Discussing a federal investigation prompted by the killing of Breonna Taylor during a botched police raid in 2020, the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, said on Wednesday police in Louisville, Kentucky had engaged in racist and unlawful conduct.
Garland said Louisville police had shown a pattern of using excessive force, especially against Black residents.
The investigation found “unlawful racial disparities” in Louisville law enforcement.
Garland said the city and its police force had agreed to work with the federal government “to address the problems that we have identified”.
Taylor, 26 and an emergency medical technician studying to become a nurse, was roused from sleep by police who came through the door of her apartment using a battering ram in March 2020.
Thinking it was a home invasion, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a gun once. Police opened fire, killing Taylor.
The no-knock warrant had been approved as part of a narcotics investigation. No drugs were found at the home.
Taylor became a prominent figure whose death was protested as part of the Black Lives Matter movement demonstrations in 2020 and beyond over police brutality and systemic racism.
A grand jury declined to charge officers over the killing. Civil rights charges were brought against four officers. The city agreed to pay $2m to settle suits brought by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
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