LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The charges faced by the four former and current Louisville police officers may not be the end of the investigation into the raid on Breonna Taylor’s home.
On April 26, 2021, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced that the Department of Justice had opened a pattern or practice investigation into the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government and the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Mike Bassi, the director of the Southern Police Institute explained it’s usually a big incident that results in the DOJ coming in.
“[It] investigates their policies, procedures and basically how they do business,” Bassi said. “Basically, to determine if there’s a pattern or practice, a behavior which is either discriminatory, violates people's civil rights, or has any other I’ll effect to the community.”
The charges announced Thursday against former officers Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankison and current officers Kelly Goodlett and Sgt. Kyle Meany pertain to the faulty warrant used to search Breonna Taylor’s home on the night of her death.
Those arrests could just be the beginning of a lengthy investigation by the DOJ.
“It’s not likely the process will stop just with the indictment of those four officers, meaning that they’ve already launched a full-scale pattern or practice DOJ investigation,” Bassi said. “So that was the result of this investigation, but this type of process could easily take a year or more.”
Moving forward, the community can expect a number of different possible outcomes.
“Whether it be arrests like that is taking place right now in Louisville or whether it be a consent decree which is basically an agreement with the agency and the local governmental authorities to put standards in place going forward on how to fix some of the problems identified during investigation,” Bassi said.
An impartial process to look at the way police agencies are doing business is needed in order to maintain accountability.
“I think it’s a very hard process to go through for the hardworking men and women who are in the agency trying to do the right thing,” Bassi said. “For the community members and for society as a whole to make sure we’re doing things the right way — it’s a very important and necessary process.”
The pattern or practice investigation is being handled by a different team of investigators from the warrant investigation.