U.S. Justice Department to Investigate Louisville Police Over Breonna Taylor’s Death

The United States Justice Department has launched a civil investigation into the practices of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) a year after the death of Breonna Taylor.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on April 26 that the Justice Department has opened a “pattern or practice investigation” into the LMPD, as well as the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government, to determine if it engages “unreasonable force, including with respect to people involved in peaceful expressive activities.”

Garland said that the investigation will assess if LMPD engages in discriminatory policing and will include a “comprehensive” review on its policies, training, and systems of accountability.

“It will determine whether LMPD engages in unconstitutional stops, searches, and seizures; as well as whether the department unlawfully executes search warrants on private homes,” Garland also said.

“The Constitution and federal law require law enforcement officers to treat all people fairly and equitably, regardless of race, disability, or participation in protected First Amendment activities. The investigation we are announcing today will examine whether these laws are being violated, while also analyzing the root causes of any violations we may find,” Pamela Karlan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, said in a statement.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer welcomed the investigation, saying that its review “will help us continue to pursue our efforts toward being the best police department in America and producing a safer, more equitable city, for all our residents.”

The announcement came 13 months after the killing of Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman shot by police during a raid in her home as part of a drug investigation. However, no drugs were found at her residence.

The announcement also came a week after the Justice Department announced an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

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