Breonna Taylor: Black healthcare worker 'shot at least eight times by police' in own home, lawsuit says

Police claimed they were executing a drug warrant when shooting took place

Louise Hall
Monday 14 September 2020 19:44 BST
Man who recorded Ahmaud Arbery's death says he was in 'complete shock' during the shooting

A decorated Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) was repeatedly shot and killed in her own home by Louisville police officers.

According to a report by The Washington Post, Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot at least eight times by police officers in her apartment on 13 March, a lawsuit filed by her family claims.

Officials have said that police were executing a drug warrant, according to the lawsuit.

The family is seeking reprimand for the killing in the lawsuit, accusing officers of wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence.

“Not one person has talked to me. Not one person has explained anything to me,” Tamika Palmer, Ms Taylor’s mother said in an interview.

“I want justice for her. I want them to say her name. There’s no reason Breonna should be dead at all.”

Police were allegedly searching the complex for a man who did not reside there. The lawsuit reportedly states that the suspect had already been detained earlier that day when officers visited Ms Taylor's apartment.

The aspiring nurse's boyfriend Kenneth Walker was inside the apartment with her when police purportedly attempted to enter without announcement. Mr Walker, who is a licenced gun owner, is said to have fired shots at officers when they attempted to enter.

None of the officers involved have been charged in connection with the shooting. Mr Walker was arrested following the incident and faces charges of first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer.

Louisville Metro Police Department spokeswoman Jessie Halladay declined to comment on the case when contacted by The Post.

“There is an ongoing public integrity investigation into this case and therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time,” she said in a statement.

According to the report, the couple believed that someone was attempting to break into their apartment.

Ms Taylor had been working as an EMT in Louisville amidst the coronavirus pandemic as an essential worker, helping to save lives during the public health crisis.

“She was an essential worker. She had to go to work,” Ms Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer said in an interview with the 19th according to The Post.

“She didn’t have a problem with that. … To not be able to sleep in her own bed without someone busting down her door and taking her life. … I was just like, ‘Make sure you wash your hands!’ ”

Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery, has been hired to assist Ms Taylor's family in the lawsuit.

Arbery was killed while he was unarmed during a jog in his neighbourhood. Two Americans, a father, and son have recently been arrested and charged with the murder or Arbery.

The action was only taken to charge Gregory and Travis McMichael when the shooting was covered in national media and provoked outrage.

“They’re killing our sisters just like they’re killing our brothers, but for whatever reason, we have not given our sisters the same attention that we have given to Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Stephon Clark, Terence Crutcher, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald,” Mr Crump told the newspaper.

“Breonna’s name should be known by everybody in America who said those other names, because she was in her own home, doing absolutely nothing wrong.”

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