Tamika Palmer Files Complaints Against 6 Special Investigations Officers Involved in Breonna Taylor Case

Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor, poses for a portrait in front of a mural of her daughter at Jefferson Square park on September 21, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Demonstrators gathered to prepare for possible unrest in wake of the Grand Jury decision regarding the officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor. Taylor was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police officers during a no-knock warrant at her apartment on March 13, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Demonstrators have occupied the park for 118 days.
Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor, poses for a portrait in front of a mural of her daughter at Jefferson Square park on September 21, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Demonstrators gathered to prepare for possible unrest in wake of the Grand Jury decision regarding the officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor. Taylor was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police officers during a no-knock warrant at her apartment on March 13, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Demonstrators have occupied the park for 118 days.
Photo: Brandon Bell (Getty Images)

Today marks exactly one year since Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in Louisville, Ky., by reckless police officers who were executing a search warrant that should never have been issued. It’s also been just over five months since it was officially decided that no one murdered Breonna Taylor and that nothing in the way of substantial criminal charges is coming in regards to the officers who were involved in the clear (to anyone Black) case of systemic racism and systemic incompetence in policing that took the 26-year-old’s life.

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But none of us who seek to hold police officers accountable for how they police Black people have given up on achieving some semblance of justice for Taylor or her family—least of all, her mother, Tamika Palmer.

WLKY reports that Palmer has filed complaints against six officers who are connected to the deadly raid on March 13, of last year. This time, the complaints aren’t against the officers involved in the actual shooting that took place during the execution of the dubiously-obtained drug warrant; instead, they focus on members of the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Professional Standards Unit.

From WLKY:

The Professional Standards Unit and the Public Integrity Unit fall under the special investigations division of the LMPD.

According to the complaints, sent to WLKY by the family’s attorney Sam Aguiar, Palmer is calling on the PSU to investigate the officers for their various roles — from those involved with Place Based Investigations, those who provided statements about the raid and those who were behind allegations of improperly monitoring Taylor’s phone.

A spokesperson for the LMPD said in a statement Friday that the police department plans to work with Palmer’s attorneys and being “transparent as possible.”

“The department places the highest priority on conducting thorough and impartial investigations, and the complaints received from Ms. Palmer’s attorney are no exception. We are committed to being as transparent as possible within the confines of those limitations outlined by law of the Commonwealth.”

 Sgt. Kyle Meany, Det. Anthony James, Det. Mike Nobles, Sgt. Amanda Seelye, Det. Mike Campbell and Lt. Shawn Hoover are the officers named in the complaints.

The complaints range from allegations of evidence tampering and a failure to secure the crime scene to the alleged “reckless, deliberate and in complete disregard for the rights and safety of citizens” of Campbell—who Palmer’s attorneys say helped obtain the search warrant through false information—and Meany who commanded the PBI squad.

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One other interesting (to nobody Black) complaint is the one directed at Det. James who attorneys allege falsely reported to the PIU that Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker—who had all criminal complaints against him permanently dropped earlier this week—were firing “repeatedly and indiscriminately” towards officers the night Taylor was killed.

It’s clear that Palmer has not given up on bringing all of those involved in Taylor’s death—which the FBI is still investigating—to justice.

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“It can’t end here,” Palmer told CNN in a recent interview. “I’m still out here, I’m still doing what I need to do to get justice for Breonna to make sure that people do right by her.”

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

DISCUSSION

Makes Me Wonder Why I Even Bring The Thunder

Wikipedia has 9 “controversies” for the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisville_Metro_Police_Department in the past decade without even getting to the overtime fraud scheme or their police union needing to expel members for making racist comments (both of which I’ve mentioned before): https://www.theroot.com/1846164699

  • In August 2011, Officer Jerry Lee Coulter pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud. He had altered official documents to indicate he could borrow a larger amount than authorized by the court.
  • In September 2011, the department launched an investigation when a video clip posted on YouTube showed Officer James W. Conley beating a man with a flashlight. In March 2012, a local grand jury refused to indict Officer Conley.
  • On December 17, 2011, Officer Charles Wheeler saw his girlfriend sit with another man at a local club. He ordered the other man to move and when he refused Wheeler began to beat him. In October 2012, he was charged with fourth-degree assault.
  • In early September 2012, narcotics Detective Chauncey Carthan got into an altercation at the corner of 24th and Chestnut Streets with an unarmed man. Carthan shot the man in the leg when he refused to get out of his car. Carthan was off-duty and under the influence of alcohol at the time of the shooting. Carthan was charged with driving under the influence, wanton endangerment, and official misconduct. On January 15, 2015, Carthan was acquitted on charges of wanton endangerment, but found guilty of driving under the influence; he was ordered to pay a $500 fine. The official misconduct charge was dismissed prior to trial.
  • In January 2012, Lieutenant Colonel Settle, Kentucky Army National Guard, was restrained by Louisville Metro Police officers who thought he was a homeless panhandler; Settle has since filed a lawsuit against the department alleging assault and wrongful detainment.
  • In March 2014, a mob of teenagers began a series of attacks in downtown Louisville. Among twenty-plus incidents, a man was knocked down and beaten near the Big Four Bridge, and a large group ransacked a convenience store on South First Street. Although LMPD had deployed extra officers due to the potential for trouble after the death of a juvenile stabbed on a TARC bus several days earlier, the officers were based along West Broadway, away from where the mob attack took place. In the days following the mob incident, residents criticized LMPD for their response. The Downtown Area Patrol was established as a result of the attack and outcry, and led the Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana police departments to develop strategies to combat issues at the Big Four Bridge, which connects the two cities via a walking path. The man who stabbed the juvenile was cleared of wrongdoing on self-defense grounds.
  • In 2020, Breonna Taylor was shot by police.[34] On May 21, 2020, Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad announced that he plans to retire effective June 30.
  • In 2020, business owner David McAtee was shot and killed by the Kentucky National Guard and police. On June 1, 2020 Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher announced the immediate firing of Police Chief Steve Conrad. The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office were also brought in to investigate McAtee’s death.
  • In November 2020 it was revealed that the LMPD have covered up 738,000 documents relating to sexual abuse against minors perpetrated by two officers.