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No Arrests Or Charges So Far In Breonna Taylor's Shooting Death


Four months ago, a young black woman named Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police in her apartment. Since then, protesters across the country have demanded accountability, but no one has yet been arrested or charged. Amina Elahi of member station WFPL in Louisville is with me now. Good morning, Amina.

AMINA ELAHI, BYLINE: Good morning.

KING: So there is an investigation into Breonna Taylor's killing. Where does it stand?

ELAHI: Well, the investigation is ongoing, and we really don't know when it's going to be wrapped up. As you know, Breonna Taylor was killed during a middle of the night raid on her apartment on March 13, which was linked to a broader narcotics investigation that focused on her ex-boyfriend. She was at home and asleep at the time when her - when the police arrived after midnight. And her then-boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, heard loud banging and the door being broken down. Taylor and Walker were approaching the door when the officers wearing plain clothes entered their home, and Walker, her boyfriend, fired a warning shot thinking the police were intruders. That shot struck a sergeant in the leg, after which he and two other officers fired back. Taylor was hit by multiple bullets and died soon after in her hallway, and she wasn't the target of that narcotics investigation, and nothing illegal was found in her apartment. In fact, the man the police were looking for had already been taken into custody that same night across town. But the investigations by the FBI and the attorney general of Kentucky, who's reviewing the police's internal investigation, are ongoing.

KING: So the police say they were there because of drug activity. But there has been a really interesting development here, which is that Taylor's family says it was something else. It was not about drug activity. It was about something else very specific to Louisville. What are they alleging exactly?

ELAHI: Well, a lawyer for Taylor's family alleged in a court filing last week that her killing was a result of aggressive police actions. And they claim that that was driven by a plan to gentrify the majority-Black neighborhood where her ex-boyfriend, who was the focus of the drug investigation that led to the raids that night, where he lived. And here in Louisville, lawmakers have been planning to investigate Mayor Greg Fischer's actions and decisions. And these allegations have only turned up the heat on the mayor, who denies them. On Friday, he attended a ribbon cutting for a new apartment complex some blocks away, which protesters quickly shut down. Take a listen.


GREG FISCHER: When you think about what we're trying to do here in the city and what we're trying to do to the country, there's really nothing more fundamental than people...

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Liar, liar, gentrifier.

FISCHER: ...Having a stable, affordable home.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Liar, liar, gentrifier.

ELAHI: Soon after those protesters began shouting, the mayor, Greg Fischer, walked away from the podium and stopped the news conference. Now city council members are demanding the administration turn over all documents related to Taylor's killing and the gentrification plan. But since the attorney general of Kentucky and the FBI have asked officials not to release documents while their investigations continue, it's not clear when council members or the public will learn more.

KING: So, ultimately, has anything changed after this young woman's death in Louisville?

ELAHI: There have been some policy changes in Louisville. For example, no-knock warrants were banned in the city last month. And that's something that lawmakers are considering at the state level as well. Also one of the officers involved in this shooting, Brett Hankison, was fired, although he's appealing that firing. And the others are still on paid leave. So the answer is really yes and no.

KING: Amina Elahi of member station WFPL in Louisville. Thanks, Amina.

ELAHI: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Amina Elahi
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