A demonstrator holds a painting of Breonna Taylor during a protest near the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct on June 7. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images
The family of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by police, accused the Louisville Metro Police Department and city mayor in an open letter Tuesday of "unlawfully" denying their open records requests for information on her case.
Details: Attorneys for Taylor's family issued the letter stating they're seeking the "truth" a day after filing motions in Jefferson Circuit Court to hold the custodians of the records in the coroner's office and Police Merit Board "in contempt of court for failure to produce records" in her case, per the Louisville Courier Journal.
"Your silence is complicity. Your honesty and decision to speak out against these actions and against racism will help rebuild this city and unite us all. Please take these critical first steps and trust our community to respond favorably."— Excerpt from Taylor family letter directed at Louisville Metro Police Department
What they're saying: The Louisville Metro Coroner's Office told CNN, "We had an open records request for the autopsy of Breonna Taylor. This was not going to be released until all the investigations had been complete. All the requests have gone to state attorney general's office. Due to the COVID 19 most lawyers have been working from home until recently and an extension was requested. There is a 10 day allowance for open records requests."
- Per the Courier Journal, when asked about the family's letter, Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher said, "Within 24 hours of an officer-involved shooting, we release video. Not many cities do that. So we're already leading in this area."
The big picture: The death of Taylor on March 13 prompted protests across Louisville. Her killing has been a focal point of the Black Lives Matter protests, which began over the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Justice Department is investigating her shooting.
Background: Police who entered Taylor's home were investigating two men they believed to be selling drugs out of a house 10 miles from her home, per the Courier Journal.
- Officers used a battering ram to break down her door despite her not being a main suspect and shot Taylor at least eight times after her boyfriend fired his gun at an officer in self-defense, the news outlet notes.
- Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, has filed a civil lawsuit against the three police officers who fired their weapons into Taylor's apartment on March 13, according to the Courier Journal.
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a bill on June 11 after speaking with Taylor's family that would prohibit federal law enforcement and local police that receive federal funding from entering homes without warning through a "no-knock" warrant.