breonna taylor

The Police Report for the Killing of Breonna Taylor Is Almost Entirely Blank

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

New York Is Committed to Covering This Essential Moment
We’ve removed our paywall from this and other stories about police brutality and systemic racism. Consider becoming a subscriber to support our journalists.

On Wednesday, the Louisville Metro Police Department released the incident report for the night of March 13, when three plainclothes officers used a battering ram to break into Breonna Taylor’s apartment, where she was shot by LMPD eight times and killed immediately. Despite the evidence from the homicide, the report is almost blank.

Published first in the Louisville Courier-Journal, the police document states Taylor’s name, a case number, and the time and date of the shooting, but leaves blank details already made public, including her date of birth. Also blank is the section for injuries, while the section for “forced entry” is marked as a no, despite the use of a battering ram.

Though the Courier-Journal is suing LMPD for the release of the department’s investigative file of the shooting, much is already known about the homicide. According to the Courier-Journal, officers executed a “no-knock” search warrant around 1 a.m. on March 13, forcefully entering the 26-year-old’s home as part of an investigation into two alleged drug dealers who lived over ten miles away. Police allege that Taylor accepted USPS packages for a former boyfriend, though the Louisville postal inspector told the local Fox affiliate WDRB that “no packages of interest” were sent to her home. No drugs were found in her apartment.

Other facts from that night are disputed, though the blank report from the shooting suggests a negligent level of commitment to police accountability at best and an attempt to avoid being held to an official document in future proceedings at worst. While police claim that the officers announced themselves before entering, a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, states that they did not identify themselves as law enforcement, which caused Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, to fire a warning shot. In a 911 call moments after police fired back, Walker told a dispatcher that “somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.” While Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer, the case was dismissed last month, a move that “suggests that the officers’ credibility and version of events is in question,” according to University of Kentucky law professor Cortney E. Lollar, who spoke with the New York Times.

As the FBI and LMPD investigate the shooting, protesters are calling for the arrest of the officers who killed Taylor, who would have turned 27 last week. Currently, the three officers involved in the incident — Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison (who is also facing a sexual assault investigation) — have been placed on administrative leave, but remain on the force.

Police Report on Killing of Breonna Taylor Is Nearly Blank