Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman who was a certified EMT in Louisville, was shot and killed in her Louisville, Kentucky, home by police executing a “botched’ search warrant who forced their way in, surprising the woman and her boyfriend who thought the officers were burglars, her family says in a lawsuit, reports NBC News.
The lawsuit, filed by the family of Taylor, says she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep in their bedroom when police in plainclothes and unmarked vehicles arrived at the house looking for a suspect who lived in a different part of the city and was already in police custody. The lawsuit says the couple thought they were being burglarized and Walker fired in self-defense.
Walker called 911 and police said he opened fire and shot an officer.
The three officers entered Taylor’s home “without knocking and without announcing themselves as police officers,” the suit states.
The family accuses the three officers of “blindly firing” more than 20 shots into the apartment in the lawsuit.
“The defendants then proceeded to spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life,” the lawsuit alleges. “Shots were blindly fired by the officers all throughout Breonna’s home.”
The suit states that Walker had a license to carry and kept firearms in the home, and that Taylor was unarmed. The couple had no criminal history or drug convictions. No drugs were found in the apartment.
Records show that the police investigation was centered around a “trap house” more than 10 miles from Taylor’s apartment and that a judge had signed off on a “no-knock” search warrant, meaning officers did not have to identify themselves while executing the warrant, according to The Courier-Journal.
Louisville, Ky., Mayor Greg Fischer (D) is calling for a “thorough investigation” into Taylor’s case.
“As always, my priority is that the truth comes out, and for justice to follow the part of the truth,” Fischer said in a statement on Tuesday, nearly two months after the incident. “Police work can involve incredibly difficult situations. Additionally, residents have rights. These two concepts must be weighed by our justice system as the case proceeds.”
Fischer added that he’s spoken with Louisville Metropolitan Police Department Chief Steve Conrad about the need for an extensive probe into the matter. He said that the department’s Public Integrity Unit is conducting an investigation and that a final report would be handed over to the commonwealth attorney before any next steps were taken.
A portion of this statement was inadvertently omitted by staff. Here is the full statement. pic.twitter.com/xoIzZZMh1B
— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) May 12, 2020
After the March 13 incident, the Louisville Metro Police Department said the officers had knocked on the door several times and “announced their presence as police who were there with a search warrant.” After forcing their way in, they “were immediately met by gunfire,” Lt. Ted Eidem said at a news conference.