Breonna Taylor’s Family Says LMPD Search Warrant Was Tied to Louisville Gentrification Project in Updated Lawsuit

Police officers in riot gear stand in and around the milk jugs broken by two men moments earlier on May 30, 2020, in Louisville, Ky.
Police officers in riot gear stand in and around the milk jugs broken by two men moments earlier on May 30, 2020, in Louisville, Ky.
Photo: Brett Carlsen (Getty Images)

The family of Breonna Taylor updated their lawsuit against the city of Louisville, Ky., claiming that local authorities executed a search warrant on Taylor’s home to speed up an ongoing gentrification project in West Louisville.

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According to the complaint, which was updated Sunday according to USA Today, a police squad under the name Place-Based Investigations “deliberately misled” narcotics officers to think they were targeting a major violent crime and drug ring. Taylor’s family says that the warrant sought against her home was just one of five involving her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.

Glover lives in a city-owned home in an area primed by Mayor Greg Fischer’s office for a major redevelopment project called the Vision Russell Initiative, the city’s multi-million dollar revitalization plan. On March 12, five warrants were issued to Louisville Metro Police involving Glover, including a no-knock search warrant on Taylor’s home, where police alleged Taylor was receiving drug packages for him.

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But the real purpose of the warrants was not to investigate a drug ring, Taylor’s family alleges, but to drive Glover and other residents out of the neighborhood to help move the development plan along.

Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was fatally shot by the police who raided her apartment.

“Breonna’s home should never have had police there in the first place,” Taylor’s family attorneys wrote in the filing. “When the layers are peeled back, the origin of Breonna’s home being raided by police starts with a political need to clear out a street for a large real estate development project and finishes with a newly formed, rogue police unit violating all levels of policy, protocol and policing standards.

“Breonna’s death was the culmination of radical political and police conduct,” the suit added.

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A spokesperson for Mayor Fischer’s office pushed back on the claims to the Louisville Courier Journal (h/t Business Insider), saying the allegations were “without foundation or supporting facts.”

“They are insulting to the neighborhood members of the Vision Russell initiative and all the people involved in the years of work being done to revitalize the neighborhoods of west Louisville,” said spokesperson Jean Porter in a statement.

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Louisville Metro Police have fired one officer who shot Taylor, Brett Hankison, who was terminated last month. Three other narcotics officers and Detective Joshua Jaynes, who filed for the no-knock search warrant, have been reassigned because of Taylor’s killing but remain on the force. No charges have been filed in her death.

Staff writer, The Root.

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DISCUSSION

And now we see the logical conclusion of asset forfeiture laws.