Breonna Taylor

Jerry McBroom

The state will not bring criminal charges against the Kentucky National Guard soldiers and Louisville Metro Police Department officers who shot at and killed David McAtee last June, Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine announced Tuesday. 

In a statement, Wine said National Guard soldiers Andrew Kroszkewicz and Matthew Roark, along with LMPD officers Katie Crews and Austin Allen, acted in self defense when they fired at McAtee, who fired first. Wine did not bring the case to a grand jury.

Steve Romines, the civil rights attorney representing McAtee’s mother, Odessa Riley, in a lawsuit against the police and National Guard, said police are rarely held accountable by the prosecutors they often work “hand in hand with every day.”

screenshot from news conference

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says city leaders across the country need to encourage police to de-escalate during protests, work with protest leaders and be patient amid drawn-out demonstrations.

Fischer made the comments during a virtual panel hosted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a national organization he leads as president. The remarks come nearly a year after the first protests sparked by the police killing of Breonna Taylor.

Protesters have consistently criticized Fischer for the aggressive police crackdown on demonstrations and accused him of not doing enough to rectify the troubled police department.

Kate Howard

Moments after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron acknowledged a grand jury wasn’t charging the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor for her death, he made a promise.

He stood at a podium last September, surrounded by reporters from across the world, and pledged to form a task force to review the process for securing and executing search warrants like the one that led to Taylor’s death.

Cameron indicated a sense of urgency, saying he would issue an executive order “in the coming days.”

But that didn’t happen until four months later. And nearly eight months later, the task force has yet to even meet.

Ryan Van Velzer

“It’s just a blessing that somebody is finally listening,” said Denorver “Dee” Garrett, a 29-year-old Louisville protester, fighting back tears. “That somebody is finally hearing our voices — after over a year.”

Garrett was speaking in Jefferson Square Park on Monday afternoon, not far from where an LMPD officer last week punched him in the face multiple times while police officers restrained him on the ground during an arrest. Garrett’s sense of relief follows news that the U.S. Department of Justice will investigate the Louisville Metro Police Department and Louisville Metro Government. 

The investigation means the highest levels of the federal government will soon focus their scrutiny on Louisville.

Kate Howard

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland will investigate the Louisville Metro Police Department and Metro government to see whether the LMPD has a “pattern or practice” of using excessive force and violating constitutional rights.

The investigation will be led by the civil rights division of the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, and conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the western District of Kentucky.

It will include a comprehensive review of the department’s policies and training as well as assess the effectiveness of the supervision of officers — and accountability for their actions.

“If violations are found, the justice department will aim to work with the city and police department to arrive at a set of mutually agreeable steps that they can take to correct and prevent unlawful patterns or practices,” Garland said.

Simon & Schuster has scrapped its plans to distribute a book written by one of the Louisville police officers who shot Breonna Taylor, after news of its publication ignited widespread criticism.

Beshear Signs Law Limiting No-Knock Warrants

Apr 9, 2021
Governor's Communications Office

Bills limiting no-knock warrants, increasing support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and investing in west Louisville became law in Kentucky on Friday.

Gov. Andy Beshear signed the three bills at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville, in front of an audience that included Tamika Palmer. Her daughter, Breonna Taylor, was shot and killed last year by Louisville police who were authorized to raid her apartment by a no-knock warrant.

Palmer wiped tears from her eyes and stood behind Beshear as he signed Senate Bill 4. The measure puts limitations on no-knock warrants, but falls short of the all-out ban on such warrants that protesters and some lawmakers preferred. No-knock warrants were already banned in Louisville last summer as protesters demanded accountability for Taylor’s killing.

Lamont Collins Owner and Operator of Roots 101 African American Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

Located at 124th N. 1st St. in Louisville, Kentucky, Roots 101 African American Museum is an incubator for African American history.

Its mission statement is, “To promote understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievement, contribution, and experiences of African Americans using exhibits, programs, and activities to illustrate African-American history, culture and art,” and that’s what they do.

The brainchild of Lamont Collins, who saw the need and urgency to exhibit the story of Black history, Roots 101 has taken Louisville and the museum world by storm.


J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky lawmakers revived a bill limiting no-knock warrants on the last day of the legislative session.

Senate Bill 4 falls short of what people protesting the death of Breonna Taylor have been calling for — a total ban on no-knocks. Taylor was shot and killed last March during a middle-of-the-night raid authorized by a no-knock warrant. Police officers were attempting to conduct a search related to a broader narcotics raid.

