LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Monday, March 13, 2023 marks three years since the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police officers executing a no-knock warrant at her apartment.
Taylor's death helped spark the racial justice movement in 2020 and has come to define Louisville's history. Since her death, many things have changed in Louisville and beyond.
What You Need To Know
- Monday, March 13, 2023 marks three years since the death of Breonna Taylor
- The anniversary came less than one week after the Department of Justice released its report following a multi-year probe of policing practices at LMPD that was prompted by the fatal police shooting
- Since Taylor's death, no-knock warrants have been banned in Louisville and Lexington, with strict limits placed on the practice statewide
- The warrant used to justify the no-knock raid on Taylor's Louisville apartment has since been proven falsified, and four former cops face federal charges including conspiracy
The anniversary came less than one week after the Department of Justice released its report following a multi-year probe of policing practices at LMPD that was prompted by the fatal police shooting of Taylor. The scathing report found rampant misconduct, patterns of discrimination and violations of constitutional rights by Louisville officers.
The report said Louisville Police “discriminate against Black people in its enforcement activities,” uses excessive force and conducts searches based on invalid warrants.
In a news conference announcing the report's findings, Attorney General Merrick Garland said, "Shortly after we opened the investigation, an LMPD leader told the department, 'Breonna Taylor was a symptom of problems that we have had for years.' The Justice Department’s findings and the report that we are releasing today bear that out."
In the immediate wake of Taylor's death at the hands of LMPD, there were calls to ban no-knock warrant practices. Local lawmakers in Louisville and Lexington voted to ban them outright, while a statewide effort led to strict limits being placed on the practice.
The warrant used to justify the no-knock raid on Taylor's Louisville apartment has since been proven falsified. Former LMPD detective Kelly Goodlett pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy in the effort by herself and two other officers to cover up the fact that critical information provided for the search warrant was false.
Taylor was shot to death by Louisville officers who had knocked down her door while executing the search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot that hit one of the officers as they came through the door and they returned fire, striking Taylor multiple times.
Former detective Joshua Jaynes and Goodlett "falsified documents" after Taylor's death and later conspired to tell investigators false stories, Garland said in August 2022.
LMPD fired a slew of officers involved in the raid and subsequent cover-up. In addition to Jaynes, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, Kyle Meany and Kimberly Burbrink lost their jobs.
The city of Louisville dedicated a historical marker in Jefferson Square Park in December, memorializing Taylor and others lost in the wake of the 2020 racial justice protests.
Then-Mayor Greg Fischer said he's still "deeply sorry" for the tragic deaths that occurred. Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said she was grateful to be a part of history.
"Thank you to Mayor Fischer for dedicating a historical marker ensuring our babies do not get swept away in history," Palmer said. "There is so much work to be done, but actions like the one taken today help further that work.”
Palmer and the city of Louisville reached a $12 million settlement six months after her death. The settlement stipulated that the city didn't have to admit any wrongdoing.
Lexington memorialized Taylor through an art piece at the Carnegie Center. Her memory also lives on through an augmented reality app called "Breonna's Garden."