Louisville police release 'almost entirely blank’ incident report on Breonna Taylor's death
A little after midnight on March 13, emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor was asleep in her bed when Louisville Metro Police bashed in her door, executing a no-knock search warrant. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the officers were investigating “two men suspected of selling drugs in a Russell neighborhood house on Elliott Avenue.” That home and neighborhood was 10 miles away from the 26-year-old Taylor’s residence. However, Taylor’s residence was added into the search warrant as a suspected place where drugs were “received.”
What happened next remains in question. Police have claimed they announced their presence, something contradicted by Breonna’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker’s 911 call and the fact that the police were executing a “no-knock” search warrant. Walker fired off a shot in an attempt to ward off what he thought were intruders, and Taylor was shot eight times by police officers. She died on the floor of her hallway. Kentucky officials have done nothing, filed no charges, and provided zero details of their slow “investigation” into what happened that night. Now, the Courier-Journal reports Louisville Metro Police have provided an incident report that according to the editor of the news outlet, Richard A. Green, is a bad joke: “I read this report and have to ask the mayor, the police chief and the city's lawyers: Are you kidding? This is what you consider being transparent to taxpayers and the public?"
The Journal says the incident report is “almost entirely blank.” It contains Breonna Taylor’s full name, her age, and the residence she had lived at before the police broke into her home and shot her dead. However, under things like the list of her injuries, the report says “none.” Taylor was shot at least eight times by police. The report does list the three officers who reportedly fired into Taylor’s apartment under the “Offenders” section: Sgt. Jon Mattingly, 47; Myles Cosgrove, 42; and Brett Hankison, 44.
The officers did not wear body cameras or provide footage of the event. Kenneth Walker and Taylor’s family say the couple was asleep in bed when they heard a loud banging at their door. Walker says they called out and asked who was there but received no reply. LMPD has claimed that after announcing themselves a number of times, the police used a battering ram to enter the apartment, Walker shot one of the officers, and the officers returned fire. Five minutes after busting through her door, Breonna Taylor was pronounced dead.
Walker’s attorney says that according to his survey of the scene, police fired a hail of bullets all over the place, striking upstairs apartments and all over the living room and into a second bedroom that was luckily uninhabited at the time. Louisville police have been pressing forward with attempted murder charges on Walker, who is a licensed gun owner.
This comes after weeks of calls by Taylor’s family and friends for justice and answers in her death. It also comes in the middle of heated protests over the treatment of Black citizens by a systematically racist law enforcement apparatus. The three officers are on “administrative reassignment pending the investigation.” Legal counsel for the newspaper Jon Fleischaker says that this lack of transparency is indicative of the current administration’s track record: “Under the Fischer administration, there has been a consistent policy and practice of refusing to tell the public what is going on with the police, regardless of how inappropriate the officer conduct has been — even when it was criminal, as in the LMPD Explorer case."
Meanwhile, one of the officers being investigated in Breonna Taylor’s death has a secondary investigation pending on allegations that he has a history of sexually assaulting women. NBC News reports that a series of claims against Officer Brett Hankison were posted to social media over the past week. Both sets of allegations are similar in nature, as the two women claim Hankison sexually assaulted them after giving them rides home from bars.
A spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Police told NBC that "LMPD is aware of these allegations and investigators are looking into them. If anyone has information about these cases, we encourage them to call (502) 574-7144."