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DOJ launching investigation into Louisville police over Breonna Taylor's death

It's the second such sweeping probe into a law enforcement agency by the Biden administration in a week.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday that there will be a civil investigation launched into the Louisville Metro police department and government more than a year after the death of Breonna Taylor.

The U.S. Department of Justice will investigate whether they violate the constitution or federal law. They'll look into use of unreasonable force, including when people are engaging in protected speech activities, and their practices into how they serve search warrants.

The investigation will include officer training, supervision and accountability, Garland said. If violations are found, the justice department will issue goals for LMPD and Louisville to meet. If the city doesn't agree, a civil lawsuit could follow, Garland said.

Garland said the goal is to ensure everything LMPD does is "constitutional and lawful." He said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and LMPD Chief Erika Shields have already pledged to cooperate.

The investigation will include officer training, supervision and accountability, Garland said. If violations are found, the justice department will issue goals for LMPD and Louisville to meet. If the city doesn't agree, a civil lawsuit could follow, Garland said.

Garland said the goal is to ensure everything LMPD does is "constitutional and lawful." He said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and LMPD Chief Erika Shields have already pledged to cooperate.

Breonna Taylor is shown in this file photo.
Courtesy
Breonna Taylor is shown in this file photo.

This announcement comes less than a week after Garland said the U.S. Department of Justice would be investigating the police in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed by Derek Chauvin.

Then, he said there could be more departments coming under investigation.

LMPD has been in the national spotlight since the death of Taylor, who was killed during a raid on her apartment in March 2020.

Only one of the three officers who fired their guns during the raid faces any charges, and none of them are for her death. Brett Hankison was charged with wanton endangerment for shots that went into a neighboring unit. His trial is scheduled for next year.

The man behind the original warrant, Joshua Jaynes, was released from the department in January. Issues with how he obtained that warrant were raised during a Public Integrity Unit investigation.

Concerns were also raised surrounding the department's handling of the protests that followed Taylor's death.

Just earlier this month, video surfaced showing LMPD repeatedly punching a man during an arrest, someone who is considered a regular figure at Jefferson Square Park.

Shields immediately responded saying an internal investigation into the incident was underway.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.