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LMPD Releases Nearly Blank Report From The Night Of Breonna Taylor's Killing


Now from Ferguson, Mo., to Louisville, Ky., where Breonna Taylor lived. She was the black woman shot and killed by officers entering her apartment with a no-knock warrant. Last Friday, she would have turned 27 years old. No charges have been brought against the three officers involved in the killing. Now the Louisville Metro Police Department has released the incident report from the night of her death, and it contains very little information. Amina Elahi of member station WFPL is in Louisville and joins us now.

Thanks for being here.

AMINA ELAHI, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.

SHAPIRO: There's a big difference between what we know about this shooting and what the incident report actually says about the shooting. What does the incident report say?

ELAHI: Well, the incident report doesn't really say very much. It was a four-page form. But, really, it could have just fit onto one page because of how little information it had. All it really said was that there is a death investigation, and it listed the names of the officers who shot Breonna Taylor, as well as some of her demographic details. But what it doesn't tell us is what really happened that night.

It also had some strange things that were clearly inaccurate. For example, in the box where they would have listed injuries, all the report says is none. But we know that Taylor was shot eight times. And here's why people were so interested in this report. They thought or hoped that it might give more information, clarify what happened that night because so little has come to light so far. But not only does it not even explain what did happen that night, it does very little to offer additional context, so that's why it's caused so much controversy here in Louisville.

SHAPIRO: Doesn't it also say there was no forced entry when, in fact, they broke down her door? I mean, how unusual is it for the police to give so little information, especially about such a high-profile case?

ELAHI: That's a good question. And we don't know because the police department hasn't answered questions about that. We asked, and the department hasn't explained if this report was unusual in any way or if this is typically how the incident reports get produced. They did tell the newspaper here in Louisville that the errors were caused by making a paper copy from their reporting software. But we should remember; this shooting happened almost three months ago to the day. You'd think there'd be enough time to have fleshed this document out to explain what did happen in a factual way, and that's especially because every news outlet in town has been asking for it for weeks.

SHAPIRO: Yeah. And when I was in Louisville last week, everybody in the city, it seemed, was crying for accountability. Now that this nearly blank report has come out, what are people saying?

ELAHI: Well, people are really upset, especially those who are calling for action. In fact, just this morning, a local black activist said that the report was a slap in the face to black women. And Taylor's family and others who have been protesting for two weeks now against police violence - they're calling for action, they're calling for change, but they're not getting that. And now they're not even getting the basic information. So the police department has been both slow to release information and limited in what it does release. So that's been a major cause of frustration.

The mayor, yesterday, said that this incident report is unacceptable. And today one council member said that this is why the Louisville police need strong civilian oversight. He's part of a group that's working on an independent review board to instill some sort of accountability in police shootings, and that came about after the initial national outcry over the shooting of Breonna Taylor.

SHAPIRO: With such an outcry from civilians and city leaders, what are you hearing from police?

ELAHI: Well, the police still aren't saying very much. What they've told us is that there are continuing active internal investigations into both the Taylor case and another recent shooting of a man named David McAtee. So we continue asking for information. They continue telling us that the investigations are ongoing. And as a result, they can't give us more than the limited amount they've already provided.

SHAPIRO: That's Amina Elahi with member station WFPL in Louisville.

Thank you for your reporting.

ELAHI: Thank you very much.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Amina Elahi (WFPL)
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