The FBI will conduct an independent investigation into the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor, Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown of the Louisville field office said in a statement Thursday.
Taylor was killed in mid-March when Louisville Metro Police entered her apartment by force after midnight as part of a multi-site drug raid. She and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were startled awake and Walker fired at the police, believing them to be intruders. The police fired back more than 20 times, and struck Taylor eight times, killing her.
“The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner,” Brown said, according to the statement.
This announcement came one day after LMPD sent the results of its internal investigation to the FBI, U.S. Attorney, as well as Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron for review.
The statement from the FBI also came on the same day that Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad announced he would retire at the end of June.
Across the country, people have called for an investigation separate from the police’s to ensure accuracy and fairness.
Local lawmakers were among those demanding such an investigation. Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith (D-4) told WFPL a review of LMPD’s investigation would be insufficient.
“If [the Public Integrity Unit’s investigation] shows that criminal charges should be filed against one or more of the officers, then I do believe an independent investigation is warranted to verify that those are serious charges,” she said. “If the PIU internal investigation states that the investigation does not warrant filing criminal charges against one or more police officers, then that result warrants an independent investigation.”
Sexton Smith said the public deserves to know the results of the LMPD investigation as well as any independent investigation.
Asked Wednesday if LMPD would be releasing the results of its investigation and if so, when, spokeswoman Jessie Halladay said in an email that the investigation is ongoing and turning it over to the Attorney General is another step. She declined to comment further.