Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a Department of Justice-led investigation into the officer-involved death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.
Taylor was shot to death during a police raid of her home in March 2020, with her death later becoming a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protests and riots in 2020.
In the incident, police came through Taylor’s door using a battering ram. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, allegedly opened fire at police, who fired back, striking and killing Taylor, officials said.
Walker maintained that he wasn’t aware that police were conducting a raid at the time. Last year, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said a neighbor corroborated the police’s claims that they knocked on Taylor’s door, which disputed allegations that authorities used a “no-knock warrant,” while he added that the officers involved were shot at first by Walker.
But on April 26, Garland said the Justice Department will conduct a “pattern of practice” investigation into the city’s police.
“It will determine whether LMPD engages in unconstitutional stops, searches, and seizures, as well as whether the department unlawfully executes search warrants on private homes.”
“As in every Justice Department investigation we will follow the facts and the law, wherever they lead,” Garland said. “If there is reasonable cause to believe that there was a pattern or practice of constitutional or statutory violations, we will issue a public report of our conclusions.”
The investigation comes as Louisville has seen an uptick in violent crime. Police data show that murders, rapes, and robberies are up more than 81 percent above the five-year average.