A Louisville-based U.S. postal inspector revealed his office was not consulted about suspicious packages going to Breonna Taylor’s home, which was a major factor for the police department’s “no-knock” warrant request.
Tony Gooden told WDRB this week the Louisville Metro Police did not contact his office to verify if suspected drug dealer Jamarcus Glover had packages sent to Taylor’s apartment.
“There’s no packages of interest going there,” Gooden said.
Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were in bed in the early morning of March 23 when police conducting a drug raid broke through the door of her apartment and Walker began firing at the apparent intruders. Taylor was shot eight times and killed as police returned Walker’s fire with a barrage of bullets, none of which hit Walker. Glover was the target, but he reportedly was already in custody and had been picked up from his home. A Taylor family attorney has said Taylor and Glover used to date each other and were friends.
Gooden confirmed another law enforcement agency contacted him but would not specify the agency. LMPD might have approached another postal inspector, but that would be unlikely since Taylor’s home is in Gooden’s district.
“They are coming into my area of responsibility looking into something that I very well may also be looking into,” Gooden said. “They shouldn’t come into my area of responsibility doing anything without notifying me.”
A day before the raid, a “no-knock” warrant was requested, partly because police claimed Glover had packages sent to Taylor’s home. Investigators claim Glover retrieved a package from the apartment in January and drove it to a “known drug house.”
After Taylor’s death, the department claimed officers announced their presence before using a battering ram on the door, but Taylor’s neighbor had a different testimony.
“All she heard was a ram [breaking through the door] and gunfire,” the woman said, per court records.
Taylor’s family has a pending lawsuit against the city that presents a host of claims of misconduct and misrepresentations by the LMPD in the case.
“While police may claim to have identified themselves, they did not. Mr. Walker and Ms. Taylor again heard a large bang on the door,” Walker’s lawyer said in a motion. Walker has been charged with attempted murder in the case because he fired at the officers. “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.”
Gooden’s comments on his office’s non-involvement in the warrant application undermines a key claim the LMPD officers used in support of obtaining the warrant, and the nature of the warrant itself undermines public statements the department has made in the wake of the shooting.
“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 attorney Sam Aguiar, one of the Taylor family’s lawyers, told WDRB this week. “They should have never been at that home. And they should all be fired and prosecuted to the full extent permitted by law.”
Additionally, Aguiar points out that the fact that the officers sought and obtained a no-knock warrant is at odds with their claims that they announced themselves at Taylor’s door before making entry that fatal morning.
“LMPD can’t have it both ways. They immediately said they knocked and announced themselves. Now they applied for a no-knock warrant,” Aguiar told the station. “Get your story straight. Which one was it?”
No arrests or disciplinary action against officers has occurred since Taylor’s death. Walker is on house arrest as his attorneys continue to try to get the attempted murder charges against him dismissed.