DOJ Announces a 2nd Major Policing Probe

Feds are investigating policing in Louisville in the wake of Breonna Taylor's death
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2021 2:15 PM CDT
AG Announces Probe Into Louisville Policing
This photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar shows Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.   (Courtesy of Taylor Family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP, File)

The Justice Department is opening a sweeping probe into policing in Louisville, Kentucky, after the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death by police during a raid at her home. It's the second such sweeping probe into a law enforcement agency announced by the Biden administration in a week, the AP reports. The 26-year-old Taylor, an emergency medical technician who had been studying to become a nurse, was roused from sleep by police who came through the door using a battering ram. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired once. A no-knock warrant was approved as part of a narcotics investigation. No drugs were found at her home. The investigation announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland Monday is into the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government and the Louisville Metro Police Department.

The new investigation is known as a "pattern or practice” probe—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. It will specifically focus on whether the Louisville Metro Police Department engages in a pattern of unreasonable force, including against people engaging in peaceful activities, and will also examine whether the police department conducts unconstitutional stops, searches, and seizures and whether the department illegally executes search warrants, Garland said. The probe will also "assess whether LMPD engages in discriminatory conduct on the basis of race," he said. (Garland announced a probe of the Minneapolis Police Department last week.)

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