Breonna Taylor Shooting Linked To Gentrification Says Lawsuit
Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor has amended her lawsuit against Sgt. Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, and Jonathan Mattingly, three Louisville officers who fired weapons into Taylor’s home on March 13th, 2020. Sgt. Brett Hankinson was fired in June for “wantonly and blindly” firing into the home of Breonna Taylor according to his letter of termination. The other 2 officers were placed on administrative leave.
According to attorneys representing the family of Breonna Taylor, her shooting was the result of an LMPD operation to clear out a block in western Louisville that was part of a major gentrification makeover.
The complaint states that a police squad named Place-Based Investigations “deliberately misled” narcotics detectives to target a home on Elliot Avenue, making them believe that they were in pursuit of some of the city’s largest violent crime and drug operations. The complaint also states that Taylor was caught up in a case that was less about a dope house on Elliott Avenue and more about expediting the city's massive and lucrative Vision Russell development plan.
A spokesperson for Mayor Greg Fischer said the allegations are "outrageous" and "without foundation or supporting facts."
According to the complaint Breonna Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jemarcus Glover was a “primary roadblock” to the Vision Russel Development Plan. Glover rented a home in the 2400 block of Elliott Avenue in the Russell neighborhood, placing it squarely in the area of the planned redevelopment.
The Jefferson County property value administrator's website shows after police arrested Glover, the city moved to purchase the property on Elliott Avenue.
The property's deed signed June 5, which would have been Breonna Taylor's 27th birthday, shows Louisville and Jefferson County Landbank Authority bought the home for $17,160, according to the PVA.
Three weeks earlier this year, eight homes on Elliott Avenue were demolished by the city's contractor, the complaint alleges. Only nine homes total had been demolished on Elliott Avenue in the past 16 years combined, the complaint says.
Detective Joshua Jaynes wrote in an affidavit seeking a no-knock warrant for Breonna Taylor’s Springfield Apartment, that he had seen Glover leaving Taylor’s Apartment with a suspicious package before driving to a “known drug house.”
The Detective then stated he verified through a “US Postal Inspector” that Glover Had indeed received packages at Taylor’s Apartment.
A U.S. postal inspector in Louisville, however, told WDRB News that Louisville Metro Police Department did not use his office to verify that Glover was receiving packages at Breonna Taylor’s address and that a different agency had asked in January to look into whether Taylor's home was receiving suspicious mail. The office had concluded it wasn't.
Detective Joshua Jayne is on administrative reassignment until the question of how and why the no-knock search warrant was approved are answered.