Breanna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT worker in Louisville, Kentucky, was shot and killed by police in March when officers executed a search warrant at her home — and a lawsuit against the police department claims the officers were at the wrong home, according to NBC News.
What happened? On March 13, at about 12:30 a.m., three officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department knocked on the door of Taylor’s home, where she lived with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. The department says the officers announced their presence as police who had a search warrant, but the lawsuit by Taylor’s family claims the officers were in plainclothes and did not identify themselves.
The officers then broke into the home, where they were met by gunfire. Walker, who the lawsuit says is a licensed gun owner who kept firearms for home protection, allegedly believed someone was breaking into the home.
Taylor was shot eight times and died. Walker was arrested and charged with attempted murder on a police officer and assault, having allegedly shot one officer. The officer underwent surgery, according to the Courier Journal.
The officers involved — Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove — have been placed on administrative reassignment, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Family demands answers: The family is represented by Benjamin Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney who has represented numerous families in similar situations, including Ahmaud Arbery, the Georgia black man who was fatally shot in February by two men who chased him down because they allegedly believed him to be a burglar.
The family’s lawsuit claims that Louisville police were searching for a suspect named Jamarcus Glover, who is facing drug and gun charges, and had already detained Glover at his home before the execution of the warrant that led to Taylor’s death. Glover reportedly lives more than 10 miles from Taylor’s home. No drugs were found in Taylor’s home.
“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,” Crump said in a statement.
The lawsuit accuses the officers of wrongful death, excessive force, and gross negligence, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, and legal fees through a jury trial.
Investigation ongoing: The Louisville Metro Police Department would not comment about the case in detail, citing the ongoing investigation. The department said there is no body camera footage available because the division in which the officers serve does not utilize them.
“We held a press conference about this shooting when it occurred to detail what we were able,” spokeswoman Jessie Halladay wrote in an email to the Courier Journal. “The Public Integrity investigation remains ongoing, therefore it would not be appropriate for us to comment.”