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Louisville mayor demands investigation after police kill black woman in her home

Louisville mayor demands investigation after police kill black woman in her home
© NBC News

Louisville, Ky., Mayor Greg Fischer (D) is calling for a "thorough investigation" into the case of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman who was fatally shot in her apartment by city police. 

"As always, my priority is that the truth comes out, and for justice to follow the part of the truth," Fischer said in a statement on Tuesday, nearly two months after the incident. "Police work can involve incredibly difficult situations. Additionally, residents have rights. These two concepts must be weighed by our justice system as the case proceeds."

Fischer added that he's spoken with Louisville Metropolitan Police Department Chief Steve Conrad about the need for an extensive probe into the matter. He said that the department's Public Integrity Unit is conducting an investigation and that a final report would be handed over to the commonwealth attorney before any next steps were taken. 

Taylor, a certified EMT in Louisville, was allegedly shot and killed by police officers in her apartment on March 13. Officials said the officers were executing a drug warrant when they entered Taylor’s home as she was asleep, according to a lawsuit filed by the victim’s family and obtained by The Washington Post and The Louisville Courier Journal.

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The lawsuit, which was filed on April 27, alleges that Louisville police officers executed a search warrant at Taylor's home while looking for a man who did not live in her apartment complex. The man was also detained before officers had arrived at Taylor's apartment after midnight, according to the suit. 

The lawsuit said that Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend, was in the apartment at the time and shot at officers after they entered the home without knocking or announcing who they were. Louisville police officers are accused of returning more than 20 shots, with Taylor being struck at least eight times.

Walker, a licensed gun owner, was not injured during the incident and was charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer.

Taylor's family is accusing the officers of wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence. 

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The police officers and sergeant involved in the shooting were placed on administrative reassignment following the incident. Louisville police said in a press conference around the time of the incident that they had launched an internal investigation into the matter. 

Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing Taylor's family, has called for Louisville police officers to hold its officers "accountable." He said in a tweet on Tuesday that he would request the 911 recording and warrant from night of the incident. 

"I will not stop until we get #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor!" he said.