A woman in the US state of Kentucky was shot and killed by police after they raided the wrong address, according to a lawsuit.
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was asleep in her Kentucky home just after midnight on March 13 when police entered with a search warrant for someone else and opened fire, killing her.
Now, a lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family accuses the officers of wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence.
Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officials said officers in a drug investigation engaged in the shooting after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot at them first.
But the lawsuit alleges that police did not identify themselves and that Walker, a licensed gun owner, thought someone was breaking in. Neither Walker nor Taylor had a criminal history, the suit says.
At a press conference on 13 March, the department said its officers knocked on the door several times and announced themselves as police.
But a lawyer for Ms Taylor’s partner, Kenneth Walker, said he fired in self-defence because the officers did not identify themselves and he believed they were breaking in.
The lawsuit alleges that the police then fired more than 20 rounds of ammunition into the home.
The department has declined to answer questions on the case citing an ongoing investigation.
“Breonna had posed no threat to the officers and did nothing to deserve to die at their hands,” the lawsuit reads.
“Shots were blindly fired by the officers all throughout Breonna’s home,” it added.
The family, which is seeking compensation and damages, has hired a prominent civil rights lawyer to represent them.
Ben Crump has represented the families of other high-profile black shooting victims, such as Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement that he is awaiting the outcome of the LMPD investigation into the case. “As always my priority is that the truth comes out, and for justice to follow the path of truth,” Fischer said.
Governor Andy Beshear said in a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday that reports about Taylor’s death are “troubling.” “Her family and the public at large deserve the full facts of her death,” he said, and called for state legal officials to review the findings of the police investigation “to ensure justice is done.”