The missive reportedly showed that investigators had more evidence than they previously made available to the public, which revealed a connection between Breonna Taylor and the main target of their narcotics probe. The probe led law enforcement officials to break into her home the night she was fatally shot by police.
The memo, which was written weeks after the incident, included details that were never given to the judge when police applied for a warrant to raid Taylor’s home. It also listed pieces of evidence that weren’t found until long after her death.
The fact that these notes were inserted after the fact has led several critics to claim the revelation of the memo is nothing more than an attempt by certain individuals to smear Taylor and clear those who had a hand in killing her.
The leaked memo reportedly addressed why a warrant was sought but doesn’t discuss authorization of use of force or other possible violations of the police department’s policies. Some of those violations included allegations that the cops fired into the apartments of some of Taylor’s neighbors, according to NBC News.
“Breonna Taylor’s death was a tragedy. Period,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer told the media. He called the leak an effort to “sway opinion and impact the investigation.”
“It is deeply reckless for this information, which presents only a small fraction of the entire investigation, to be shared with the media while the criminal process remains ongoing,” Fischer added.
The mayor wasn’t the only one unnerved by the release. Louisville Police Interim Chief Robert Schroeder said the leak was “simply not helpful.” He added that it was “simply irrelevant” to the end goal of the investigation which is simply to get justice for Taylor.
Legal experts said that the leaked document doesn’t answer questions that have swirled around Taylor’s case. Those questions include whether or not the officers that broke into her apartment ever announced who they were when they entered.
There’s also a question as to whether the use of force was appropriate and whether there were other violations of established policy.
One expert, Alan Rozenshtein who is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Law School told the reporters that officers announcing themselves when they are knocking on doors isn’t an unrealistic or recent expectation. It’s a standard that dates back to English common law.