Justice Department to launch probe of Louisville policing practices following Breonna Taylor’s death

Kentucky

FILE – This undated photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar shows Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky. Gov. Andy Beshear has signed a partial ban on no-knock warrants, Friday, April 9, 2021, a year after the fatal shooting of Taylor. (Courtesy of Taylor Family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday that the Justice Department will launch a civil investigation into policing practices at Louisville Metro Police Department.

Garland said the Justice Department would investigate if there is a pattern of unconstitutional or unlawful policing and practices at LMPD. The new investigation is known as a “pattern or practice” — examining whether there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing — and will be a more sweeping review of the entire police department.

This announcement comes more than a year after the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in her home during a botched police raid.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville emergency medical technician studying to become a nurse, was shot multiple times in March 2020 after being roused from sleep by police. No drugs were found, and the warrant was later found to be flawed.

A grand jury brought no charges against officers in her death, although one was indicted for shooting into a neighboring home that had people inside. Prosecutors said two officers who fired at Taylor were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend. Taylor’s name has become a rallying cry to protest racial injustice nationwide. 

It’s the second such sweeping probe into a law enforcement agency announced by the Biden administration in a week. Garland last week announced a sweeping probe into Minneapolis policing practices just one day after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

The Minneapolis investigation will examine practices used by police and whether the department engages in discriminatory practices and will examine the department’s handling of misconduct allegations, among other things, the person said. It’s unclear how far back that will go.

The Justice Department is already investigating whether the officers involved in Floyd’s death violated Floyd’s civil rights.

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