Breonna Taylor was sleeping in her Louisville, KY, home, when three police officers forced their way in and “blindly fired,” killing her, according to a lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family.
According to NBC News, Taylor, an EMT worker, was shot eight times and killed March 13. The act occurred after officers of the Louisville Metro Police Department executed a search warrant at the wrong house, the lawsuit states.
In a March 13 press conference, Lt. Ted Eidem said the officers knocked on the door several times and “announced their presence as police who were there with a search warrant.”
Eidem added the officers forced their way inside the residence and “were immediately met by gunfire.”
Attorney Ben Crump, who is also representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery, called Taylor’s death a “senseless killing.”
“We stand with the family of this young woman in demanding answers from the Louisville Police Department,” he said in a statement Monday.
Crump has called out the Louisville Police Department for not taking responsibility for Taylor’s death and for not providing “any answers regarding the facts and circumstances of how this tragedy occurred.”
The lawsuit states Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were sleeping around 12:30 a.m. when plainclothes police officers arrived at the house in unmarked vehicles. The suspect the police was looking for lived on the other side of town–and was already in police custody.
The suit alleges that the officers forced their way in “without knocking and without announcing themselves as police officers.”
The couple thought burglars were trying to break in; Walker called 911. The Courier-Journal reported the department said Walker opened fire and shot an officer.
“The defendants then proceeded to spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life,” the lawsuit states. “Shots were blindly fired by the officers all throughout Breonna’s home.”
“Breonna had posed no threat to the officers and did nothing to deserve to die at their hands,” the suit says, adding that she was unarmed. “Neither of the two had any criminal history for drugs or violence.”
No drugs were found in the home.
A spokesperson for the police department said, “Due to an ongoing internal investigation into this situation, we are not able to comment at this time.”
The officers, Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove, were placed on administrative reassignment pending the outcome of an investigation.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement Tuesday that he was monitoring the case and had talked to the police department’s chief to ensure a thorough investigation.
“As always, my priority is that the truth comes out, and for justice to follow the path of truth,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter. “The Breonna Taylor case is currently under investigation. Therefore, expansive comments are not appropriate until all the facts are fully known.”
Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Doug Lewis, a 39-year-old African American man, have all been victims in recent shootings, bringing back the criminal justice reform debate.