Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department is investigating the practices of the Louisville Police Department.
The investigation comes after Breonna Taylor was killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky last year. Her death sparked widespread protest around the world.
“It will determine whether LMPD engages in unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures, as well as whether the department unlawfully executes search warrants on private homes,” Garland said at the Justice Department’s headquarters. “It will also assess whether LMPD engages in discriminatory conduct on the basis of race, or fails to perform public services that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The investigation will include a comprehensive review of the Louisville police department policies and training.”
The department’s civil rights division is leading the investigation.
The Attorney General said that the Justice Department will issue a public report once the investigation is concluded and that it will work with the city and police department to correct and prevent unlawful practices.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said, “thirteen months ago a horrible tragedy took place in our city with the killing of Breonna Taylor. Since then, Louisville and the entire country have been coming to a heightened reckoning with the need for police reform and racial justice.”
Sam Aguiar, Taylor’s family lawyer, said the investigation is wonderful news.
“We’ve known for a long time that our police department is plagued by issues that are continuously swept under the rug,” Aguiar said.
Community activists in Louisville feel like their voices are being heard.
Keturah Herron, a policy strategist for ACLU Kentucky and activist, believes the investigation is what the city needs considering the number of complaints from citizens about civil rights violations and excessive use of force.
“I think this is exactly what we need,” Herron said. “I think this is exactly what people have been asking for and screaming for not only in this past year but a long time.”
NEW: AG Garland announces civil investigation to determine whether Louisville PD "engages in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or federal law," including "whether the department unlawfully executes search warrants on private homes." https://t.co/6KdUOUFMrF pic.twitter.com/Qwlvwnopk5
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 26, 2021