Editor’s note: The Courier Journal has exhaustively covered all aspects of the fatal March 13 shooting of Breonna Taylor at the hands of Louisville Metro Police Department officers. As the investigation of their conduct continues, this story examines documents and other evidence we obtained that helps explain why LMPD pursued the no-knock search warrant and why they were there that night. It does not justify the shooting but provides more insight into this highly controversial case that has captured the nation’s interest. An earlier version of this story published prematurely Tuesday morning before final edits were made. We apologize for that misstep.

An internal report written by Louisville Metro Police after officers fatally shot Breonna Taylor on March 13 sheds more light on the reasons why they chose to forcibly enter her South End apartment the night she was killed.

However, it provides no explanations or evidence aimed at justifying the shooting that has sparked three months of protests in Louisville and national outrage, with critics accusing police of smashing into the home of an unarmed Black woman for no legitimate reason and killing her.

The 39-page report and corroborating evidence show that Taylor had more extensive ties than previously made public with an accused drug trafficker who was at the center of a larger narcotics investigation in Louisville. It is not known if details included in the report were presented to the judge who signed the controversial “no-knock” warrant for Taylor’s apartment.

The front page of an undated report prepared by Louisville Metro Police as part of its investigation of accused drug dealer Jamarcus Glover, Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend.

The findings of the report, supported by jail phone recordings and other documents obtained by The Courier Journal of the USA TODAY Network, detail multiple links between Taylor and Jamarcus Glover of Louisville, a main target in a drug probe that prompted police to request the search warrant for Taylor’s apartment.

Plainclothes officers that night battered in her door, searching for drugs and illicit cash. None were found.

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“Breonna Taylor did not deserve to die no matter what her role in all this,” said a Jefferson County law enforcement official who asked not to be identified because Kentucky’s attorney general is still deciding whether the officers who shot Taylor should be prosecuted.

Glover was arrested the same night as Taylor’s shooting. He was picked up at an alleged drug house 10 miles to the north in Louisville’s West End. He was released on bail but is now a fugitive after failing to post a new bail set at $50,000 when he was charged again last month.

In an email to The Courier Journal, Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Taylor’s estate, which filed a wrongful death suit April 27 against the city, said that “while this looks like a smear campaign, I also appreciate the need for everything to get out to the public about this case. Good and bad.”

He said the police department went to “great lengths AFTER Breonna died and this case received national scrutiny to dig up all of her past.”

In a statement issued early Tuesday morning, Mayor Greg Fischer condemned the release of the report.

“Breonna Taylor’s death was a tragedy. Period. Justice, peace and healing are what is needed for her, for her family and for our community,” Fischer said.

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“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. It would be unjust to draw conclusions about this case before the investigation is complete and the full truth comes out. And, efforts to sway opinion and impact the investigation by releasing select information are wrong and divisive, at a time when our city needs unity more than ever before.”

Recorded jail calls mention Taylor

The Courier Journal reported May 12 that a sworn affidavit from LMPD Detective Joshua Jaynes said Glover was seen walking into Taylor’s apartment one January afternoon and left with a “suspected USPS package in his right hand” then drove to a “known drug house” on Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

Jaynes also said he verified through a U.S. postal inspector that Glover had been receiving packages at Taylor’s address, though that was later contradicted by Postal Inspector Tony Gooden.

However, the police report reviewed by The Courier Journal goes beyond the information in the affidavit, detailing evidence into police surveillance of Taylor and Glover, as well as the recorded phone conversations from the jail involving Glover and Taylor.

Jamarcus Glover
Jamarcus Glover

The Courier Journal reviewed the report on Taylor compiled by the LMPD’s new Place-Based Investigations unit, which targets violent crime at specific locations, as part of its investigation of Glover. The Courier Journal also reviewed transcripts of jailhouse calls Glover and other defendants made from Metro Corrections.

The report is undated, and an LMPD spokesperson did not respond to requests for information about it, including whether it has been provided to the mayor, police chief or other city or commonwealth officials.

It was written by an LMPD detective whose name was redacted from a copy of the report The Courier Journal reviewed.

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The evidence it details includes the results of a tracking device placed on Glover’s Dodge Charger that shows it was driven to Taylor’s apartment six times in January.

The report includes photographs of Glover entering and exiting Taylor’s building. In the application for the search warrant of Taylor’s apartment, police said they suspected drugs and money were being held at the residence.

Glover made a call from jail about 12 hours after he was arrested at 2424 Elliott Ave. and after Taylor was shot and killed by police executing a search warrant at her apartment signed by Jefferson Circuit Judge Mary Shaw.

