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Breonna downtown

Breonna Taylor police shooting: Louisville mayor declares state of emergency, restricts downtown access ahead of decision on charges for officers – Chicago Tribune

LOUISVILLE, KY. — Officials in Kentucky’s largest city were preparing Tuesday for more protests and possible unrest as the public nervously awaits the state attorney general’s announcement about whether he will charge officers in Breonna Taylor’s shooting death.

With timing of the announcement still uncertain, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency due to the potential for civil unrest, hours after police said they would restrict access in the city’s downtown area. The mayor and police said they were trying to plan ahead of time to protect both demonstrators and the people who live and work there.

But some involved in protests seeking justice for Taylor questioned why the police were going to such “overkill” lengths when the city has been the site of peaceful protests for months.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron has declined to set a deadline for his decision. Earlier this month, he remarked that “an investigation, if done properly, cannot follow a certain timeline.”

Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said officials from Cameron’s office have promised to try to give authorities a heads-up.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the measures taken by Louisville police are due to the intense scrutiny of the Taylor case, in Louisville and around the country.

“The national attention here is so great, the potential for outsiders so significant, the possibility of someone taking something peaceful and trying to turn it into something that’s not, is all there,” Beshear said during his daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.

Mayor Fischer said officials’ goal “is ensuring space and opportunity for potential protesters to gather and express their First Amendment rights after the announcement.”

“At the same time, we are preparing for any eventuality to keep everyone safe,” he said.

In a news release Tuesday, the Louisville Metro Police Department said it was placing barricades around Jefferson Square Park, where protests over Taylor’s death have been held, and the perimeter of the downtown area; allowing only pedestrians in the blocks immediately surrounding the park; restricting vehicle traffic in other areas of downtown and limiting access to parking garages.

The department apologized for any inconveniences to workers and downtown residents.

“However, public safety is our number one priority, and it would be irresponsible if we did not take preemptive action to preserve it,” the statement said.

Police first mentioned the barricades on Monday, when they also said they had canceled vacations and were denying officers’ requests for time off for the time being.

Federal officials closed the federal courthouse and other federal buildings for the week.

Sadiqa Reynolds, who heads the nonprofit Louisville Urban League and lives downtown, described the city’s measures as “overkill.”

“This is certainly an over-response to the local protests that have been happening in our community,” she said, noting that protesters have been demonstrating in and around the city for nearly four months.

When Reynolds and hundreds of others staged a peaceful protest on Kentucky Derby day, police blocked off streets surrounding Churchill Downs and stationed dozens of officers at the track, which was without fans inside.

“This city keeps meeting the desire for justice with this preparation for war,” she said.

Taylor, a Black emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times March 13 by officers who entered her home using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation. The warrant used was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside. The use of no-knock warrants has since been banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.

Large protests over Taylor’s death that at times became violent erupted in late May in the city but most demonstrations since then have been peaceful. Celebrities, athletes, activists and Taylor’s family have for months pushed Cameron to criminally charge the officers involved in the raid.

Last week, the city of Louisville settled a lawsuit from Taylor’s family for $12 million and pledged several police reforms as part of the agreement.

Meanwhile, an officer who was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend the night police entered her apartment wrote an email to fellow officers telling them that with their actions, Fischer and top police officials had “failed all of us in epic proportions.”

In the email, published by news outlets Tuesday and confirmed by his attorney, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly wrote, “I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night.”

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, told police he fired one round after Taylor’s door was broken down and Mattingly entered. Walker said he thought someone was breaking into the house and didn’t know that it was police who were entering.

Referring to protesters, Mattingly added that police officers should not be in a position “that allows thugs to get in your face and yell, curse and degrade you.”

His attorney, Kent Wicker, told The Associated Press in an email that Mattingly’s email was “expressing his support for (fellow officers) and their work during these difficult times.”

Associated Press reporter Bruce Schreiner contributed to this report.

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Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor’s family settles with City of Louisville for $12 million, significant police reform – WAVE 3

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – The family of Breonna Taylor and the City of Louisville have reached a $12 million settlement, Mayor Greg Fischer announced Tuesday.

The settlement is the largest ever paid by the city in an officer-involved shooting case.

Taylor, 26, was shot dead when Louisville Metro Police Department officers served a narcotics warrant at her home on March 13.

The settlement also makes history by including an unprecedented list of police reforms that LMPD now will be required to implement.

“It’s important to know here, a financial settlement was non-negotiable without police reform,” Lonita Baker, an attorney for the Taylor family, said at a joint news conference with Fischer on Tuesday. “Justice for Breonna is multi-layered. What we were able to accomplish … is tremendous, but is only a portion of a single layer.”

The news comes two days after the six-month anniversary of Taylor’s death and several days after WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters first reported the state’s criminal case was being presented to a grand jury, with a decision on possible charges expected to be announced soon.

“We are not gonna stop our cause to hold the officers responsible for Breonna’s death accountable,” Baker said.

The settlement is aimed at changing some of the departmental policies that may have contributed to what happened the night Taylor was killed, such as an overhaul of the execution of simultaneous search warrants. Minutes before the Taylor raid, narcotics officers arrested Jamarcus Glover at a suspected drug house several miles away. Glover, Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, and a convicted drug offender, also was named in the warrant that sent officers to Taylor’s home.

