One of the lawyers representing Breonna Taylor’s family says the 26-year-old would still be alive today if the Louisville Metro Police Department officers — who entered her Kentucky apartment on a no-knock search warrant before fatally shooting her — were not in plainclothes.
On Wednesday, TMZ reported that attorney Sam Aguiar believes the search warrant — which included Taylor’s residence because it was suspected of receiving drugs — would have been properly executed if the officers were in uniform.
While the LMPD says the officers — Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Brett Hankison, and Detective Myles Cosgrove — announced themselves before entering Taylor’s home, Aguiar claims that 16 neighbors say the plainclothes officers did not announce their presence.
Aguiar — who, along with lawyer Lonita Baker, is representing Taylor’s family in a civil suit against the three officers — believes when police “don’t put on the uniform and they don’t put on the badge, it lets them have the sense that they can just go rogue.”
In the wake of Taylor’s death, the Louisville, Kentucky, metro council passed “Breonna’s Law,” which, among many things, bans no-knock search warrants and requires officers to have their body cameras on when conducting a search.
Aside from these reforms, Aguiar says the LMPD needs to pay officers more and to hire better ones, instead of keeping incompetent cops on staff.
Over the weekend, Beyoncé wrote an open letter to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron demanding that charges be brought against the three policemen.
The singer also wants Cameron to “commit to transparency in the investigation and prosecution of these officers’ criminal conduct” and to “investigate the LMPD’s response to Breonna Taylor’s murder” in addition to other practices that have resulted “in the repeated deaths of unarmed black citizens.”
According to the Louisville Courier Journal, Mattingly, Hankison, and Cosgrove have all been placed on administrative leave.