Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers on March 13, 2020. She was shot when three plainclothes LMPD officers executing a no-knock search warrant entered her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky.
It turns out there may be more to the tragic event.
The police warrant was linked to a gentrification plan in Louisville, according to attorneys representing Taylor’s family.
An amended lawsuit claims there were plans underway for a “high-investment, high-dollar real estate development” for Elliot Avenue in the Russell neighborhood of Louisville. This is where Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Cordell Glover had rented a home, and this presented a “roadblock” for the project, CBS reported.
“Vision Russell” is the name of one of the projects Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has pushed for, the lawyers said. The project “has been in the works for the last six years without the promised success.”
The lawsuit argues that Taylor‘s shooting death was the result of a Louisville police department operation to clear out Elliot Avenue as part of a major gentrification makeover, which included Vision Russell.
Lawyers said there were many people involved, including the mayor, who has denied the allegations. Attorneys claimed that a police squad — named Place-Based Investigations — had “deliberately misled” narcotics detectives to target a home on Elliott Avenue, leading them to believe they were after some of the city’s largest violent crime and drug rings, CBS reported.
“The execution of this search warrant robbed Breonna of her life and Tamika Palmer of her daughter,” said Florida-based attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family, in a Courier-Journal report.
“Its execution exhibited outrageous recklessness and willful, wanton, unprecedented and unlawful conduct,” Crump said.
The warrants were executed in the narcotics investigation on March 13 and they were meant to target Glover, one of the “primary roadblocks” to the development. Glover had rented a home in the 2400 block of Elliott Avenue in the Russell neighborhood. The home sits squarely in the area of the Vision Russell planned redevelopment.
“In the affidavit seeking the no-knock search warrant for Taylor’s Springfield Drive apartment, Detective Joshua Jaynes wrote that he had seen Glover leave Taylor’s apartment in January with a USPS package before driving to a ‘known drug house,’” The Courier Journal reported.
The detective said in the affidavit that he then verified “through a US Postal Inspector” that Glover had been receiving packages at Taylor’s address. However, a U.S. postal inspector in Louisville, told WDRB News that LMPD didn’t use his office to verify that Glover was receiving packages at Taylor’s apartment.
Detective Jaynes has since been placed on administrative reassignment pending investigation.
“Breonna’s home should never have had police there in the first place,” the lawsuit said. “Breonna’s death was the culmination of radical political and police conduct.”
Digging deeper, the lawsuit claims there were plans to purchase Glover’s home once he had been arrested. “The Jefferson County property value administrator’s website shows after police arrested Glover the second time, the city moved to purchase the property on Elliott Avenue. The property’s deed — signed June 5, which would have been Taylor’s 27th birthday — shows Louisville and Jefferson County Landbank Authority bought the home for $1 in June,” The Courier Journal reported.
The fair market value of the home was $17,160.
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Earlier this year, eight homes on Elliott Avenue were demolished by the city’s contractor, the complaint alleges. Compare this to just nine homes demolished in the area in the past 16 years combined.
According to the lawsuit, there was a surge of purchases by the city of homes and properties on Elliot Avenue in recent years that “have been scheduled for demolition and/or rehabilitation for developments to proceed.” If plans go accordingly, the development will bring in “modern, futuristic-looking homes, a cafe, an amphitheater, a state-of-the-art fitness center and more,” the lawyers said, citing the plans.
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