Six officers in the Louisville Metro Police Department in Kentucky are under investigation for their role in the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was fatally shot in her home after police executed a middle-of-the-night “no-knock” warrant in March.
The department’s Professional Standards Unit confirmed it is investigating whether officers violated LMPD policies, although it’s unclear what policies investigators are looking into, The Courier-Journal reported. The investigation, which the publication said could lead to disciplinary measures ranging from reprimands to firings, is separate from an ongoing probe into whether any officers should face criminal charges for her death.
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot eight times by officers in her home on March 13 after police executed a late-night warrant as part of a narcotics investigation. The warrant, however, was linked to a suspect that did not live at Taylor’s home, and there were no drugs found inside.
None of the officers has been arrested or charged in the killing, prompting nationwide outrage amid ongoing calls for a reckoning on police brutality and systemic racism in America. No-knock warrants have since been banned by the Louisville Metro Council.
Taylor’s family reached a $12 million settlement with the city of Louisville earlier this month as part of a wrongful death lawsuit that alleged officers acted with excessive force and gross negligence in her death.
“[The] family is pleased that the city was willing to collaborate on meaningful reform,” Sam Aguiar, the attorney for Taylor’s family, told HuffPost at the time. “Now, we’re counting on the [attorney general and Justice Department] to do the right thing and hold all responsible officers accountable.”
The officers have maintained that they knocked on Taylor’s door about 12:40 a.m. and announced themselves. Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, who was also home at the time, disputed that account and said they didn’t know who was knocking before police broke down the front door.
Walker fired a legally owned weapon at the advancing officers, who returned fire, killing Taylor.
The Courier-Journal noted that Kentucky state law mandates that investigations into police officers’ potential violations of internal policies remain secret “until final disposition of the charges.”
The Louisville Metro Police Department is currently under a state of emergency in “anticipation” of an announcement in Taylor’s case, according to reports on Monday. The declaration allows the LMPD to operate under emergency staffing orders and cancel vacation requests.