Police in Louisville “unlawfully discriminates against Black People,”— says a Justice Department report released on Wednesday. The report also states that police use excessive force, conduct illegal searches, carry out unlawful stops, and violates the rights of the people.
The Justice Department report comes out nearly two years after the Attorney General launched a civil rights probe into the Police Department following the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police in a botched raid that resulted in a nationwide outrage. The report portrays a damning indictment of the Louisville police.
“For years, LMPD has practiced an aggressive style of policing that it deploys selectively, especially against Black people, but also against vulnerable people throughout the city,” the report said.
The key findings of the Justice Department reports finds that LMPD:
- Uses excessive force, including unjustified neck restraints and the unreasonable use of police dogs and tasers;
- Conducts searches based on invalid warrants;
- Unlawfully executes search warrants without knocking and announcing;
- Unlawfully stops, searches, detains, and arrests people during street enforcement activities, including traffic and pedestrian stops;
- Unlawfully discriminates against Black people in its enforcement activities;
- Violates the rights of people engaged in protected free speech critical of policing; and
- Along with Louisville Metro, discriminates against people with behavioral health disabilities when responding to them in crisis.
“Failures of leadership and accountability have allowed unlawful conduct to continue unchecked,” the report says. “Even when city and police leaders announced solutions, they failed to follow through. In LMPD, officer misconduct too often goes unnoticed and unaddressed. At times, LMPD leaders have endorsed and defended unlawful conduct. A street enforcement unit that violated LMPD policy and federal law has been repeatedly rebranded, but never disbanded.”