Family seeks answers in fatal police shooting of Louisville woman in her apartment

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Description: Breonna Taylor was working as an EMT in Louisville when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, helping to save lives while trying to protect her own.

On March 13, the 26-year-old aspiring nurse was killed in her apartment, shot at least eight times by Louisville police officers who officials have said were executing a drug warrant, according to a lawsuit filed by the family, accusing officers of wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence.

“Not one person has talked to me. Not one person has explained anything to me,” Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, said in an interview. “I want justice for her. I want them to say her name. There’s no reason Breonna should be dead at all.”

According to the lawsuit, filed April 27, Louisville police executed a search warrant at Taylor’s home, looking for a man who did not live in Taylor’s apartment complex and had already been detained when officers came to Taylor’s apartment after midnight. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was also in the apartment and, according to the lawsuit, shot at officers when they attempted to enter without announcing themselves. The lawsuit alleges that police fired more than 20 rounds of ammunition into the apartment. Taylor’s death is the kind that could have drawn national headlines in the Black Lives Matter era, like the deaths of Sandra Bland and Atatiana Jefferson, but has gotten little attention amid news of the spread of the coronavirus. The pandemic headlines were partly to blame in drowning out news of Taylor’s death, but so, too, is gender bias, said attorney Ben Crump, who has risen to prominence in recent years as the lawyer for several high-profile cases involving black men killed by police and neighborhood vigilantes.

None of the officers involved have been charged in connection with the shooting. Walker, a licensed gun owner who was not injured in the incident, was arrested and faces charges of first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer.

Louisville Metro Police Department spokeswoman Jessie Halladay declined to comment on the case and said in a statement, “There is an ongoing public integrity investigation into this case and therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time.”