"Breonna's death was the culmination of radical political and police conduct," the suit alleges

By Chris Harris
July 06, 2020 12:24 PM
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Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor/instagram

Lawyers representing the family of Breonna Taylor allege the 26-year-old's shooting death resulted from a police operation aimed at clearing out a Louisville, Ky., neighborhood to make way for a multi-million dollar redevelopment project.

The updated allegations are laid out in a previously-filed lawsuit that was amended over the weekend, according to local reports.

The Louisville Courier-JournalWAVE and WHAS-TV obtained a copy of the suit, which was filed by the family against the three Louisville police officers who fired their weapons in Taylor’s home after serving a no-knock warrant on March 13: Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove.

All three have been placed on administrative reassignment but none have been criminally charged.

The suit alleges the warrant was part of a larger strategy to clear out an area of the city being eyed for a mixed-use, mixed-income development called the Vision Russell initiative.

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According to the suit, the warrant for Taylor’s home was one of five police sought in the immediate area in an attempt to arrest a man named Jamarcus Glover, a suspected drug dealer who the suit says was considered one of the “primary roadblocks” to the development.

The suit says Glover's residence was in the middle of the planned redevelopment zone. The affidavit requesting the no-knock warrant allegedly described Taylor's apartment as a place Glover would have his packages mailed to. Police allegedly believed these packages contained drugs.

The Courier-Journal, citing Taylor family lawyer Sam Aguilar, reports Glover was an ex-boyfriend of Taylor’s with whom she maintained a friendship. He was arrested hours prior to Taylor’s fatal shooting on drugs and weapons charges.

The suit alleges a police squad — Place-Based Investigations — "deliberately misled" narcotics detectives to put them under the impression they were after some of the city’s largest crime and drug operations.

"The reality was that the occupants were not anywhere close to Louisville’s versions of Pablo Escobar or Scarface," the suit says. "And they were not violent criminals. They were simply a setback to a large real estate development deal and thus the issue needed to be cleaned up."The suit says Taylor’s killing was completely avoidable.

"Breonna's home should never have had police there in the first place," the filing reads, according to the Courier-Journal.

"When the layers are peeled back, the origin of Breonna's home being raided by police starts with a political need to clear out a street for a large real estate development project and finishes with a newly formed, rogue police unit violating all levels of policy, protocol and policing standards," the suit continues. "Breonna's death was the culmination of radical political and police conduct."

A spokeswoman for Mayor Greg Fischer told the paper the allegations in the new filing were "outrageous" and "without foundation or supporting facts."

It was not clear if Glover had pleaded to the charges against him or if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

According to the city of Louisville's website, the Vision Russell initiative "is a comprehensive, community-endorsed plan to redevelop the Beecher Terrace public housing complex and transform the area into a sustainable, mixed-income, mixed-use, multi-generational neighborhood with high-quality services and schools, as well as transportation and job opportunities."

The police department and the mayor's office have yet to respond to PEOPLE's calls seeking comment on the new allegations.