Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced today that the Department of Justice has opened a pattern or practice investigation into the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government and the Louisville Metro Police Department. The probe stems from the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot by Louisville officers during a raid at her home in March of 2020.
“Today, the Justice Department is opening a civil investigation into the Louisville-Jefferson County metro government and the Louisville Metro Police Department to determine whether LMPD engages in a pattern or practice of violations of the constitution or federal law,” Garland said at a press conference.
Garland said the probe will determine whether LMPD engages in unconstitutional stops, searches, and seizures, as well as if the department unlawfully executes search warrants on private homes.
“It will also assess whether LMPD engages in discriminatory conduct on the basis of race or fails to provide public services that comply with the Americans with Disability Act. The investigation will include a comprehensive review of the Louisville Police Department’s policies and training. It will also assess the effectiveness of LMPD supervision of officers and systems of accountability,” he added.
Garland noted that if violations are indeed found, the department will aim to work with the city and police departments to come up with mutually agreeable steps to prevent unlawful patterns and practices.
While Garland rarely mentioned Taylor’s name, he did talk briefly about the settlement reached last year with the family.
“Louisville has already taken some steps towards reform through its settlement with the family of Breonna Taylor, as well as through other measures. We commend those measures our investigation will take into account,” said Garland.”
Monday’s announcement came just days after Garland revealed the DOJ is also conducting a similar civil investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.