In the recorded March 13 call, Glover, 30, told a girlfriend that Taylor was holding $8,000 for him and that she had been “handling all my money.” No money was found at her residence during the police search.

Aguiar has said previously that Glover and Taylor had dated until about two years earlier and that they maintained a “passive” friendship.

But the recordings and other evidence reviewed by The Courier Journal show Taylor and Glover maintained closer ties.

On Jan. 3, for example, following Glover’s arrest on trafficking and weapons charges, he called Taylor from the jail and asked her to contact one of his co-defendants to get bail money.

Taylor responded that the associate was “already at the trap” — slang for a house used for drug trafficking.

Glover told her to be on standby to pick him up if he made bail. “I’m going to get me some rest in your bed,” he said, according to the recording.

“Love you,” he said, at the end of the call.

“Love you, too,” she replied.

In his email to The Courier Journal, Aguiar apologized to “the public and to Breonna’s family” for mischaracterizing the relationship, saying it was based on an erroneous conclusion he drew without the benefit of the jail recording.

Ryan Nichols, president of River City FOP Lodge 614, told The Courier Journal that he wishes more information about Taylor’s connection with Glover had been released earlier because it would have countered erroneous rumors that police went to the wrong address and had no reason to search Taylor’s home.

Keturah Herron, policy strategist with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, blasted LMPD for creating the report, calling it a case of victim-blaming.

“We have seen this, historically, not just in Breonna’s case, but in cases across the nation,” Herron told The Courier Journal. “They did it with Freddie Gray. They did it with Trayvon Martin. And then just recently, they did it with Jacob Blake (the victim of a police shooting this week in Kenosha, Wisconsin).

“What’s important here is that regardless of what Breonna was involved in from the day that she was born until March 13, it does not give reason for her to be murdered the way she was murdered,” she said.

“For LMPD now, or even sometimes the media … to basically try to paint the picture that it’s OK for police to use those tactics, it’s absurd. It’s disrespectful. It’s distasteful.”

At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, interim LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder chastised the release of the report.

“We want to protect the integrity of all of our investigations,” Schroeder said. “This kind of leak and this kind of reporting is simply not helpful to the process. It seems irrelevant to the goal of getting justice, peace and healing for our community.”

Must read: Debunking 8 widely shared rumors in the Breonna Taylor police shooting

Glover claims Taylor was holding his money

On Dec. 30, 2019, five days before her recorded jail conversation with Glover, Taylor posted a $2,500 bond for another man charged in the same case, 34-year-old Darreal Forest.

His attorney, Casey McCall, did not immediately respond to a question about how his client knew Taylor.

Glover, Forest and three other men were charged with trafficking and weapons offenses after police received a tip from a confidential informant that they were hiding drugs and firearms in abandoned homes adjacent to the “trap house” they allegedly operated at 2424 Elliott Ave.

Darreal Forest, for whom Breonna Taylor posted bond last December
Darreal Forest, for whom Breonna Taylor posted bond last December

Police seized five handguns and three rifles, according to evidence filed in the case.

The jail recordings show that on March 13, Glover, while trying to round up cash to make bail on a new set of trafficking charges, called a girlfriend and told him Taylor had his money.

“She had the eight grand I gave her the other day, and she picked up another six,” Glover said.

“Did she tell you where it was?” the caller asked him.

“She didn’t have the chance to tell me nothing,” he replied. “She dead.”

When the caller asked Glover why he had left the money with Taylor, he said: “Don’t take it wrong but Bre been handling all my money. She has been handling (expletive) for me and … it ain’t just me.”

Records previously examined by The Courier Journal show no money or drugs were found in the search of Taylor’s apartment after her death.

And nothing in the recordings or other evidence recently obtained by The Courier Journal substantiates Glover’s claim that Taylor was handling money for him.

Read more: Will Louisville police be forced to release the Breonna Taylor file?

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the three officers who fired shots into Taylor’s apartment, later told investigators from the Public Integrity Unit, which investigates potential crimes by government employees, that police believed Taylor may have held drugs and money for Glover.

But in a different recorded phone call from the jail on March 13, Demarius Bowman, who was arrested with Glover, told his sister that another woman, Alicia “Kesha” Jones, 24, had been given the group’s money.

“We put all the money on Kesha,” said Bowman, also 24. “We dumped everything on her.”

Jones was holding $3,413 in cash when she was arrested earlier following the search at 2424 Elliott Ave., according to police records.

