Louisville Metro Police Department uses ‘excessive force’ and ‘unlawfully discriminates against Black people,’ DOJ report says

By |2023-03-08T13:20:56-05:00March 8th, 2023|Breonna Taylor|

Washington CNN  —  The Louisville Metro Police Department routinely uses excessive force and practices “an aggressive style of policing” against Black people, the Justice Department said Wednesday after an investigation launched following the botched raid that killed Breonna Taylor. The scathing assessment paints a shocking portrait of racist and abusive conduct in the Louisville police that harkens to practices more commonly seen in some southern cities during the civil rights era. Investigators identified a pattern of police leaders in recent years commissioning reports that documented disproportionate violence directed toward African Americans and ignoring the findings or burying the internal reports. The abuses extended to the treatment of the disabled and even sex assault victims. “For years, LMPD has practiced an aggressive style of policing that it deploys selectively, especially against Black people, but also against vulnerable people throughout the city,” the report said. “LMPD cites people for minor offenses, like wide turns and broken taillights, while serious crimes like sexual assault and homicide go unsolved,” the report added. “Some officers demonstrate disrespect for the people they are sworn to protect. Some officers have videotaped themselves throwing drinks at pedestrians from their cars; insulted people with disabilities; and called Black people ‘monkeys,’ ‘animal,’ and ‘boy.’” Louisville police use “unreasonable tactics” including unjustified neck restraints, police dogs and tasers, DOJ found. The report also found that the police department executes search warrants without knocking and announcing. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the results of the investigation Wednesday. “This conduct is unacceptable. It is heartbreaking. It erodes the community trust necessary for effective policing and it is an affront to the vast majority of officers who put their lives on the line every day to serve Louisville with honor,” Garland said at a news conference. “And it is an affront to the people of Louisville who deserve better.”