The Louisville Police Department is under investigation for possibly falsifying an affidavit about the death of Breonna Taylor, an emergency room technician who died after officers entered her apartment at 1am on March 13 and shot her eight times.
According to the affidavit, officers believed Taylor was an accomplice to local narcotics suspect Jamarcus Glover, and that Glover was sending packages to Taylor's apartment. Police asked for a "no-knock" search warrant, allowing them to enter Taylor's home without knocking, writing in the warrant that they had "verified through a US Postal Inspector that Jamarcus Glover has been receiving packages" at Taylor's home.
A U.S. postal inspector in Louisville, however, told WDRB News Friday that LMPD didn't use his office to verify that Glover was receiving packages at Taylor's apartment. Postal inspector Tony Gooden told WDRB that a different agency had asked in January to look into whether Taylor's home was receiving suspicious mail, but that the office had concluded it wasn't.
"There's no packages of interest going there," Gooden said
"There's no packages of interest going there," Gooden said.
Gooden declined to identify the agency that made the request for his office's aid, but said it occurred in January and that he told them at the time that there was no suspicious mail activity at Taylor's residence.
Gooden's disclosure has sparked an investigation into the Louisville police department's justification for a warrant that allowed officers to enter the Springfield Drive apartment without knocking or identifying themselves — and why her home was even targeted.
Police claimed Glover was using Taylor's address as his home address and was seen picking up a package from her apartment on January 16 before driving to a "known drug house," according to an affidavit for the warrant approved on March 12. Since January, Louisville police had been conducting surveillance on Taylor's home, where they believed Jamarcus Glover — their main target — was keeping narcotics or proceeds from drug sales.
A day before the March 13 raid that left Taylor dead, a detective asked a judge to approve the warrant in part because he claimed a postal inspector verified that Glover was using Taylor's home to receive parcels, the affidavit says. This is the claim Gooden explicitly denies.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is on the team representing Taylor's family in a civil suit against the officers who killed her, wrote in a news release that Gooden's statement "directly contradicts what the police stated in the affidavit to secure a no-knock warrant for her home."
"Gooden further stated that 'no packages of interest were going there.' We will continue to demand transparency from the Louisville police on behalf of Breonna's family," Crump said in the statement.
"If this warrant was based upon a blatant misrepresentation by LMPD officers to a circuit court judge, then add perjury to the list of the illegal officer conduct that led to a beautiful and innocent woman’s death," said Louisville attorney Sam Aguiar, who is also representing Taylor's family in the lawsuit. "They should have never been at that home. And they should all be fired and prosecuted to the full extent permitted by law.”
Louisville police have declined to talk further about the incident, saying it is under internal investigation. On Saturday morning, a spokesman said "it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the specific details of the investigation at this time."
Mayor Greg Fischer, who has said the investigation should conclude next week, also said through a spokeswoman that it would be "inappropriate" to comment on details of the case.
Det. Brett Hankison and officers John Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, with LMPD's Criminal Interdiction Division, burst into Taylor's Springfield Drive apartment around 1 a.m. March 13 to serve a search warrant, according to police reports. Taylor was inside the apartment with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
The officers, according to the lawsuit filed against them on behalf of Taylor's family, "blindly fired" into her apartment, spraying bullets into Taylor's house and neighboring apartments "with a total disregard for the value of human life." Taylor, 26, was shot eight times.
Walker thought they were being robbed, according to his attorney, and fired at officers when they rushed in, hitting Mattingly in the leg. Walker has been charged with attempted murder.