Breonna Taylor’s family is suing the police to release body camera footage the department says doesn’t exist

Breonna Taylor
A demonstrator holds a sign with the image of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers, during a protest against the death George Floyd in Minneapolis, in Denver, Colorado on June 3, 2020. JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images
  • Breonna Taylor’s family is reportedly accusing the Louisville police of lying over the existence of body camera footage.
  • An attorney for the family said in a lawsuit there could be unreleased footage from the night she was killed.
  • Some officers were equipped with cameras that should have automatically turned on, he said.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The family of Breonna Taylor is accusing the police department that killed her of lying over the existence of body camera footage, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

Louisville Police have said that none of the officers had body cameras activated at the time of the raid, but a lawyer for Taylor’s family said in the suit he finds it hard to believe that there is no footage available. Several officers at the raid had been issued Axon body cameras, which record automatically when a police vehicle’s light bar turns on, Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar cited in the suit, which was viewed by Insider.

At least one officer at the raid and dozens of others in the area had their light bars activated during one point of the raid, the suit says, according to the outlet.

“Simply put, it would have been difficult for most of the LMPD members with body cameras … to not have had their Axon body cameras activated at one point or another,” the lawsuit says. “Even those who may have left cameras in vehicles or other locations should have been activated to an event mode from a buffering mode, so long as the camera was within range of Signal unit.”

Some footage from the night of the raid had been released publicly, but Aguiar is claiming the department is improperly withholding public records that would show whether there is additional body camera footage.

“The plaintiffs, and the public, have an uncompromised right to know whetherundisclosedbody camerafootage exists, or otherwise previously existed,from LMPD AxonCameras whichrelates to the events surrounding the death of Breonna Taylor,” Aguiar wrote in the suit.

The suit comes after attorneys filed an open records request on June 1 to the department for body camera audit trail logs, which includes identifying details about footage files, from March 2020, CNN reported.

“Assuming that body cameras were docked following Breonna’s killing, and that there was no tampering of the devices or associated storage prior to the docking, audit trails should assist in verifying whether Metro has been truthful to the public regarding the existence of footage,” the lawsuit says, according to CNN.

Taylor, 26, was killed when police shot her eight times in her own Louisville home during a botched drug raid on March 13, 2020. Former police officer Brett Hankison with three counts of “wanton endangerment” for shooting into her neighbor’s apartment during the raid and the two other officers involved were not indicted by a Grand Jury.

Taylor’s family received $12 million in a wrongful death settlement with the city last year.