LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An attorney representing the family of Breonna Taylor is suing Louisville Metro Police on allegations that the department is withholding body camera footage from the night of its fatal raid on Taylor's apartment.
In the lawsuit, attorney Sam Aguiar says LMPD confirmed to him via email the existence of at least 18 additional body camera videos from officers involved in the execution of search warrants related to the narcotics investigation that led police to Taylor's door in the early morning hours of March 13, 2020.
There is no body camera footage of the moment officers burst into Taylor's apartment and fatally shot her. At least one officer who was part of the team assigned to the raid on the apartment was wearing a body camera but did not have it activated.
Aguiar's lawsuit, filed Monday in Jefferson Circuit Court, seeks a "hearing on this matter at the earliest practicable date" and the release of the videos.
"There is no legitimate reason they haven't been turned over," Aguiar told WDRB News on Monday. "Tamika Palmer and the rest of Breonna's family have legitimate questions that have not been answered. Maybe these video will help provide some of those answers."
LMPD told Aguiar it won't release the footage, according to the lawsuit, because the department said it is tied to ongoing criminal cases stemming from the raid of a home on Elliott Avenue belonging to Taylor's ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.
Police claim releasing the videos could "'tip' the Defendants of the direction of the ongoing case" and "could 'taint' the jury pool," the lawsuit says. LMPD does not comment on pending litigation.
Aguiar, however, said LMPD originally told him the footage did not exist when he subpoenaed the department in June. The lawsuit claims LMPD said it produced all of the body camera video related to the Taylor case when it released approximately 56 videos to the attorney in September and made the videos public in October as part of its Public Integrity Unit's (PIU) investigation into Taylor's death.
"We made public the contents of the PIU investigative file after the investigation was complete because we recognized the importance in letting our city heal," a spokesperson for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a Jan. 15 statement. "The videos from officers at the Elliott Avenue location were not part of that PIU file, with the exception of one video of Det. (Kelly) Goodlett, which was pointed out to Mr. Aguiar in response to his request."
Members of LMPD's Criminal Interdiction Unit raided Glover's home, a suspected drug house, around the same time officers raided Taylor's Springfield Drive apartment near Pleasure Ridge Park.
In a search warrant affidavit for Taylor's apartment, former LMPD Detective Joshua Jaynes said he had "verified through a U.S. postal inspector" that Glover had been receiving packages at Taylor's residence. However, police were repeatedly told there were no packages, "suspicious or otherwise," delivered to Taylor's home, according to testimony in an internal LMPD report. Officers found nothing illegal in the apartment after the raid.
Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has said he fired a single shot after LMPD officers burst into Taylor's apartment before 1 a.m. on March 13. Walker claims he believed police were intruders breaking into the apartment. Walker's shot hit Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said after his office investigated the case.
Officers combined to return 32 shots. Taylor, 26, was shot six times while she stood the hallway of her apartment and died at the scene.
No charges were brought against the officers involved in the raid in connection to Taylor's death. Former Detective Brett Hankison, whom the department fired in June, plead not guilty in September to three counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly firing rounds into an apartment neighboring Taylor's.
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