LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville police have declared a state of emergency as the Kentucky city braces for a grand jury decision on the fate of three officers involved in the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
Taylor was fatally shot March 13 as police returned fire from her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, Law Officer reported. Walker claimed he fired as police were serving a no-knock search warrant because he thought they were intruders.
The city recently agreed to pay her family $12 million to settle a lawsuit.
Acting Police Chief Robert Schroeder said Monday that days off and vacation requests for all Louisville Metro Police Department personnel are canceled until further notice pending state Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s announcement on whether the personnel involved in the March shooting will face criminal charges, New York Post reported.
“To ensure we have the appropriate level of staffing to provide for public safety services and our policing functions, effective immediately the LMPD will operate under the emergency staffing and reporting guidelines as outlined in the Standard Operating Procedures, Emergency Response Plan, and collective bargaining agreements until further notice,” Schroeder said in a memo.
Police Sgt. Lamont Washington added that “the public may also see barriers being staged around downtown, which is another part of our preparations,” WDRB-TV reported.
The announcement comes one day after city officials boarded up the windows of the federal courthouse and a judge signed an order to shut down the historic Gene Snyder US Courthouse and Custom House for the week in case of any unrest from the grand jury’s decision.
US Attorney Russell Coleman also requested Homeland Security provide protection for the courthouse and three other neighboring federal buildings, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
Three Louisville police officers — Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, and officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson — face potential criminal charges in Taylor’s death.
Hankinson was terminated in June, Law Officer reported.
From left to right: Sgt. Jon Mattingly, Det. Myles Cosgrove, Det. Brett Hankison
Although Mattingly was wounded during the exchange of gunfire, prosecutors eventually dropped charges against Walker.
Meanwhile, a Louisville judge ruled on Monday that police do not have to release the investigative file into the fatal police shooting of Taylor since doing so would harm the integrity of the case, which is still ongoing.
Jefferson Circuit Judge Barry Willet further stated that Louisville Metro Police Department does not have to release the file because Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has not announced whether he will prosecute the officers involved in the fatal encounter, the Courier-Journal reported. Under Kentucky law, the file is “exempt from disclosure,” Willet said.
However, the Courier-Journal recently published significant details from an internal report written by LMPD after the shooting. It sheds more light on the reasons why they chose to forcibly enter her South End apartment the night she was killed as well as her culpability in the nefarious actions of the primary suspect, Jamarcus Glover.
Taylor’s death along with the custodial death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have sparked worldwide protests against police actions and perceptions of racial injustice, with many demonstrations devolving into riots and violent clashes with law enforcement.