Justice Department finds Louisville Police uses excessive force, discriminated against Black people


The Justice Department said Wednesday that it found the that Louisville Metro Police Department and Louisville/Jefferson County Metro government violated the Constitution and federal law in various practices, and dealing with the Black community. Following an investigation launched in April 2021, the DOJ said it has entered an agreement with the government and police department to address many of the issues under federal law that prohibits officers from engaging in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives people of rights.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement: “This unacceptable and unconstitutional conduct erodes the community trust necessary for effective policing. It is also an affront to the vast majority of officers who put their lives on the line to serve Louisville with honor. And it is an affront to the people of Louisville who deserve better.”

The department found the police had a pattern of using excessive force, police dogs and tasers; conducted searches based on invalid warrants; made unlawful stops and searches; discriminated against Black people in its enforcement activities; violated protected free speech activities; and discriminated against people with behavioral health disabilities.

The DOJ’s findings are separate from cases related to the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot in her home by Louisville police instituting a no-knock warrant. The Justice Department had previously filed charges against four former officers involved in that 2020 incident.

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