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The police warrant on Breonna Taylor's apartment was part of a gentrification drive, her family says

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  • Breonna Taylor’s family have updated their legal complaint against Louisville police officers, according to local reports.
  • The family claims the warrant on Taylor’s apartment was issued in the interests of speeding along a city redevelopment project, the Louisviller Courier Journal reported.
  • The warrant was one of five targeting Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover, who her family said was living in an area slated for a major redevelopment project, the paper reported. 
  • The family say that police misled narcotics officers to believe that Glover’s address was a drugs and violent hotspot, the paper reported.
  • The mayor’s office strongly refuted the claims, which do not constitute evidence. Business Insider has contacted Louisville Metro Police and the mayor for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Breonna Taylor’s family has alleged at that the warrant on her apartment — during the execution of which she was fatally shot by police — was filed as part of a gentrification effort, according to local reports. 

Taylor’s family amended their legal complaint at Jefferson Circuit Court, Louisville, with the allegation that a police unit had “deliberately misled” narcotics officers to believe their warrants were focused around dealing with a major drugs hotspot, according to a filing seen by the Louisville Courier Journal

The complaint claims that a block on Elliott Avenue in western Louisville, where Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover was living, sits in the center of the Vision Russell initiative, a redevelopment plan led by the mayor’s office, the paper reported.

Glover’s apartment, the family’s filing reportedly said, presented one of several “primary roadblocks” to the Vision Russell project. 

The filing claims that the five warrants issued on March 12, including on Taylor’s apartment, were all part of efforts targeting Glover and others in his building to clear the way for the redevelopment, according to local channel WSPD Local.

The allegations do not constitute evidence.

Jean Porter, spokesperson for Interim Mayor Greg Fischer, strongly denied the claims, telling the Courier Journal in a statement that they were “without foundation or supporting facts.”

“They are insulting to the neighborhood members of the Vision Russell initiative and all the people involved in the years of work being done to revitalize the neighborhoods of west Louisville,” the statement continued. 

The Vision Russell initiative is a project to “revitalize” the neighborhoods of West Louisville, Porter’s statement said.

Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, head of the city’s economic development foundation Louisville Forward, the city’s economic development organization, told local news channel Wave 3 that the updated lawsuit “is a gross mischaracterization of the project,” and said that the foundation had worked with community organizations throughout. 

She added that the foundation is discussing the creation of a community land trust “to ensure investment without displacement.”

breonna taylor protests Louisville

A protestor confronts a police officer during a rally against the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 27, 2020. Bryan Woolston/Reuters

Breonna Taylor’s death has been a focus of the Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests that sprang up after the police killing of George Floyd on May 25. 

The 26-year-old emergency medical technician was shot 8 times when narcotics police executed a warrant on her home in the early hours of March 13.

Detective Joshua Jaynes had sought a no-knock warrant for Taylor’s home after seeing Glover leaving there with packages and heading directly to a “known drug house,” the Louisville Courier Journal reported. A postal official has since denied that Jaynes’s office had verified this with the postal service, WDRB News reported.

Jaynes has since been reassigned, according to the Louisville Courier Journal

According to her family’s preliminary statement to Jefferson Circuit Court on April 27, neither Taylor nor Walker had any criminal history of drugs or violence and were described by neighbors as “quiet and peaceful.”

Business Insider has contacted Mayor Greg Fischer’s office and Louisville Metro Police for comment, but did not immediately receive a reply.

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