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Breonna Taylor’s Family Sues, Alleging Police Hid Bodycam Videos From Scene

Louisville, KY – Breonna Taylor’s family filed a lawsuit against the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) on Wednesday that alleged multiple officers involved the execution of the search warrant that left Taylor dead had been given bodycams, and that LMPD lied about the existence of more video of the incident.

Sam Aguiar, the attorney for Taylor’s family, said he has requested the bodycam information from the police department through a public records request but never received it, NBC News reported.

Now Aguiar has asked a judge to order LMPD to release all existing bodycam from the night Taylor was shot.

The lawsuit was filed in Jefferson Circuit Court on July 7 and claimed LMPD had given the public “misinformation” about the existence of video of the actual raid on Taylor’s home, WDRB reported.

The police department has previously claimed that LMPD Officer Anthony James failed to activate his bodycam during the execution of the search warrant.

LMPD also said that none of the other officers who participated in the warrant service had been wearing bodycams, WDRB reported.

But photos from the scene of former LMPD Officer Myles Cosgrove showed he had a mounting bracket for a bodycam attached to him but no camera mounted on it.

And then some footage of Taylor’s boyfriend being arrested at the scene was released, proving there were some bodycams rolling that night, WDRB reported.

The lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family said that several of the officers who were there – both before, during and after the shooting – had been issued bodycams.

According to Aguiar, LMPD had implemented a new technology and upgraded their bodycam equipment so that an officer’s camera – as well as any other bodycams in the vicinity – was automatically activated when the emergency lights on a patrol vehicle were activated, WDRB reported.

The complaint alleged that since there were multiple LMPD vehicles at the scene before the raid and then after the shooting, any of those units could have sent out a signal and activated nearby bodycams.

The lawsuit alleged that former Officer Cosgrove’s unmarked vehicle had lights activated at several times while at the scene as one example, WDRB reported.

“Simply put, it would have been difficult for most of the LMPD members with body cameras and who were associated with… events at Breonna’s” residence “to not have had their Axon body cameras activated at one point or another,” according to the complaint.

“Given that Metro was able to verify that certain LMPD members’ body cameras were specifically assigned on March 13, 2020, there is a reasonable basis to believe that misinformation has been presented to the general public regarding the usage of body cameras” by officers, the lawsuit read.

Taylor’s family alleged in the lawsuit that LMPD had failed to provide their attorney with the audit trail of the footage collected at the scene, WDRB reported.

The audit trail is used to identify the time of the recordings, the bodycam user, and the identity of anyone who viewed the footage, according to the lawsuit.

The “audit trails should assist in verifying whether Metro has been truthful to the public regarding the existence of footage,” the lawsuit claimed.

The complaint pointed to retired LMPD Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, who was shot during the raid, as an example, WDRB reported.

The suit said that Sgt. Mattingly testified “under oath that he was never issued a body camera,” but LMPD records showed he was assigned a bodycam before the raid on Taylor’s apartment.

Taylor’s family has claimed in their lawsuit that the public has “an uncompromised right to know whether undisclosed body camera footage exists, or otherwise previously existed, from LMPD Axon Cameras which related to the events surrounding the death of Breonna Taylor,” WDRB reported.

Taylor was killed on March 13, 2020, during a raid on her apartment in connection with a narcotics investigation.

Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire on LMPD officers who were serving the search warrant, and Taylor was killed when the officers shot back.

A Jefferson County grand jury indicted one of the officers on three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighbor’s occupied apartment, but no criminal charges were levied against the officers who fatally shot Taylor.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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