A 26-Year-Old Woman Was Fatally Shot By Police In Her Home, And Now Kentucky’s Attorney General Is Investigating
"The color of our skin and our humanity shouldn't be a death sentence," a Kentucky lawmaker said.
Two months after a 26-year-old black woman was killed by police officers in her home, the Kentucky attorney general's office announced that it will investigate her death.
Officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department fatally shot Breonna Taylor just before 1 a.m. on March 13 after entering her apartment to serve a search warrant as part of a drug investigation. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep in bed when police arrived, and they believed they were experiencing a break-in, family members have said.
In a confrontation, Walker shot a police sergeant in the leg. Police shot Taylor, who was unarmed, at least eight times, her family said.
On Wednesday, after new questions were raised about the accuracy of the police account of what happened, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear called on the state's attorney general and US attorney's office to review the Louisville investigation into Taylor's death.
"The public reports concerning the death of Breonna Taylor are troubling. Her family and the public at large deserve the full facts regarding her death," Beshear said in a statement Wednesday. "The commonwealth's attorney, the U.S. attorney and the Kentucky attorney general should carefully review the results of the initial investigation to ensure justice is done at a time when many are concerned that justice is not blind."
State Rep. Charles Booker of Louisville also requested an independent investigation, saying in a letter to the state attorney general that the circumstances around Taylor's killing were "deeply troubling."
"The color of our skin and our humanity shouldn't be a death sentence," Booker tweeted. "Breonna and her family deserve justice. We all do."
The calls for review come after the Courier-Journal reported on Tuesday that a judge had signed off on a "no-knock" provision for the warrant to serve Taylor's home.
Officials have said that the officers knocked on the door multiple times and announced themselves before forcing entry into the home, but Taylor's family said the officers did not knock or announce their presence, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the officers last month.
The family said the couple believed someone was breaking into their home, and that Walker was acting out of self-defense when he fired his weapon, according to the lawsuit's complaint.
According to the Courier-Journal, neither Taylor nor Walker were the targets of the investigation, but police suspected the home was being used to receive drugs.
Taylor was an EMT and was working for two hospitals at the time of her death. She lived at the apartment with Walker and her younger sister, who was not home at the time of the incident.
Shortly after the governor's statement, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron tweeted that his office had been asked to serve as the special prosecutor in the case and that it would "review the evidence and take appropriate action."
On Thursday, the Louisville police department said that its investigation into the incident that resulted in Taylor's death was "nearly complete" and that it would be provided to Cameron's office for review.
Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad has also asked the FBI and the US Attorney's office to review the investigation, the department said on Twitter.
A spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment on the case, citing policies that prevent the agency from confirming or denying the existence of an investigation.
Representatives for US Attorney's office did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
The renewed attention on Taylor's death in March comes after a video released last week showing the February killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery sparked outrage across the country.
The two white men who followed and shot Arbery to death while he was jogging down the street had not been arrested or charged before the video became public. Now, the Department of Justice is investigating his killing as a possible hate crime.
"That's not justice, what has happened for those two young people," Sen. Kamala Harris said in an interview Wednesday as she called on the DOJ to investigate both killings.