LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Attorney General Daniel Cameron's investigation is only one of seven total investigations related to what happened on March 13, 2020, when 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot.
Here are the other investigations:
Louisville Metro Police Department’s (LMPD) Public Integrity Unit investigation
This case led to the attorney general’s office carrying out its criminal investigation.
LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit conducted an internal investigation into what happened on March 13, which they completed. LMPD forwarded the findings to the attorney general’s office so it could carry out its criminal investigation. The attorney general’s investigation determines whether criminal charges should be filed against any of the involved officers.
LMPD’s Professional Standards Unit Investigation
LMPD’s Professional Standards Unit is conducting an internal investigation looking at six LMPD officers involved with the no-knock search warrant carried out on March 13, which resulting in Taylor’s death.
Two of the officers being investigated are Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly who were two of the three officers at Breonna Taylor’s apartment.
Mattingly was the officer initially shot by Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker. The third officer, Brett Hankison, who was also at the apartment, is not being investigated because he was fired by LMPD in June 2020.
Detective Joshua Jaynes is the third officer being investigated. He is reported to have written the affidavit seeking the judge's permission for the no-knock search at Breonna Taylor’s apartment.
The other three officers LMPD confirmed via email as part this investigation are Tony James, Michael Campbell, and Michael Nobles. LMPD would not confirm why those three were being investigated, only that they are part of this internal investigation.
Louisville Metro Council’s Investigation
Louisville Metro Council is looking at everything that happened the night Taylor was fatally shot.
Wed. Sept.16 , Metro Council heard testimony from its chief of public safety and former FBI agent Amy Hess.
LMPD’s Interim Chief Sergeant Robert Schroeder challenged the subpoena but was ordered by a judge to testify before Council.
Louisville Metro Council President David James said the council could also ask for testimony from those involved with Louisville’s development plan, specifically those involved with redevelopment on Elliott Avenue, more LMPD employees, and possibly the mayor’s office.
James said Metro Council decided to conduct its own investigation so the public could be privy to its finings because he said some of the investigations currently ongoing are private.
“For example, if the FBI doesn’t charge anybody with a civil rights violation, we’ll never see that investigation. The grand jury investigation with the attorney general’s office is a private investigation. The professional standards unit within the police department stays within the professional standards unit. So we felt very passionately that there needs to be a public-facing accountability piece where the public gets to understand and learn what did or did not happen with their government,” James said.
James said Metro Council’s main goal, besides making the public aware of what did or did not happen, is to also hold those accountable for actions they should or should not have taken, if necessary.
“It just depends on what it is, and who it is, right? Let’s just say that we learned that there’s some things that happen within the police department that should be addressed. We would recommend to the mayor that he address them. The council doesn’t have the power to do that, only the mayor does,” James said.
Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) federal criminal investigation
The FBI is investigating whether or not Taylor's civil rights were violated. If so, that is a federal crime.
The FBI does not investigate civil violations. However, according to the FBI’s website on Civil Rights cases they investigate, “it is unlawful for state or local law enforcement agencies to allow officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or U.S. laws.”
Often referred to as the Police Misconduct Statute, the law gives the Department of Justice the power to seek civil remedies in cases where law enforcement agencies have policies or practices that foster a pattern of misconduct by employees. That authority by the DOJ is to take action against an agency, not against individual officers.
Issues that may start such an investigation include:
- Lack of supervision/monitoring of officers’ actions;
- Lack of justification or reporting by officers on incidents involving the use of force;
- Lack of, or improper training of, officers; and
- Citizen complaint processes that treat complainants as adversaries.
The FBI Louisville investigation is ongoing, and in an emailed statement to Spectrum News 1 on Tuesday, the agency’s Louisville office said, “Our investigation is focusing on all aspects of Breonna Taylor's death. Once our investigation is concluded, we will provide the collected facts to the department of justice civil rights division to determine if federal criminal charges are warranted. At this time, we cannot provide a timeline on the conclusion of our investigation.”
Breonna Taylor’s Family’s Civil Lawsuit
The civil suit filed by Breonna Taylor’s family was settled for $12 million. The settlement includes reforms that LMPD will need to implement as part of that agreement.
The reforms include a requirement that a commanding officer approves all search warrants, new programs to incentivize police officers to live where they work, and a commitment to send social workers out on calls with police officers, when appropriate.
The city will also put in place a new system to monitor officer behavior and has pledged to include random drug testing of officers in its next contract with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) declined to comment on the reforms and the River City FOP did not return a request for comment.
Sentinel Event Review
Announced on May 29, 2020, the mayor’s office said it’s conducting a “sentinel event review” into the Breonna Taylor case. According to the mayor’s website, it’s conducting the review “with the goal of identifying and addressing any systemic flaws, preventing their recurrence, and earning public trust.”
Spectrum News 1 reached out to the mayor’s office for an update on where that investigation stands but has not heard back.
For a complete update on everything related to the Breonna Taylor case, visit our special blog section.