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Louisville police just released the Breonna Taylor incident report and it's almost entirely blank

Louisville police just released the Breonna Taylor incident report and it's almost entirely blank

The police document lists Taylor's injuries as "none" even though the 26-year-old was shot at least eight times.

Trigger warning: This story contains graphic depictions of racism, misogyny, and police brutality that readers may find disturbing. 

On Wednesday—nearly three months after Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by three plainclothes officers in her own home—the Louisville Metro Police Department released the incident report from that night. However, despite a number of news reports on how the officers used a battering ram to break into her South End apartment and shot her eight times and evidence from the homicide, the LMPD's report is almost entirely blank. While the four-page document lists the time, date, case number, incident location, victim's name, and age, it leaves blank details already made public, such as her street number, apartment number, and date of birth.



 

 

According to the Louisville Courier Journal, the police document lists Taylor's injuries as "none" even though the 26-year-old was shot at least eight times and reportedly died in a pool of blood in her hallway. The section for "forced entry" is marked off as a no, despite the fact that officers used a battering ram to knock in the apartment door. Meanwhile, the charges are listed as "death investigation — LMPD involved." Also, the three officers involved in Taylor's death—Sgt. Jon Mattingly, 47; Myles Cosgrove, 42; and Brett Hankison, 44—are named the "Offenders" portion of the report.



 

 

However, the "narrative" portion of the report—the section that details the series of events that took place that night—merely contains the words "PIU investigation." The rest of the report is left completely blank. "I read this report and have to ask the mayor, the police chief, and the city's lawyers: Are you kidding? This is what you consider being transparent to taxpayers and the public?" asked Richard A. Green, editor of The Courier Journal. "At a time when so many are rightfully demanding to know more details about that tragic March evening, I fail to understand this lack of transparency. The public deserves more."



 

 

While the police department acknowledged the shortcomings of the report, it left much to be desired in terms of accountability. "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 LMPD said in a statement, blaming errors in the report on the reporting program creating a paper file. Mayor Greg Fischer, meanwhile, took a strong stance against the "unacceptable" incident report.



 

 

"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 in a statement Wednesday night. "I am sorry for the additional pain to the Taylor family and our community." Jon Fleischaker, 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, said that the report is proof that "LMPD continues to make a mockery of transparency. 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 — even when it was criminal, as in the LMPD Explorer case."



 

 

Fleischaker added that 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," referring to the nationwide debates about necessary police reforms. "How can we even seriously debate police reform if the police won’t engage and the mayor won’t stand up to them?" he asked.



 

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