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New complaint ties Breonna Taylor warrant to Louisville gentrification plan

Breonna Taylor showing her EMT completion certificate

Attorneys for Breonna Taylor's family are linking the raid that led to the 26-year-old emergency medical technician’s death to a gentrification plan in the western Louisville area she lived in, according to a complaint The Courier Journal initially discovered. Attorneys alleged in the complaint filed Sunday in Jefferson Circuit Court that police formed a special squad dubbed Place-Based Investigations just to target homes in the redevelopment area.

"People needed to be removed and homes needed to be vacated so that a high dollar, legacy-creating real estate development could move forward," attorneys said in the complaint. "An entire police squad was created and was primarily devoted towards targeting homes and people on Elliott Avenue."

Attorneys said in the complaint that Taylor's ex-boyfriend, who rented a home on Elliott Avenue, became one of the "primary roadblocks" to the planned development, so police obtained “a bogus, no-knock search warrant” on Taylor's home despite the fact that she had "no criminal history, no drugs in her home, no targets in her home" and lived more than 10 miles away from Elliott Avenue.

The decision to target Taylor’s home is linked to a political promise "to leave an economic legacy in west Louisville” before the mayor’s term expired, according to the complaint. So after numerous failed development plans in the area, the "high investment, high dollar real estate development plan for Elliott Avenue" was "one of the mayor's last chances to leave a visible legacy in west Louisville," attorneys alleged.

Jean Porter, a spokeswoman for Mayor Greg Fischer, called the allegations "outrageous" and "without foundation or supporting facts" in a statement The Courier Journal obtained. "They are insulting to the neighborhood members of the Vision Russell initiative and all the people involved in the years of work being done to revitalize the neighborhoods of west Louisville," Porter said in the statement.

"The Mayor is absolutely committed to that work, as evidenced by the city’s work to support $1 billion in capital projects there over the past few years, including a new YMCA, the city’s foundational $10 million grant to the Louisville Urban League’s Sports and Learning Complex, the Cedar Street housing development, new businesses, down payment home ownership assistance, and of course, the remaking of the large Beecher Terrace initiative."

Taylor’s family attorney Benjamin Crump tweeted Monday that “it’s clear” Louisville Metro Police Department officers “should NEVER have been at Breonna Taylor’s home in the first place, and they invaded the residence without probable cause.” Crump called the officers’ actions “outrageous, RECKLESS, willful, wanton & UNLAWFUL conduct.” He said as a result of officers’ recklessness, Louisville “lost one of its most precious essential frontline workers, who risked her life daily to save her fellow residents in a pandemic. This is a grievous offense against Breonna, her family, and the greater Louisville community,” Crump added.

In the lawsuit Crump included in his Twitter thread, attorneys said Taylor was asleep after midnight on March 13, when police woke her up with banging at her door. "These men banging on the door would not announce themselves. These men ignored Breonna's shouts for them to say who they were. These men had no probable cause or other legal basis to enter and search Breonna's home. But these men, all in dark plain clothes, did so anyways, breaking down Breonna's door with guns drawn," attorneys said in the complaint. "Despite Breonna's significant other trying to protect her, Breonna was gunned down by the men breaking into her home.

“And while she tried to hang on for her life, she was then shot by another man who was firing blindly through windows,” the Taylor family's legal team said in the complaint. "Breonna fought for her life for more than five minutes before finally succumbing to her injuries."

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Comment by Jessy on July 9, 2020 at 10:48pm

I agree, white man have no problem taking things from people.  They took people out of Africa and made them slaves, they took land from the Native Americans killing them off and the cops keep taking lives of African Americans.  Now that's what I call working for the devil or doing the devil's work.

Comment by vaughn mitchell on July 8, 2020 at 6:32pm
Wow. You can rave about having your own business, buying a home, but when the white man want to take over your neighborhood, they will kill you for it and make up lies, until black people stop talking about they're ancestors build this country, and start visiting the motherland then they will keep getting killed for what they work for.

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