Twenty-six-year-old Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her home during a police raid in the early morning of March 13, as Blavity previously reported.
Taylor was a certified EMT and worked at two hospitals as a medical technician prior to being shot in her bed when police officers executed a search warrant while looking for a suspect named Jamarcus Glover. There is no official word on why Taylor was shot, but an official investigation is being conducted to uncover exactly what took place and why the young EMT was shot eight times.
According to the Washington Post, Taylor's family hired lauded civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump Monday to pursue legal action against Louisville police.
While her killing took place in March, it has recently re-entered public consciousness following the killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.
Here’s what we know about the killing of Taylor, who was described by relatives as hardworking, honest and kind:
1. Taylor's family believes the raid was “botched.”
Sam Aguiar, an attorney working with the Taylor family, said police were in search of someone else and that a separate group of officers picked that suspect up at his home in a different raid just before the shooting, WDRB reported.
“Something went terribly wrong,” Aguiar told WDRB. “This was clearly a botched execution of a warrant.”
There has been no official word issued to the family as to why the police entered Taylor's home unannounced, and Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said he could not talk about the incident because there is a pending public integrity investigation.
The raid had been part of a narcotics investigation although no drugs were found in the home.
2. Police exchanged shots with Taylor's boyfriend, who survived.
Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker was arrested for exchanging gunfire with the police during the raid. He was charged with attempted homicide for shooting Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg.
According to WDRB, Walker’s defense attorney Rob Eggert said the 27-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charges and that his client acted in self-defense because he couldn’t have known that the police weren’t a threat, as Walker said they failed to identify themselves.
Eggert also said had it been anyone other than law enforcement, they would be charged in Taylor's death by now.
“It was incredible that Mrs. Taylor was the only one killed,” Eggert said. “Had Breonna Taylor been killed by anyone except police, the person or persons responsible for her death would have been charged with a homicide."
Mattingly survived but underwent surgery for his injuries.
Walker was being held on a $250,000 full cash bond, but Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens released him to home confinement, much to the chagrin of the police union, WDRB reported.
"Judge Olu Steven's actions in this case are especially bewildering and problematic because the Louisville jail is currently experiencing the lowest inmate numbers since the 1990's, so an overcrowded jail did not figure into Judge Steven's decision to release an alleged, attempted cop killer back into the community without even so much as requiring bail," the organization wrote on Facebook.
3. There's no body camera footage of the incident.
As Blavity previously reported, police said no body camera footage exists because the department’s criminal interdiction division doesn't wear body cameras.
A neighbor said she doesn’t remember the police announcing their presence but that she heard shots and Walker yelling for help. Police disputed her recollection and said they had to bust the door open after “repeatedly knocking and announcing their presence.”
4. Activists have helped to resurface her senseless killing.
Activist and writer Brittany Packnett is among a list of supporters coming alongside the Taylor family as they seek answers.
LMPD HAS GIVEN HER MOTHER NO ANSWERS & TAKEN NO RESPONSIBLITY.
BE ANGRY ABOUT THIS.
— brittany packnett cunningham does not do remixes. (@MsPackyetti) May 12, 2020
Taylor’s relatives are asking that people treat her case with the same level of concern as other recent notable cases of discrimination.
“I’m just getting awareness for my sister, for people to know who she is, what her name is,” Taylor’s sister Ju’Niyah Palmer said. “It is literally just as equal. There’s no difference.”
Crump wants to see this story get as much attention as the young Black men who have lost their lives at the hands of police brutality.
“They’re killing our sisters just like they’re killing our brothers, but for whatever reason, we have not given our sisters the same attention that we have given to Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Stephon Clark, Terence Crutcher, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald,” he said. “Breonna’s name should be known by everybody in America who said those other names, because she was in her own home, doing absolutely nothing wrong.”
Crump also represents the family of Arbery and said, “If you ran for Ahmaud, you need to stand for Bre."
Taylor's name, along with #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor and #SayHerName began trending on Sunday.
— Jza ???? (@jzajuptr) May 8, 2020
#BreonnaTaylor’s family deserves justice.
It is so dehumanizing that Breonna’s family & many others must launch public campaigns just to have victim’s lives recognized & given the dignity of due process.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 12, 2020
I've been posting about #BreonnaTaylor for a few days now. Let this be a lesson in how the deaths of Black Women are completely acceptable by "the movement" as a whole. They went through the trouble of co-opting #SayHerName while a whole Black Woman needed to be lifted up. https://t.co/VfLO8QaZ7J
— Leslie Mac (@LeslieMac) May 12, 2020
5. Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
Taylor's family has filed a lawsuit against Sgt. Mattingly as well as officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, who also took part in the raid. The suit cites wrongful death, gross negligence and excessive force, the Courier-Journal reported.