STATEMENT: The Death of Breonna Taylor Is a Stark Reminder of the Need for Policing Reforms

Washington, D.C. — In the early morning hours of March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor—a 26-year-old African American EMT—was shot and killed by police who had entered her home unannounced while she slept. The police were conducting an ongoing narcotics investigation and said they were looking for evidence against a suspect for that case. However, no drugs were found in Taylor’s apartment, and reports indicate that Taylor was not a suspect or target of the investigation.

Breonna Taylor’s family filed a lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department officers for wrongful death, excessive force, and gross negligence.

Ed Chung, vice president for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

Breonna Taylor’s death is tragic and heart-wrenching, and must not be hidden or ignored. The investigation into her death must first focus on whether the officers’ actions were unlawful and unconstitutional, and it must be transparent and independent. But that is not enough. Constitutional and lawful policing is the floor, not an aspirational goal. Police agencies across the country must examine their policies to ensure they are not harming their communities in the name of protecting them.

Related sources:

Policing During the Coronavirus Pandemic” by Ed Chung, Betsy Pearl, and Lea Hunter
Live From SXSW: What Should We Expect From the Police?” by Ed Chung, Daniella Gibbs Léger, Rachel Rosen, Kyle Epstein, and Chris Ford
The Trump Administration Is Putting DOJ Policing Reform Efforts at Risk” by Ed Chung
Expanding the Authority of State Attorneys General to Combat Police Misconduct” by Connor Maxwell and Danyelle Solomon
The Intersection of Policing and Race” by Danyelle Solomon
The Right Way to ‘Send in the Feds’” by Ed Chung, Chelsea Parsons, and Danyelle Solomon

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at .