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Posted under: Social Justice

Louisville Councilmembers Initiate Investigation Into City's Handling Of Breonna Taylor And David McAtee Cases

Elected officials say they have initiated the first steps in conducting an investigation into the mayor's office.

Update (June 30, 2020): Louisville Metro Council members are criticizing the way Mayor Greg Fischer and his office have handled the investigations into the deaths of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, ABC News reported.

Councilmembers are calling for more transparency into the investigations and a thorough review of Fischer and his administration's use of force during protests.

During a Black Lives Matter protest in the city on June 1, McAtee, 53, was shot and killed as police and the National Guard attempted to disperse a crowd, as Blavity previously reported

Government Oversight and Audit Chairman Brent Ackerson and Vice Chairman Anthony Piagentini announced they have taken the first steps in conducting an investigation into the mayor's office, which will be presented at the council's meeting on July 23. 

"The county attorney and others, in my opinion, have hidden behind certain procedures, processes, to not release that information," Piagentini said Monday at a press conference.

"That's the important thing, that you have 100% of the truth — the good, the bad and even if there's something extremely ugly. You've got a right to know," Ackerson added.

Taylor was shot and killed inside of an apartment in March when police raided her home during a narcotics search under a no-knock warrant, as Blavity previously reported. None of the officers involved in the shooting have been arrested or been charged with her death. 

Original (June 12, 2020): Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor's mother, told interviewers on Wednesday that police initially lied to her about where her daughter's body was after she was shot to death by three Louisville police officers on March 13. 

Palmer, speaking to Power 105.1's Angie Martinez and Angela Yee, told the harrowing story of how she found out about Taylor's tragic death and the runaround police gave her at first.

Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, called Palmer frantically after midnight on March 13 saying someone had broken into their home and shot her. He was trying to figure out if she was alive before the phone call got disconnected.

Palmer quickly drove to Taylor's home and was stopped by police before she could get to the apartment. When she told police she was looking for her daughter, the unnamed officer said two ambulances had already left, one with an injured officer and another with a young woman. The officer told Palmer to go to the hospital to find Taylor.

Hospital officials said they had no one with Taylor's name there and asked her to wait as they gathered more information. 

After more than two hours of waiting, a nurse came to Palmer and said no one with Taylor's name had been admitted and that there was no record of her even being on the way. Palmer went back to the apartment and asked the police if she could go inside, but they made her wait another two hours before she could speak with a detective. 

"He asked me if I knew of anyone who would want to hurt Breonna or Kenny. So of course I said 'no,'" Palmer said. 

Martinez questioned why police would ask her that when they know exactly what had happened. 

"At this point, they still hadn't told me who did this or what happened," Palmer said, adding that she asked to speak with Walker but was told to wait again.

After another two hours passed by, the detective asked if Taylor and Walker had been having any problems. At that point, Palmer said she was furious at the implication that Walker had hurt Taylor and began to scream, asking to speak to Walker. The detective told her Walker was at one of their offices "trying to help us piece together what happened tonight."

In an effort to get more answers, Palmer asked about the officer who had been shot, and the detective told her he was there because officers were dealing with a warrant. 

When she asked him to see the warrant, the detective said he "didn't know where it was" and that it "could have gotten lost in the shuffle of things."

Taylor had been shot around 12:30 a.m., but it took officers until 11 a.m. to finally tell Palmer what happened. 

"I asked 'Why won't you tell me where Breonna is? I need to see Breonna.' And he told me 'she's still in the apartment,'" Palmer said before breaking down.  


The police never officially told Palmer that Taylor was dead, but she told Yee and Martinez that she knew what they meant when they said she was still inside. She demanded to see Taylor, but police refused, telling her she had to wait until the coroner arrived. 

By this point, it was 1:30 p.m., and Palmer still has not seen Taylor. The coroner came out and said Palmer would not be able to see her daughter. 

"Some other people snuck her into a van while the coroner was talking to us," Palmer said.

When asked what justice would look like, Palmer said she hoped the officers would eventually be fired and charged with a crime. 

"If anybody else would have done it, they'd be arrested. They obtained a warrant under a lie. They told several stories, so they should be arrested. They lied. There was no reason for them to be there. The person you claimed you wanted was in custody, so to go in there at one in the morning and scare her, kill her," Palmer said.

Later in the interview, it came out that Taylor's death wasn't mentioned a single time during the grand jury trial for Walker, who was facing attempted murder charges for firing one shot at the officers before the city dropped the case. 

There has been national outrage due to Louisville officials' refusal to fire, arrest or charge the officers. Even as protests in the city have raged, Sgt. Jon Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison are still being paid by the city, and so is Joshua Jaynes, the detective who asked for the warrant. 


In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Lee Merritt, the lawyer for Taylor's family, was blunt about the injustice of what happened to Taylor, Walker and their families.  

"Breonna Taylor's case is more representative of where we are as a country than George Floyd's. We've seen adjustments being made, exceptions being made, to the criminal justice system. But more often than not, it happens like it happened with Breonna Taylor, where she's brutalized and then criminalized, her boyfriend goes to jail and the men who are responsible for her death are not fired or arrested," Merritt said.

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