Louisville, Kentucky – After months of investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ), a report was released on Monday revealing a “pattern or practice” of discriminatory policing in Louisville. The report came in response to the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was killed by police during a botched raid in March 2020.
The report found that the Louisville Metro Police Department engaged in a pattern of misconduct, including the use of excessive force, racial profiling, and inadequate training. It also revealed that the department had failed to adequately investigate allegations of misconduct by its officers.
The DOJ recommended several reforms that the department must implement, including changes to its use-of-force policies, training on bias policing, and increased oversight by external bodies.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer responded to the report in a press conference, saying that the city was committed to implementing the necessary reforms. “We recognize the pain that this report has caused, the institutional racism and bias that has resulted in the trauma experienced by members of our community,” he said.
The report was widely criticized by police unions and law enforcement advocates, who said that it unfairly portrayed the department and ignored the challenges and dangers faced by police officers. The Fraternal Order of Police released a statement saying that the report was “deeply flawed” and that it did not accurately reflect the efforts of police officers to keep the community safe.
The DOJ’s report comes amid a national reckoning on police violence and racial justice, following a series of high-profile incidents, including the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers in May 2020. Many activists and community organizers have called for systemic changes to policing practices and increased accountability for officers who engage in misconduct.