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Lawyer For Breonna Taylor’s Family Says Louisville Cops Are Lying About Availability Of Bodycam Footage

Update (July 9, 2021): An attorney representing Breonna Taylor’s family has filed a lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department (MPD).

Attorney Sam Aguiar said the officers involved in the fatal raid were assigned body cameras and he believes the department lied about having video evidence of the fatal shooting, NBC News reported

In the lawsuit, Aguiar said he previously requested information about body cameras from the police department, however, he has yet to receive that information. The lawsuit states he now wants a judge to order the police department to release any information surrounding video evidence of the ordeal.

The MPD has previously stated that the raid was not captured on video because some of the officers do not wear body cameras.

However, Aguiar is under the impression that “misinformation has been presented to the general public regarding the usage of body cameras” on March 13, 2020.

“The plaintiffs, and the public, have an uncompromised right to know whether undisclosed body camera footage exists, or otherwise previously existed, from LMPD Axon Cameras which relates to the events surrounding the death of Breonna Taylor,” the lawsuit states.

In Oct. 2020, the police department released videos from officers who were on the scene that night. Former police officer Jonathan Mattingly’s attorney also released a 44-second video showing moments after he was shot in the leg during the raid. 

To this day, many are still demanding answers and transparency from the MPD. 

In June 2020, the MPD released an incident report of what happened the night Taylor was shot and killed as she slept. But the four-page report did not give specifics surrounding Taylor’s death and included inaccurate information.

“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,” a statement from the department said.

If body camera footage of the March 2020 raid does exist it could help answer what actually happened the night Taylor was killed by Louisville police officers.

To date, none of the officers involved in the 2020 raid have been held accountable for Taylor’s death.

Original (June 11, 2020): After public outcry and a concerted social media effort to demand answers in the killing of Breonna Taylor, the Louisville Metro Police Department has released the incident report from the night of March 13 when the young EMT was killed.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the “narrative” part of the report, the most informative part of an incident report, has only two words: “PIU investigation.”

The four-page report details the 26-year-old’s full name, the time, date, case number and location of the incident. But specific information about Taylor, such as her home address and date of birth, and about the circumstances of her death was not included in the report.

The report said she had sustained no injuries, despite Taylor being shot eight times during the “no-knock” raid

On the first page of the document, the LMPD checked the box for “No” under the “Forced Entry” section although a battering ram was used to force entry into the home that night, according to the Courier-Journal. 

Mayor Greg Fischer issued a statement Wednesday calling the department’s documentation of the event unacceptable.

“Full stop. It’s issues like this that erode public confidence in LMPD’s ability to do its job, and that’s why I’ve ordered an external top-to-bottom review of the department,” he said. “I am sorry for the additional pain to the Taylor family and our community.”

Police officials attributed the “inaccuracies” in the report to a computer reporting program that creates the paper files, the Courier-Journal reports.

“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,” a statement from the department said.

The officers involved in the shooting — Sgt. Jon Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison — have been placed on administrative reassignment pending the investigation. Joshua Jaynes, the detective who made the warrant request, has also been reassigned, per police officials.

The Courier-Journal has sued the LMPD and seeks the immediate release of the department’s investigation documents. But police have refused to release the file because the investigation into Taylor’s death is ongoing. 

“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?” Richard A. Green, editor of the Courier-Journal, said. 

Jon Fleischaker, legal counsel for the Courier-Journal, said the document is proof that LMPD continues to skirt its responsibility to be transparent to the public.

“Under the Fischer administration, there has been a consistent policy and practice of refusing to tell the public what is going on with the police, regardless of how inappropriate the officer conduct has been — even when it was criminal,” he said.

Taylor would have celebrated her 27th birthday on June 5. 

On May 21, the FBI launched its own independent investigation. Mayor Fischer said on May 28 that he supported the probe.

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