Nearly three months after police fatally shot Breonna Taylor, the department released the incident report. It is almost entirely blank.
Breonna Taylor deserves her own thread, so I made one. This article is a microcosm of why I have an inherent distrust of police investigations into officer misconduct. This is insane.Nearly three months after Louisville Metro Police officers fatally shot Breonna Taylor in her apartment, the department has released the incident report from that night.
Except, it is almost entirely blank.
The four-page report lists the time, date, case number, incident location and the victim's name — Breonna Shaquille Taylor — as well as the fact that she is a 26-year-old black female.
The report redacts Taylor's street number, apartment number and date of birth — all of which have been widely reported already.
And it lists as her injuries, "none," even though she was shot at least eight times and died on her hallway floor in a pool of blood, according to attorneys for her family.
It lists the charges as "death investigation — LMPD involved" but checks the "no" box under "forced entry," even though officers used a battering ram to knock in Taylor's apartment door.
It also lists under the "Offenders" portion of the report the three officers who fired in Taylor's apartment, fatally shooting her — Sgt. Jon Mattingly, 47; Myles Cosgrove, 42; and Brett Hankison, 44. The "narrative" of events March 13 says only "PIU investigation." And the rest of the report has no information filled in at all. The police department acknowledged errors in the report that it said was the result of the reporting program creating a paper file.
"Inaccuracies in the report are unacceptable to us, and we are taking immediate steps to correct the report and to ensure the accuracy of incident reports going forward," the statement said.
Mayor Greg Fischer was less forgiving, issuing a statement Wednesday night calling the released report "unacceptable."
"Full stop. It’s issues like this that erode public confidence in LMPD’s ability to do its job, and that’s why I’ve ordered an external top-to-bottom review of the department," he said. "I am sorry for the additional pain to the Taylor family and our community."
Taylor was at her apartment around 12:40 a.m. local time when the three plainclothes officers used a no-knock search warrant signed by District Judge Mary Shaw to enter her home as part of a narcotics investigation.
Officers say they announced their presence, but Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, and several neighbors say they did not. Walker has said he thought intruders were trying to break in and fired a warning shot that struck Mattingly in the leg.
Mattingly, Hankison and Cosgrove are on administrative reassignment pending the investigation. The detective who requested the warrant, Joshua Jaynes, has also been reassigned, LMPD announced Wednesday.
“This document is proof that LMPD continues to make a mockery of transparency,” said Jon Fleischaker, counsel for the Louisville Courier Journal of the USA TODAY Network and one of the principal authors of the state’s Open Records law that requires the release of public documents in all but extremely rare circumstances.
“Under the Fischer administration, there has been a consistent policy and practice of refusing to tell the public what is going on with the police, regardless of how inappropriate the officer conduct has been," Fleischaker said.
With debate about police reform taking place nationwide, Fleischaker said city leaders "are refusing to honor their obligations to disclose the basic information necessary for the citizens of Louisville to have a meaningful debate about what needs to change."
"How can we even seriously debate police reform if the police won’t engage and the mayor won’t stand up to them?" he said.
The Courier Journal is suing LMPD, seeking the immediate release of the department's investigative file in Taylor's shooting.
Police have refused to release the file, saying it is an ongoing investigation.
The Courier Journal also filed an appeal with the state attorney general’s office in May to object to open-records decisions Louisville public agencies made refusing to release records underlying the Taylor case, including the incident report, 911 calls made in the incident and Taylor's autopsy report.
The city has since released Walker's 911 call — but only after an attorney for Taylor's family gave it to news media hours earlier.