Police may have withheld bodycam footage from night of Breonna Taylor’s death

2 weeks ago 25

The Louisville Metro Police Department whitethorn person pushed “misinformation” and lied astir the beingness of body-camera footage from respective officers progressive successful the no-knock raid that resulted successful the decease of Breonna Taylor past year, according to a suit filed this week.

The suit filed against Louisville police connected Wednesday by an lawyer representing Ms Taylor’s household says authorities are continuing to withhold records that amusement whether determination is further body-camera footage that could assistance shed much airy astir the nighttime the 26-year-old Black pistillate was killed. The 10-page ailment submitted to Jefferson County Circuit Court and obtained by The Washington Post challenges the accounts of Louisville constabulary and nationalist officials who’ve maintained that body-camera footage of the fatal shooting does not exist, due to the fact that the officers did not crook connected their cameras oregon deterioration them astatine all.

“There is simply a tenable ground to judge that misinformation has been presented to the wide nationalist regarding the usage of assemblage cameras by respective members of the LMPD,” the suit states.

Neither officials with the Louisville Metro Police Department nor the mayor’s bureau instantly responded to requests for remark Saturday.

Sam Aguiar, an lawyer representing Ms Taylor’s family, told The Post that the nationalist deserved to cognize whether further footage existed for a lawsuit successful which 3 achromatic plainclothes officers - Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly - fired 32 shots into Ms Taylor’s flat connected 13 March 2020, arsenic portion of an probe of a suspected cause cognition allegedly linked to her ex-boyfriend. Although Mr Hankison and Mr Cosgrove were fired and Mr Mattingly retired past month, nary 1 has been charged straight for Ms Taylor’s decease - an incidental that helped spark radical justness demonstrations crossed the United States. Mr Hankison was charged with 3 counts of wanton endangerment for firing bullets that penetrated an adjacent apartment, charges for which helium has pleaded not guilty.

None of the officers are named arsenic defendants successful the lawsuit.

Mr Aguiar, who requested successful the suit that a justice bid the constabulary section to merchandise body-camera accusation nether the state’s nationalist records law, criticised Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, a Democrat, for his administration’s handling of a lawsuit that the lawyer says has been plagued by “deception, lies and coverups.”

“They’ve lied since time 1 and haven’t stopped,” Mr Aguiar said successful a connection to The Post. “And they’re not being forthright and candid astir assemblage cameras.” He told CNN, “Breonna’s household has a close to the records.”

The suit seeking body-camera footage comes months aft the Justice Department announced it was opening a civilian probe of Louisville constabulary to find whether section authorities person engaged successful systemic abuses and unlawful tactics with small accountability. The national probe is abstracted from an ongoing transgression civilian rights probe into Ms Taylor’s death.

Louisville agreed to a $12 cardinal (£8.6 million) colony with Ms Taylor’s household past year, which was reportedly among the largest payouts for a constabulary sidesplitting successful the country’s history. As portion of the settlement, the metropolis vowed to instrumentality a fig of changes successful however section officers get and execute hunt warrants. An interior researcher aboriginal recovered that 2 constabulary officers whose shots struck and killed Ms Taylor ne'er should person fired their weapons - a decision that the force’s precocious brass partially rejected.

Although Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, and constabulary person said body-camera footage of the incidental does not exist, authorities did merchandise video from officers taken astatine the country aft the fatal shooting.

The ineligible squad for Ms Taylor’s household says officers progressive successful the no-knock raid had been issued Axon assemblage cameras programmed to activate automatically successful circumstances specified arsenic during and aft the shooting. The suit says that lights from constabulary vehicles adjacent Ms Taylor’s flat could person triggered the department-owned assemblage cameras to statesman recording, and that “most of the vehicles” astatine the country had their airy bars activated.

“Simply put, it would person been hard for astir of the LMPD members with assemblage cameras ... to not person had their Axon assemblage cameras activated astatine 1 constituent oregon another” during the raid, the suit says. “Even those who whitethorn person near cameras successful vehicles oregon different locations should person been activated to an lawsuit mode from a buffering mode, truthful agelong arsenic the camera was wrong scope of Signal unit.”

The ineligible enactment came aft Mr Aguiar’s petition for accusation astir footage past period went unanswered, the suit says. The accusation requested would assistance fig retired cardinal details astir the footage, specified arsenic the clip of the recordings and identities of who accessed the footage, according to the lawsuit. That benignant of information, the suit says, “should assistance successful verifying whether Metro has been truthful to the nationalist regarding the beingness of footage.”

“The plaintiffs, and the public, person an uncompromised close to cognize whether undisclosed body-camera footage exists, oregon different antecedently existed, from LMPD Axon Cameras which relates to the events surrounding the decease of Breonna Taylor,” the ailment says.

Tamika Palmer, Ms Taylor’s mother, told ABC News that the suit into imaginable footage is the latest avenue the household hopes volition bring justness astir 16 months aft Ms Taylor’s death.

“From time one, my extremity has been to larn the information astir what happened to my daughter, Breonna Taylor, and to clasp those accountable for her execution responsible,” Ms Palmer said successful a statement. “I, on with my household and the public, person a close to cognize if further body-camera footage exists and the accusation sought done this unfastened records suit volition springiness america this information.”

The Washington Post

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