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DOJ: Louisville PD Uses Unlawful Warrants, Abuses Black Citizens, Violated People’s Rights

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Louisville Police Department abuse

The US Department of Justice found that the Louisville, Kentucky police department was responsible for the 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor and that it “unlawfully discriminates against Black people,” among other things, DOJ said in a newly released report.

Investigators found that the Louisville Police Department uses invalid warrants to conduct searches, uses excessive force, unlawfully stops people, and “violates the rights of people engaged in protected free speech critical of policing.”

The report, released Wednesday, comes two-year after the DOJ launched an investigation following the killing of 26-year-old Taylor by Louisville police officers, who knocked her door down while executing a drug search warrant.

Taylor was fatally shot by police after her boyfriend fired a shot at the officers as they came through the door. Last year, a Louisville officer pleaded guilty to falsifying the warrant that led to the deadly shooting.

The blistering report details widespread abuses of power within the department and a lack of accountability.

“Failures of leadership and accountability have allowed unlawful conduct to continue unchecked,” the report says. “Even when city and police leaders announced solutions, they failed to follow through. In LMPD, officer misconduct too often goes unnoticed and unaddressed. At times, LMPD leaders have endorsed and defended unlawful conduct. A street enforcement unit that violated LMPD policy and federal law has been repeatedly rebranded, but never disbanded.”

The report also notes that the city of Louisville has paid out more than $40 million in the past to resolve claims of police misconduct.

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