Rep. John Blanton, a Republican from Salyersville who helped write the final version of the bill, said it’s a compromise that will make people safer.

“Nobody got everything they wanted, but everybody got a little something. But I don’t feel like we changed the purpose for what we’re trying to do here,” said Blanton, a former state trooper.

Thinkstock

Kentucky lawmakers worked right up until the deadline at midnight Wednesday morning, passing millions of dollars in tax breaks, controversial education policies, and dozens of other bills that lawmakers and other citizens are still combing through to understand.

But not everything made it across the finish line. Several bills that had been moving through the legislature are now on life support after not passing ahead of Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto period.

High-profile proposals that still haven’t passed include bills making it a crime to insult police officers, limiting no-knock warrants, ensuring liability protection for businesses during the pandemic, and banning LGBTQ conversion therapy.

J. Tyler Franklin

With the clock ticking on this year’s legislative session, lawmakers discussed criminal justice issues like the bill limiting no-knock warrants and a measure making it a crime to insult police during a panel on KET Monday night.

The discussion came two days after the anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death, a Black woman killed by Louisville police during a middle-of-the-night raid on her apartment.

Protesters have called for lawmakers to pass a bill banning no-knock warrants, but the Republican-led legislature appears poised to only pass a bill limiting them.

Rep. Attica Scott is a Democrat from Louisville who proposed Breonna’s Law For Kentucky, a now-stalled proposal to totally ban no-knock warrants.

Colin Jackson

Saturday marked the one-year anniversary since Louisville police killed EMT Breonna Taylor during a raid on her home.

Several Bowling Green area residents gathered Saturday at the SoKY Marketplace to hold their own remembrance of Taylor's Life.

First-term Bowling Green City Commissioner Carlos Bailey was among those who spoke at the memorial.

He said proposals like a ban on no-knock search warrants like the one that led to Taylor's death can protect both citizens and officers.

"We want to protect people but also want to protect law enforcement as well. But we also want to make sure that people are held accountable when things do go awry. So hopefully, we've been talking behind the scenes and hopefully those conversations have been productive," Bailey said.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott is calling on the U.S. attorney general to investigate the killing of Breonna Taylor by Louisville Metro Police.

Scott, a Louisville Democrat, made the request in House Resolution 93, which she filed Friday with co-sponsors Rep. Nima Kulkarni, D-Louisville, and Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington. Scott said state officials have failed to properly investigate Taylor’s death, which is why she wants a new inquiry headed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, whom the U.S. Senate confirmed on Wednesday.

“I wanted to make sure that we in Kentucky send a strong message to Louisville, our entire commonwealth and to the United States that we are not done seeking justice for Breonna Taylor,” Scott said. “With our new attorney general, Merrick Garland, it seemed like an important opportunity to submit this resolution calling on him to fully investigate the murder of Breonna Taylor, because the investigations have been botched, and there has been no justice for Breonna.”

Taylor family

A Saturday event is giving residents in the Bowling Green area the chance to gather in solidarity to mark the one-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death during a police raid in Louisville.

The rally organized by the group Bowling Green Freedom Walkers plans to honor the 26-year-old paramedic’s life with guest speakers, coat and jacket collections, and a banner to be presented to Taylor’s mother.

Karika Nelson, a founding member of the group, says she’s seen some progress since Taylor’s death, but would like to see more.

“I think Kentucky, since this whole movement with Black Lives Matter and after Breonna Taylor, that it has opened a lot of people’s eyes,” Nelson told WKU Public Radio. “But just saying, or seeing, or coming to a protest is not good enough—just agreeing with the theory. You have to be able to change somebody else’s mind, or stand up whenever it’s not the popular thing to stand up for.”

J. Tyler Franklin

The Kentucky legislature is moving forward with a Republican-sponsored proposal to limit no-knock search warrants and not a Democratic bill favored by protesters.

The House Judiciary Committee heard both measures during a meeting on Wednesday, but designated House Bill 21, also known as Breonna’s Law for Kentucky, as “for discussion only,” preventing it from receiving a vote.

Instead, the committee unanimously advanced Senate Bill 4 sponsored by Republican Senate President Robert Stivers, which would limit no-knock searches to situations that involve allegedly violent activity.

Louisville Democratic Rep. Attica Scott is the primary sponsor of Breonna’s Law. She said Stivers’ measure doesn’t go far enough, but they are working together on the issue.

Pages