The Louisville Metro Police Department has finally released the incident report from the night Breonna Taylor was killed by police who incorrectly entered her apartment on a no-knock search warrant. Problem is, the report is basically blank.
Taylor was an essential worker in Louisville, Ky and served as an emergency medical technician when she was shot in her home on March 13.
The four-page report redacted information that has already been made public, such as Taylor’s date of birth, street and apartment number. Even more oddly — and suspiciously — the report lists her injuries as “none,” even though she was shot at least eight times and died on her hallway floor in a pool of blood, the Courier-Journal reported.
And, the report lists the charges as “death investigation — LMPD involved,” the “no” box is checked under “forced entry,” even though officers used a battering ram to knock down Taylor’s apartment door.
The report names the three officers who fired shots in Taylor’s apartment, as the “offenders”. They are Sgt. Jon Mattingly, 47; Myles Cosgrove, 42; and Brett Hankison, 44.
Yet, the rest of the report has no information filled in at all.
“I read this report and have to ask the mayor, the police chief, and the city’s lawyers: Are you kidding? This is what you consider being transparent to taxpayers and the public?” asked Richard A. Green, editor of The Courier Journal. “At a time when so many are rightfully demanding to know more details about that tragic March evening, I fail to understand this lack of transparency. The public deserves more.”
After the report was called into question, the police department acknowledged errors, saying it was the result of the reporting program creating a paper file.
“Inaccuracies in the report are unacceptable to us, and we are taking immediate steps to correct the report and to ensure the accuracy of incident reports going forward,” the statement said.
This raises the questions, how many other incident reports had errors and what were the consequences of those errors in reporting?
Many activists wanted to make sure Taylor’s story is not forgotten amid the George Floyd protests going on worldwide. After calls for changes and challenges to the Louisville government and police department, the Louisville Metro Council has voted unanimously to ban no-knock warrants. The legislation was titled Breonna’s Law, in honor of Taylor, NPR reported.
Breonna’s Law was passed on June 11 and it requires police to wear body cameras when serving warrants and to turn on the cameras five minutes before beginning operations.
Here’s what happened on March 13.
Taylor was at her apartment around 12:40 a.m. with her boyfriend when three plainclothes police officers entered her home as part of a botched narcotics investigation using a no-knock search warrant. Although the officers involved said they announced their presence, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker and several neighbors said they did not.
Walker said he thought intruders were trying to break in and fired a warning shot that struck one of the cops in the leg, The Courier-JOurnal reported. Officers returned fire and Taylor, 26, was shot multiple times. She later died.
Taylor’s family is suing the police and say her death was an execution.
None of the officers in her death have been charged.
Meanwhile, one of the policemen involved is under investigation for accusations of sexual assault and harassment in addition to the shooting death of Taylor.
An FBI-led task force is leading an investigation into sexual assault charges against Hankison.
At least two women said Hankison sexually assaulted them. Earlier this month, Margot Borders wrote in a Facebook post that Hankison offered her a ride home in 2018 after she had been drinking at a bar, Vox reported.
“He drove me home in uniform, in his unmarked car, invited himself into my apartment and sexually assaulted me while I was unconscious,” she posted.
Another woman, Emily Terry, wrote that Hankison pulled up next to her in his vehicle as she was walking home intoxicated. He offered her a ride home, she accepted, and in the car he “began making sexual advances towards me; rubbing my thigh, kissing my forehead, and calling me ‘baby.’ Mortified, I did not move,” she wrote.
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As far as the harassment charges against Hankison, an investigation by WLKY reported that in October 2019, Kendrick Wilson, a Louisville barbershop owner, filed a lawsuit against LMPD and Hankison, accusing the officer of being a “dirty cop with a vendetta.” The lawsuit details three arrests dating back to 2016.
Wilson told WLKY that the harassment began when he attempted to unknowingly leave a bar with one of Hankison’s ex-girlfriends.
In March 2016, Hankison arrested Wilson after he was involved in a bar fight. This case was dismissed. Then, in June 2018, Hankinson arrested Wilson again, charging him with trafficking in a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, and resisting arrest. In Wilson’s civil lawsuit he alleges Hankison planted the drugs. His criminal case is still pending.
In October 2018, Wilson was arrested yet again by Hankinson for a drug offense. Charges were dismissed.
Wilson called Hankison a “dirty, dirty cop.”
“He needs to be exposed because he tried to take away my freedom,” Wilson says. “No justice, no peace. What we’re saying is we’re going to stand up and keep fighting.”
There is a protest planned in Taylor’s memory today in downtown Grand Rapids. Organizers of the protest say Taylor has not received the same amount of attention as Floyd. “Black women deserve justice in police brutality cases just as much as Black men,” Wood TV reported.
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