The police departments of Louisville and Memphis are back in focus. The Justice Department released its findings in a nearly two-year investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Federal officials launched the probe after a 2020 raid involving a no-knock warrant led to the death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor.
A new 90-page report is revealing that the police department routinely used excessive force, neck restraints, police dogs, and tasers on residents for years.
The investigation also found that leadership within the police department failed to address officers’ patterns of discrimination against Black people and people with behavioral health problems.
The city’s mayor is promising to “correct the mistakes of the past.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland said he will work with Louisville to fix the problems highlighted in the report’s findings, including by stopping unlawful practices and building trust with the community.
In a statement, Breonna Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer, said the report’s findings “are an indicator that Breonna’s death is not in vain.”
The investigation’s findings come days before the three-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death.
Now, this report confirms that her death was a symptom of a larger problem that’s affected the city’s residents for years.
In Memphis, the police department is taking its turn for a federal investigation.
The Justice Department announced it will be reviewing the Memphis Police Department’s policies on the use of force and de-escalation strategies at the request of city officials.
The probe comes nearly two months after 29-year-old Tyre Nichols’ death at the hands of police. At least seven officers have been fired.
The Department of Justice also has an open civil rights investigation into Nichols’ death. As the investigations get underway, many are bracing for the release of new footage from the traffic stop.
Yesterday, a Memphis judge delayed the release of nearly 20 hours of additional footage from the January incident, saying the prosecutors and attorneys of the five police officers charged need to review it first.
For years, Americans have called on Congress to pass police reform. Now, Nichols’ death has the Department of Justice stepping in as efforts among lawmakers have stalled.