LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Nearly five months after Breonna Taylor's death, legal experts say prosecutors may face significant obstacles to bringing charges against the police officers sent to her Louisville home.
The 26-year-old was killed when LMPD officers executed a no-knock search warrant at her apartment.
Christopher Slobogin, director of the criminal justice program at Vanderbilt University, says prosecutors have to figure out if the officers used unreasonable force.
Slobogin said attorneys for the officers would certainly raise the warrant as a defense in a criminal case. The officers had a search warrant and were fired on after breaking down Taylor's door, though attorneys for Taylor's estate said the officers did not announce themselves.
In a police interview, Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker said he heard knocking at the door, but did not hear police announce themselves when he and Taylor got out of bed.
"When we come out, get out of the bed, walking towards the door, the door like comes off the hinges so I just let off one shot," Walker said. "Still can't see who it is or anything."
Sgt. Jon Mattingly said officers did not announce themselves first couple of knocks, but said they did after a while.
"Knocked on the door, banged on it, we didn’t announce the first couple because our intent was not to hit the door, our intent was to give her plenty of time to come to the door because they said she was probably there alone," Mattingly said.
The warrant itself has also come under fire as local officials questioned why a no-knock warrant was necessary.
Louisville Metro Council passed Breonna's Law in June, banning no-knock search warrants and setting guidelines for all search warrants executed by LMPD. Kentucky lawmakers have also introduced a bill to ban no-knock search warrants statewide.