Family Of Breonna Taylor Says She Was Alive For Six Minutes After Being Shot But Didn't Receive Medical Aid
The coroner who performed the autopsy said Taylor’s injuries would have been fatal even if she had received medical attention.
July 08, 2020 at 8:18 pm
An amended lawsuit filed by Breonna Taylor’s family cites a number of violations by the Louisville Metro Police Department officers, which they say led to the EMT’s death. The lawsuit states Taylor did not receive medical care after she was shot, reports The New York Times.
The lawsuit, filed on Sunday, states Taylor was alive for up to six minutes after being shot but did not receive medical attention.
“In the six minutes that elapsed from the time Breonna was shot, to the time she died, we have no evidence suggesting that any officer made entry in an attempt to check and assist her,” Sam Aguiar, the family’s lawyer, told The Times. “She suffered."
Officials dispute that claim, saying the police officers worked as fast as they could. They said the earliest moment that paramedics could have entered the apartment was after officer Jon Mattingly — who was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker — was attended to. They also needed Walker to come out of the apartment, which occurred around 12:53 a.m., before entering the home.
The death certificate records Taylor’s time of death as “approximately 12:48 a.m.,” and according to the first of many 911 calls from neighbors, gunfire began at 12:42 a.m.
The coroner who performed the autopsy, Dr. Barbara Weakley-Jones, said Taylor’s injuries would have been fatal even if she had received medical attention. Weakley-Jones explained that the severe injuries to Taylor's critical organs likely caused her to die in “less than a minute.”
“Even if it had happened outside of an ER we couldn’t have saved her,” Weakley-Jones said.
She said the time of death was an estimate and that it was recorded as six minutes after the start of the shooting because the deputy who recorded it hadn't been trained to read autopsy reports.
Because the incident occurred in the dark, officers were unaware that Taylor had been injured, officials say.
Walker called 911 at 12:47 a.m. When the operator asked if Taylor was conscious, Walker said no and said “Oh my god. Oh my god.”
“Why didn’t they go in to help her? They just got shot. Why rush back in and get someone else shot?” Tom Wine, the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s attorney, said.
The 31-page complaint also states that the officers failed to identify themselves. Although police say they did identify themselves, the lawsuit states that their lack of verbal identification led Walker to shoot at them as a warning, thinking that the house was being broken into, reports the Los Angeles Times. An attempted murder charge against Walker has been dropped. During a news conference on the day of Taylor’s killing, Lt. Ted Eidem, of the LMPD's Public Integrity Unit, said officers announced they were police after knocking several times, according to CNN.
Aguiar also said officers violated standing police protocols because they did not have an ambulance on standby during the raid. The LMPD confirmed that officers usually request ambulances during no-knock and other high-risk search warrants.
“It is common practice,” spokeswoman Jessie Halladay said.
The Times reported that an ambulance was sent to Taylor’s home at 11:12 p.m. on March 12 but left at 11:39 p.m. The emergency log was updated with the message “PD NEEDS EMS NOW” at 12:44 a.m. following the shooting.
The lawsuit says the first ambulance was sent away because officers “had never actually intended to raid Breonna’s home unless [Glover] was there,” according to the LA Times.
“Connecting the dots, it’s clear that these officers should never have been at Breonna Taylor’s home in the first place, and that they invaded the residence with no probable cause,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is one of the lawyers representing Taylor’s family, said in a statement.