LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The attorneys representing the mother of Breonna Taylor have filed an amended claim against Louisville Metro Government and the police officers involved in Taylor’s death.
In a 31-page court filing, the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) is accused of targeting residents of the Russell neighborhood in the city’s west end to clear tenants and properties for a high-dollar redevelopment project spearheaded by the city and mayor’s office.
The filing claims Taylor’s death was at the hands of a “rogue police unit,” which unlawfully targeted the EMT worker for her association with ex-boyfriend and suspected drug dealer, Jamarcus Glover, a Russell neighborhood resident. At the time LMPD officers executed the now banned no-knock warrant, no drugs were found at Taylor’s residence and none were found in her system according to a coroner’s report.
A statement from lawyers Ben Crump, Sam Aguiar, and Lonita Baker read, “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. The officers who robbed Breonna of her life — and Tamika Palmer of her daughter — exhibited outrageous, reckless, willful, wanton, and unlawful conduct. As a consequence, the city lost one of its most precious essential frontline workers, who risked her life daily to save her fellow residents in a pandemic. This is a grievous offense against Breonna, her family, and the greater Louisville community.”
In response to the accusations of redlining by the city, Mayor Greg Fischer’s office released this statement.
"Those are outrageous allegations without foundation or supporting facts. They are insulting to the neighborhood members of the Vision Russell initiative and all the people involved in the years of work being done to revitalize the neighborhoods of west Louisville. The Mayor is absolutely committed to that work, as evidenced by the city’s work to support $1 billion in capital projects there over the past few years, including a new YMCA, the city’s foundational $10 million grant to the Louisville Urban League’s Sports and Learning Complex, the Cedar Street housing development, new businesses, down payment homeownership assistance, and of course, the remaking of the large Beecher Terrace initiative."
Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Chief of Louisville Forward, oversees the city's economic and community development. She released a statement saying, “This is a gross mischaracterization of the project. The work along Elliott Avenue is one small piece of the larger Russell neighborhood revitalization and stabilization work we’ve been doing for years, including the transformation of Beecher Terrace through Choice neighborhood grants. We have partnered with a community organization to understand community needs and wants, and the public land bank has been acquiring properties through foreclosure, donation, and some sales; less than half the homes there are occupied. We have also been in conversation with non-profit housing interests about using the publicly acquired properties to create Louisville’s first community land trust to ensure investment without displacement. Our goal is to provide a safe, clean, desirable, and affordable neighborhood for the residents of Russell.”