The Louisville police shooting of Breonna Taylor has attracted close scrutiny.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced an investigation into the policing practices of the Louisville Police Department on Monday.
“The investigation will assess whether the LMPD engages in any pattern or practice of unreasonable use of force, including against those involved in peaceful and expressive activities,” Garland said. “It will determine whether the LMPD engages in unconstitutional checks, searches and seizures, as well as whether the department is illegally executing search warrants on private homes.”
The Louisville Police Department has come under scrutiny over the past year following the police shooting of Breonna Taylor, a black emergency technician who was killed during a botched raid on her Kentucky apartment after three plainclothes officers entered her home while serving an arrest warrant. Only one of the three officers involved in the raid was the subject of criminal proceedings.
Garland said the department’s investigation will take into account both the LMPD’s settlement with Taylor’s family as well as reform measures proposed over the past year.
Garland added that the investigation will also examine whether the department engages in discriminatory behavior on the basis of race and whether it is not providing services in accordance with the U.S. Disability Act.
The survey, Garland said, will review LMPD’s training policies and practices and look at the ministry’s oversight of accountability offices and systems.
“As with any Justice Department investigation, we will follow the facts and the law, wherever they lead,” Garland said. “If there are reasonable grounds to believe that there was a pattern or practice of constitutional or statutory violations, we will issue a public report of our findings.”
Garland said the department had already received a pledge of support from the mayor of Louisville and the LMPD police chief.
The Louisville Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This is the Department of Justice’s second investigation of a police force “model or practice” in the past five days alone.
Garland announced that the department opened a civilian investigation last week to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department used excessive force during arrests or protests and whether officers in the department engaged in any behavior discriminatory.
“It is clear that officials in Minneapolis and Louisville, including law enforcement, recognize the importance and urgency of our efforts,” Garland said Monday. “We come to them as partners, knowing that we share a common goal.”
Garland has repeatedly stated that he sees these probes as a potentially valuable surveillance tool to ensure police accountability.
This indicates a significant change from the way the department exercised these powers under the administration of former President Donald Trump. In those four years, the department has opened only one such investigation into the Narcotics Unit of the Springfield, Massachusetts Police Department, whose officers routinely used excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment. of the Constitution.