City council to probe handling of Breonna Taylor shooting
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville’s city government has announced plans to review the handling by the mayor’s administration of the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor.
The Louisville Metro Council’s government oversight committee, which has subpoena powers, announced its intentions Monday, news outlets reported. The council’s next meeting is scheduled for July 23.
“The citizens of this community, including members of this Metro Council, have been very upset with the perceived lack of transparency by the city,” said Brent Ackerson, who chairs the committee. “It’s our intention, as a committee, to formally begin an investigation, to bring people in and get legitimate answers and legitimate documentation.”
There are several ongoing criminal investigations into the shooting, including the Louisville Metro Police Department’s internal probe, which is being reviewed by the state attorney general’s office. The FBI is also investigating the March 13 police shooting.
Jean Porter, a spokeswoman for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, said he welcomed the review. She said Fischer already has authorized a thorough review of the police department and a separate investigation of actions related to the Taylor case. Fischer fired the former police chief earlier this month after officers failed to turn on body cameras during a shooting amid the protests.
For nearly a month, protesters have been calling for the officers involved in Taylor’s death to be criminally charged.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was killed in her Louisville apartment March 13 by plainclothes detectives who were serving a no-knock warrant in a drug investigation. No drugs were found, and one of the officers was recently fired. Two other officers remain on administrative reassignment.
Taylor’s death also has attracted attention from celebrities, including Lizzo, Jada Pinkett Smith and Beyoncé. Millions have signed an online petition demanding justice for Taylor.
A man charged in a deadly shooting where Louisville protesters gather was arraigned on a murder charge Tuesday morning. Steven N. Lopez also was charged with nine counts of wanton endangerment. Lopez, 23, who had joined the downtown protests on several occasions, was asked to leave Saturday before the shooting. Witnesses say he returned with a gun and opened fire, killing 27-year-old Tyler Gerth.
Courts records show Lopez’s family had a protective order issued against him in April.
Calls for action against the officers have gotten louder during a national reckoning over racism and police brutality following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Officials there are prosecuting four officers involved, including bringing a murder charge against the officer who pressed a knee into Floyd’s neck on May 25.