The agreement also mandates that a commanding officer review and give written approval of all search warrants and SWAT matrices, documents aimed at calculating the specific dangers of a warrant location.

Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor (Source: Facebook)

The settlement requires the presence of paramedics whenever a warrant is executed. The night of the shooting, an ambulance left Taylor’s apartment before officers broke through her doorway. Taylor did not receive immediate EMS treatment and bled to death on the floor of her apartment. Sgt. Jon Mattingly, who was shot in the femoral artery by Taylor’s boyfriend during the raid, had to be rushed away from the apartment on top of another officer’s car. Several minutes went by until he received medical treatment, too. Mattingly survived his injury.

Other reforms include an early-action warning system to identify officers with “red flags,” and the retention of records related to internal officer complaints and investigations.

It also removes the police chief’s option to close cases against officers “by exception,” allowing an officer to resign or retire without discipline. The “exception” option was most notably used by former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad in the Explorer child sex abuse case. Conrad allowed then-LMPD Officer Kenneth Betts to resign from the department in the middle of an internal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor. Conrad closed that investigation by exception, allowing Betts to continue working as an officer at another department.

Officers handling money during seizures will have to be in pairs and wear body cameras, according to the contract, which also requires LMPD to hire a number of social workers to help officers on certain runs.

The city also will have to offer housing credits to officers to encourage them to live in Louisville, as opposed to surrounding counties, as well as encourage them to perform at least two hours of paid community service each week.

The settlement pushes the city to bargain for increased drug and alcohol testing in the next round of contract negotiations with the department’s FOP.

“Everyone around the table was dedicated to advancing (these) reforms for the whole community,” Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell said at Tuesday’s news conference, before addressing Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer. “Miss Palmer, we tried our best to get a start.”

High-profile, civil-rights attorney Ben Crump also spoke Tuesday, praising local leaders for their passage of new legislation that banned no-knock warrants. The LMPD officers had secured one for the Taylor raid, but they essentially voided it when they knocked on her door the night of the raid. State lawmakers will consider a similar measure when the next legislative session convenes in January.

“I’m very happy that the Metro Council stood united to pass Breonna’s Law to abolish these dangerous no-knock warrants,” he said.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R)

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Mattingly and detectives Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove were placed on administrative reassignment following the raid, per LMPD protocol. Hankison was fired for “blindly” shooting 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment from outside, according to his termination letter. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office is investigating and will determine whether to criminally charge the officers.

“Regardless of this landmark step on the journey to justice, we still are demanding that (Kentucky Attorney General) Daniel Cameron bring charges immediately against the police officers that murdered Breonna Taylor,” Crump said.

Activist Tamika Mallory directed a similar message to Fischer, standing just feet away:

“If for any reason these officers are not indicted … you must instruct your police department to fire every single one of them on the spot,” she said.

Louisville Metro Government will cover $5 million of the $12 million settlement. A city insurance policy will cover $5 million, and the remaining $2 million will come from a trust. Fischer said the settlement is not an admission of officer wrongdoing.

“It’s just an acknowledgment of the need for reform and the need for a settlement to take place,” Fischer said.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor case: Kentucky attorney general asks for patience as police killing probe continues – CNBC

A demonstrator holds a sign with the image of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers, during a protest against the death George Floyd in Minneapolis, in Denver, Colorado on June 3, 2020.

Jason Connolly | AFP | Getty Images

Kentucky’s attorney general on Thursday asked the public to remain patient with his office’s investigation of the police killing of Breonna Taylor, more than three months after the Black emergency medical technician died during a raid on her Louisville home.

“I can assure you that at the end of our investigation, we will do what is right,” Attorney General Daniel Cameron told reporters at a press conference, which did not include announcements of any criminal charges against police involved in the raid.

“We will find the truth,” said Cameron, who took over the criminal investigation as a special prosecutor in the case last month.

“It’s important that we get this right,” he said.

The attorney general pointedly asked people to refrain from violent protest over the 26-year-old Taylor’s killing.

“Violence and lawlessness will do nothing more than to perpetuate further tragedy,” Cameron said.

He said he is “saddened and heartbroken” by Taylor’s death.

Taylor’s death has attracted nationwide interest and been among the subjects of protests in the weeks since the Minneapolis police killing of a Black man, George Floyd, on Memorial Day. 

The officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than seven minutes, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder and manslaughter in that case, and three other officers who assisted in the arrest have been charged with aiding and abetting those crimes. Floyd was being arrested on suspicion of using counterfeit money for a purchase. All four cops charged in the case have been terminated by the Minneapolis Police Department.

On Wednesday, now-former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe, who fatally shot a Black man named Rayshard Brooks in the back as he allegedly pointed a taser at cops he was fleeing from, was charged with murder and other charges.

Another Atlanta cop, Devin Brosnan, was charged with aggravated assault and other counts in the incident, which occurred after cops roused a sleeping Brooks from a car parked outside a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant Friday.

