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Federal investigation into Breonna Taylor death widens as community marks 1 year since the shooting

Racial Injustice Kentucky Impatience
Posted at 2:38 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 19:32:49-05

As Louisville, and the country, mark one year since officers came inside Breonna Taylor’s home and fatally shot her, a federal investigation of the shooting is casting a wider net than previous investigations and looking into the warrant that allowed officers entrance.

In the early morning hours of March 13, 2020, officers serving a search warrant went inside Taylor’s home. Taylor’s boyfriend, believing the home was being invaded by criminals, opened fire, hitting an officer in the leg. Three police officers fired their weapons. Taylor was hit five times, and died.

Taylor was 26 years old and worked as an emergency room technician.

It was ruled that two officers fired shots that hit Taylor, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, and a third officer, Brett Hankison, fired shots from outside through the windows. Mattingly was hit by Taylor's boyfriend's shot.

A grand jury formed last year by state Attorney General Daniel Cameron recommended only one officer, Hankison, be charged in connection with the shooting, the charge is for endangering Taylor’s neighbors not for her death.

The warrant that allowed officers to enter was not part of Cameron’s criminal investigation. The warrant was part of a drug investigation into Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, and there is discrepancy in whether it was a so-called “no-knock” warrant, which allows officers to enter without knocking or identifying themselves.

That warrant, and how it was obtained, are under review by federal investigators who are conducting their own investigation into what happened.

There are signs the federal investigation could look into the Louisville police response to demonstrations after Taylor’s shooting, according to the Associated Press. They could also examine police training and question officers about their mindset and thought process the night of the shooting.

In addition to the grand jury investigation, in the last year since the shooting, Louisville, and many other cities around the country, have banned “no-knock” warrants, Louisville’s Police Department has a new chief, and the city has paid a $12 million settlement to Taylor’s mother.

Two of the officers who fired shots in Taylor’s home have been dismissed by the department, Cosgrove and Hankison, along with a detective who had sought the warrant. Mattingly is still with the department.

Taylor’s boyfriend who fired at officers was originally facing charges for that shooting, but they were all dropped just this month.