The family of a woman killed in a botched drug raid filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Louisville, Kentucky.
Breonna Taylor died after she was shot eight times during a drug raid in her apartment. Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were asleep when Louisville Police officers burst into the home on March 13. Taylor’s family filed a lawsuit against the city on April 27, according to The Washington Post. The suit alleges the police department used excessive force and exhibited gross negligence during the raid.
Court papers state the intended target of the raid did not live in the apartment and was already apprehended by a different group of officers, the Courier Journal reports. None of them was charged in connection with Taylor’s death. However, Walker was charged with attempted murder and first-degree assault for shooting at the officers after they entered the apartment. One officer sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Robert Eggert, Walker’s attorney, said his client thought he was defending his home from a burglary.
“While police may claim to have identified themselves, they did not. Mr. Walker and Ms. Taylor again heard a large bang on the door,” the lawyer wrote in a motion. “Again, when they inquired there was no response that there was police outside. At this point, the door suddenly explodes. Counsel believes that police hit the door with a battering ram.”
Taylor’s family is working to get justice for the 26-year-old EMT and spread the word about her story.
“She was an essential worker. She had to go to work,” Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, told The 19th. “She didn’t have a problem with that. … To not be able to sleep in her own bed without someone busting down her door and taking her life. … I was just like, ‘Make sure you wash your hands!’”
The family retained civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent them. He wants to ensure the nation knows Taylor’s name.
“They’re killing our sisters just like they’re killing our brothers, but for whatever reason, we have not given our sisters the same attention that we have given to Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Stephon Clark, Terence Crutcher, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald,” Crump said. “Breonna’s name should be known by everybody in America who said those other names, because she was in her own home, doing absolutely nothing wrong.
By Tuesday, May 12, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer had issued a statement urging citizens to await the outcome of investigation of police conduct in the tragedy.