Cameron said his office is conducting an “independent” investigation of Taylor’s death, while also continuing to receive information from the Louisville Police Department’s public integrity unit.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron speaks during a roundtable discussion with President Donald Trump and law enforcement officials, Monday, June 8, 2020, at the White House in Washington.

Patrick Semansky | AP

“We believe that the independent steps we are taking are crucial for the findings to be accepted both by the community and those who are directly involved in the case,” Cameron said.

“I’m not going to get into specifics of what we have,” Cameron said when asked about evidence in the case.

He also said, “I’m not going to provide a specific date when our investigation will be concluded.”

Taylor was shot eight times on March 13 by police, who were executing a no-knock search warrant at her residence as part of a drug investigation.

Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against three cops, Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, alleging they “blindly” fired more than 20 shots into Taylor’s apartment.

Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who was in the apartment with her during the raid, did not have criminal histories, and no drugs were found in the raid, according to the lawsuit. Walker, who attorneys have said feared a home invasion, fired a gun he had at one officer, hitting him in the leg.

Cameron took over as special prosecutor in the case because the local district attorney until recently was prosecuting Walker for attempted murder on the cop. Walker’s case has since been dropped.

“An investigation of this magnitude requires time and patience,” Cameron said.

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Attorney Breonna

Attorney for Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend releases audio of 911 call after her shooting death – CNN

(CNN)Outcry over the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor reached a boiling point overnight Thursday in Louisville, Kentucky, when gunfire erupted during protests and audio was released of Taylor’s boyfriend’s call to 911 the day of her death.

Seven people were shot downtown, the mayor said in a video message on Twitter. Property damage also was reported after peaceful demonstrations took a turn, Louisville Metro Police Department officials said during a news conference.
The protests turned violent as fury in Minneapolis over the death this week of an unarmed black man in police custody also took a dangerous turn, with marchers setting a police precinct on fire. Large crowds gathered in both places, even as experts warned people to continue to avoid big gatherings to stall the spread of the coronavirus.
“Understandably, emotions are high,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said on Facebook. “As Breonna’s mother says, let’s be peaceful as we work toward truth and justice,”
Protesters this week have demanded justice for Taylor, an EMT who was shot at least eight times in March when three officers entered her Kentucky apartment by force to serve a search warrant in a narcotics investigation. The department said the officers announced themselves and returned gunfire from her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer and first-degree assault, but prosecutors filed a motion last week to drop the charges. In a wrongful death lawsuit, Taylor’s mother said the officers didn’t knock at all.
Also on Thursday, one of Walker’s attorneys released audio of the 911 call placed by Walker after Taylor was shot.
In the call, Walker tells the 911 operator, “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend,” and that Taylor was unresponsive on the ground.
“This call is one of the hardest things I’ve ever listened to,” attorney Sam Aguiar said in a statement Thursday. “Kenneth Walker is a great man. He stayed by Breonna’s side. He lost the love of his life and then went to jail after doing everything right. He had no idea who had broken into the home and fired shots. My heart is bleeding for him and his family.”
The FBI has opened an investigation into the incident, and the Louisville Metro Police Department said it would require sworn officers to wear body cameras.

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Breonna investigates

FBI investigates Breonna Taylor shooting as Louisville police chief announces retirement – Fox News

The FBI announced it is launching a probe into the shooting death of EMT Breonna Taylor from Louisville, Ky., after she was killed when local police allegedly executed a no-knock warrant on the wrong house, news that also coincides with the retirement of Lousiville Police Chief Steve Conrad.

Taylor’s family filed a lawsuit accusing officers of firing more than 20 shots inside Breonna Taylor’s home. Taylor, 26, was killed on March 13 after she was shot eight times by police. She was an aspiring nurse.

Her mother, Tamika Palmer, said she filed the lawsuit to get justice for her daughter. “I want them to say her name,” she told The Washington Post. “There’s no reason Breonna should be dead at all.”

FAMILY OF KENTUCKY EMT SHOT BY POLICE EXECUTING SEARCH WARRANT FILES LAWSUIT

The lawsuit, filed late last month, accuses the officers of wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence.

According to court documents, the officers who stormed Taylor’s house were executing a drug warrant in search of a male suspect who didn’t live in her apartment complex. It turned out he had already been detained by authorities before the warrant was executed.

Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown put out a statement saying: “FBI Lousiville has opened an investigation into the shooting of Breonna Taylor. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough, and impartial manner. As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to comment further at this time.”

Conrad announced he will be stepping down in June after more than eight years in his position, WDRB in Louisville reported.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a news release that Conrad had informed him of the decision on Thursday. Fischer has reportedly named Col. Robert Schroeder to serve on an interim basis, once Conrad’s retirement is made official.

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“It has been the highlight of my professional career to be Louisville’s police chief,” Conrad said in a press release. “LMPD [Louisville Metro Police Department] is full of amazing men and women who come to work each day to do their best for this community and it has been a privilege to lead them.”

“You all are weathering a lot right now and I know how challenging this is,” he wrote in an email to officers Thursday, according to WDRB. “Approach this as we approach all our struggles — as a team. Look out for each other. Show compassion to the community, even when it might not be shown to you.”

Fox News’ Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report.

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