Jones, Glover and Bowman, along with three other defendants — Rayshawn Lee, 33; Anthony J. Taylor II, 31; and Adrian Walker, 28 — are charged with complicity in trafficking in a controlled substance and running an organized crime syndicate.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

Police surveil Glover and Taylor

Court records show that Taylor posted bond twice for Glover in 2017, as mentioned in the police report, though it is not unusual for a girlfriend, spouse, friend or parent to post bond for a loved one.

The police report says Glover called Taylor’s phone from the jail 27 times from January 2016 to January 2020, including the Jan. 3 call in which he asked her to contact Adrian Walker — no relation to Kenneth Walker — to round up bail money for him.

The report also says that on Feb. 13 — a month before Taylor’s death — detectives watched through a pole camera mounted outside the Elliot Avenue house as Taylor and Glover drove up to the Elliott house in her black Dodge Charger and he got out and went inside.

He came out after a few minutes and they drove off, the report says.

Police previously disclosed in their application to search Taylor’s apartment that another vehicle registered to Taylor, a white 2016 Chevrolet Impala, was seen parked in front of 2424 Elliott Ave. several times.

The report says Glover called Adrian Walker at the jail the same day Taylor was killed and said he didn’t understand why police searched her apartment because “nothing ties me to Bre house at all except those bonds” — an apparent reference to the bail bonds she posted for him in 2017.

Adrian Walker responded that there were other ties, including photos they knew had been taken of her car from the police camera.

“Yeah, she was there the top of the week before I went to court,” Glover said.

He said he was upset by Taylor’s death, according to the recording.

“I’m tore,” he said. “I’m tore.

“I keep losing those close to me,” he told Adrian Walker. “… This s–t kills my soul. I lose people that really be close to me. That hurt, boy.”

He blamed Kenneth Walker for Taylor’s death.

“At the end of the day it was not my fault. … At the end of the day, if I would have been at that house Bre would be alive, bruh. … I don’t shoot at no police.”

Taylor’s boyfriend again says he didn’t know he was firing at police

Taylor’s death has been widely and loudly condemned by celebrities, including LeBron James, Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé Knowles. Both former first lady Michelle Obama and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris mentioned her when they addressed the Democratic National Convention last week.

Protesters have insisted Taylor was murdered and demanded that the officers be fired, charged and convicted.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is to speak at Tuesday’s Republican National Convention, is reviewing the shooting. He said Sunday night no findings will be released this week.

So far, neither Mattingly nor Detective Myles Cosgrove or former Detective Brett Hankison have been charged, though Hankison was fired in June by Schroeder for firing 10 rounds “blindly” into Taylor’s apartment and the one next door.

Mattingly has told investigators police knocked and announced they were officers and that nobody responded so they used a battering ram to force open the door.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot from inside the apartment, saying later he thought intruders were breaking in, and it hit Mattingly in the thigh.

Mattingly and Cosgrove returned fire first through the doorway, while Hankison fired from the outside the apartment.

Taylor died in her hallway after she was struck five times by the officers’ bullets, according to her death certificate.

In a recorded call from the jail later the same day Taylor was killed, Walker, who was charged with the attempted murder of a police officer, told a friend the same story he told police — that neither he nor Taylor knew the intruders were officers.

“They was beating on the door” and Taylor “was like, who is it and they ain’t saying nothing,” he said.

Charges against him have since been dismissed, subject to further investigation.

Aguiar, the Taylor family’s attorney, said in his email that Breonna’s name “should not be tarnished.”

“She overcame a difficult childhood, being raised without a father in her life and becoming the first in her immediate family to graduate high school,” he wrote.

“Breonna had no drugs or cash in her apartment at the time she was killed. Breonna was living her best life.”

Reporter Tessa Duvall contributed to this story. Reach Andrew Wolfson: 502-582-7189; Twitter: @adwolfson.

Mayor Greg Fischer’s statement

“Breonna Taylor’s death was a tragedy. Period. Justice, peace and healing are what is needed for her, for her family and for our community. Today a news story was released that includes information related to the Breonna Taylor case, despite the fact that the Attorney General and FBI have insisted that the investigation remain confidential for the integrity of the judicial process as a whole. In addition, attorneys for Breonna’s family, the county attorney, and the civil attorneys for the officers are under a protective order that does not permit them to disclose evidence in this case. 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. It would be unjust to draw conclusions about this case before the investigation is complete and the full truth comes out. And, efforts to sway opinion and impact the investigation by releasing select information are wrong and divisive, at a time when our city needs unity more than ever before.”

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Breonna Taylor: Why Louisville police decided to forcibly search home





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