types of investigations and to hold our government accountable," Piagentini said.
Ackerson added the mayor and his administration have not been transparent about who is making decisions since Taylor’s death and why those decisions are or have been made.
"We don't want to jump to any conclusions," Ackerson said. "At the end of the day, what we want is … the truth. And from there, people can make reasonable conclusions, based upon facts.”
In a statement obtained by WLKY, Fischer said he welcomes the review from Metro Council in addition “to the state Attorney General’s investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor, and independent reviews by the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice, which the Mayor fully supports.”
“In addition to those, the Mayor has authorized a top-to-bottom review of the Louisville Metro Police Department, as well as a Sentinel Event Review of all actions related to the Breonna Taylor case,” the statement continued. “And to be clear, he is not waiting on any of these reviews to make changes, as evidenced by his decision to ban no-knock warrants, to require broader use of body cameras, and replace prior leadership at LMPD."
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 her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were the investigation's target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used to receive drugs.
Authorities initially said they identified themselves despite the “no-knock” warrant, but Walker reportedly opened fire on police because he thought the home was being broken into. Police said the officers were “immediately” met by gunfire when they entered Taylor and Walker's home, at which point they returned fire. Walker called 911 during the ordeal and police 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.
Earlier this month, 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.
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. 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.”
There has so far been no response filed to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Breonna Taylor's family, the Jefferson Circuit Court said. The attorneys representing Cosgrove, Hankison and Mattingly would not comment on the lawsuit when reached by Inside Edition Digital.
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