In this March 19, 2020, file photo, Bianca Austin composes herself before making remarks during a vigil for her niece, Breonna Taylor, outside the Judicial Center in downtown Louisville, Ky. A high-profile civil rights attorney says, Taylor, a black emergency medical worker fatally shot by police in Kentucky was “executed” in her home. Benjamin Crump made the comment Wednesday, May 20, 2020, to the Louisville public safety committee, which heard testimony about Breonna Taylor’s death. (Sam Upshaw/Courier Journal via AP, File)
Published 05/25/2020 | Reading Time 2 min 46 sec
By DYLAN LOVAN, with the Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A black emergency medical worker fatally shot by police serving a narcotics search warrant in Kentucky was “executed” in her home, a high-profile civil rights attorney said Wednesday.
Benjamin Crump’s remark to the Louisville public safety committee came during testimony the committee was receiving about the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot eight times by police in March. The case has drawn national attention and calls from political figures for an outside investigation.
Crump is also representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery, who was gunned down in a Georgia neighborhood in February, and he has been involved in several cases involving police shootings that have provoked public outrage.
“I still think this tragic killing of Breonna Taylor, in the sanctity of her own home, is one of the worst ones that I have ever seen,” Crump said during the meeting, which was streamed online. “She did not deserve to die in this manner.”
The warrant to search Taylor’s home on March 13 was in connection with a suspect who did not live there. Police found no drugs at Taylor’s home after using a “no-knock” search warrant, which allows them to enter without first announcing their presence. Louisville police changed policy on those warrants earlier this week to require the chief’s signature.
Another attorney for Taylor’s family, Lonita Baker, said Louisville police should ban the use of such warrants in drug investigations.
“Narcotics investigations do not justify the risk associated with no-knock warrants,” Baker said.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at officers, striking one during the warrant search. Walker has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer. Crump said Walker was defending himself and Breonna from what they thought was a break-in.
Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad also spoke at the meeting but declined to discuss details of the investigation.
Mayor Greg Fischer announced Wednesday that the police department’s internal investigation of the shooting has been completed and will go to the state attorney general and the U.S. Attorney in Louisville for review.