The Louisville Metro Police Department is currently under a state of emergency, according to an internal memo released on Monday. Declared by Chief of Police Robert J. Schroeder, the decision comes "in anticipation" of an announcement in the Breonna Taylor case.
The declaration means that departments are operating on emergency staffing and reporting, which cancels off-days and previously unapproved vacation requests. The emergency announcement, which does not extend to the city itself, was created to ensure departments had the "appropriate level of staffing to provide for public safety services."
Behind the memo is a city holding its breath. Taylor, a 26-year-old Black female emergency technician, was shot and killed in her Louisville home when officers executed a no-knock search warrant. Taylor was shot several times and died before officers attempted to give her emergency aid, according to dispatch reports from the Louisville Courier-Journal. While one officer involved in Taylor's death was , the other two remain on the police force. Six months after her March 13 death, Taylor's case stands distinct as a high profile case without resolution.
In the month of May, the death of George Floyd and reanimated protests for theplaced Louisville's police department under heavy scrutiny. Protestors filled the streets, resulting in hundreds of arrests. The daily protests have died down, but demonstrations throughout the country have proven that residents haven't forgotten about Taylor.
Taylor's family will receive a $12 million settlement from the city over their wrongful death suit. While the settlement also included police reforms, the main focus on everyone's minds continues to be the fate of the officers involved. Taylor's investigation has dragged on longer than other high-profile cases. In the death of Floyd, all four officers were fired and less than 10 days after his death.
Both the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Kentucky state authorities are investigating Taylor's death, however, neither has announced any preliminary findings, other than confirming they had received a ballistics report. With the Louisville police department under a state of emergency, it is clear the police officials expect an aggressive response. The state of emergency is active until further notice, placing the department in exactly the same place as the rest of Lousiville — waiting.
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