Breonna Taylor police shooting: What we know about the Kentucky woman's death

Minyvonne Burke

The shooting death of Breonna Taylor, 26, by police during a raid at her home in Louisville, Kentucky, has sparked outrage around the country and a demand for answers.

On Thursday, the city's mayor and police chief asked the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI to review the police department's internal investigation into the shooting. The Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron also announced that he was asked to serve as a special prosecutor.

Here is what we know about the case.

Breonna Taylor is killed, family files lawsuit

Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep in their apartment when just before 1 a.m. on March 13 three plainclothes officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department arrived to execute a search warrant in a drug case.

The two believed their apartment was being broken into when police busted through the door, according to a lawsuit by Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer.

Walker called 911, grabbed a gun and fired, shooting an officer in the leg. He had a license to carry and kept firearms in the home, and Taylor was unarmed.

The lawsuit accuses the officers of "blindly firing" more than 20 shots into the apartment. Taylor, a former EMT worker, was shot eight times and died. Walker, 27, was arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer.

Taylor and Walker had no criminal history or drug convictions, and no drugs were found in the apartment during the raid, the suit states.

Police have not commented directly on Taylor's death. The three officers involved in the shooting were reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation.

The no-knock search warrant

According to The Courier-Journal in Louisville, a judge had approved a "no-knock" search warrant, meaning police could enter the home without identifying themselves.

At a March 13 news conference, police Lt. Ted Eidem said officers had knocked on the door several times and “announced their presence as police who were there with a search warrant.” After forcing their way in, they “were immediately met by gunfire,” Eidem said.

But the lawsuit by Taylor's family says that police did not knock or identify themselves before they busted into the apartment.

Records show that the police investigation was centered around a "trap house" more than 10 miles from Taylor's apartment, according to The Courier-Journal. Her family said officers were looking for a man named Jamarcus Glover, who lived in a different part of the city and was already in police custody when Taylor's home was raided.

Her address was listed on the search warrant based on police's belief that Glover had used her apartment to receive mail, keep drugs or stash money. The warrant also stated that a car registered to Taylor had been seen parked on several occasions in front of a "drug house" known to Glover.

Attorney Ben Crump joins the case, calls death a 'senseless killing'

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump was hired by Taylor's family this week and called out the police department for not providing "any answers regarding the facts and circumstances of how this tragedy occurred."

"We stand with the family of this young woman in demanding answers from the Louisville Police Department," the attorney said in a statement Monday on Twitter, calling Taylor's death a "senseless killing."

Crump, who is also representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery, said at a news conference on Wednesday that the police cannot continue to "kill our black women and escape any accountability."

Taylor and the suspect had previously dated

Sam Aguiar, another attorney on the case, said at Wednesday's news conference that Taylor and Glover had dated about two years prior and had maintained a "passive friendship." The attorney said Taylor was innocent.

"The warrant in and of itself looks like another wild goose chase to try and get drug dealers and other folks in Louisville, and Breonna Taylor got lumped right into the middle of it," Aguiar said.

Mayor says his priority is the truth as state attorney general steps in

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said on Twitter Tuesday, "As always, my priority is that the truth comes out, and for justice to follow the path of truth."

A day later, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that he was asked to serve as a special prosecutor and will "take appropriate action" if necessary.

Just hours before, Gov. Andy Beshear had called on Cameron to "carefully review the results of the initial investigation to ensure justice is done at a time when many are concerned that justice is not blind."

"The public reports concerning the death of Breonna Taylor are troubling," he said in a statement.

State Rep. Charles Booker of Louisville also called for an independent investigation. "Though it is unjust and reprehensible, it is true that black people in American society are often seen as deadly weapons simply because of the color of our skin," Booker wrote in a letter to Cameron. "I urgently request that you ensure that justice is done in this case."

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