Kentucky cops may have withheld body camera footage from the police shooting death of black EMT Breonna Taylor, a new lawsuit claims.
A lawyer for Taylor’s family says in a new Jefferson Circuit Court lawsuit that the Louisville Metro Police Department may be hiding public records that would prove whether there is footage from the March 13, 2020, botched raid that left the EMT dead, according to a report by WDRB.
While the LMPD has said there was no footage, lawyer Sam Aguiar — who had helped Taylor’s family win a $12 million wrongful-death suit against the city of Louisville — says he believes officers’ cameras may have been automatically turned on, the outlet reported.
Aguiar claims that the department had previously upgraded its cameras to automatically activate when police-cruiser emergency lights are on. And there were several police vehicles close by when the raid was conducted, which would have sent out a signal to turn on any nearby bodycams, the news site reported.
It would have been hard for officers involved in the incident “to not have had their Axon body cameras activated at one point or another,” says the suit, filed Wednesday.
“Given that Metro was able to verify that certain LMPD members’ body cameras were specifically assigned on March 13, 2020, there is a reasonable basis to believe that misinformation has been presented to the general public regarding the usage of body cameras,” the lawyer charged in the court papers.
Aguiar wants a judge to order the LMPD to turn over the audit trail and records relating to the Axon bodycam footage from the incident. The records were requested June 1 through the Bluegrass State’s open-records law and have allegedly not yet been handed over, the outlet reported.
During the early-morning raid, three undercover cops burst into Taylor’s Louisville home as part of a drug-dealing investigation targeting her ex-boyfriend.
Taylor had been sleeping with her boyfriend when the cops broke down the door. The boyfriend — who says he thought it was a break-in — fired a shot, and the cops returned fire, killing Taylor.
Court records show that Louisville police obtained a warrant with a no-knock provision for Taylor’s apartment approved by a judge, though police and prosecutors have said that the officers still knocked and announced themselves before breaking down the door.
No drugs were found in the home.