Legal Law

Louisville Cops Shoot Breonna Taylor In Her Sleep, Identify Her As ‘Defendant’ In Her Ex-Boyfriend’s Plea Deal

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Shortly after midnight on March 13, 2020, Louisville Metro Police Department officers executed no-knock raid on the home of 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor. They suspected that Taylor was allowing her ex-partner Jamarcus Glover to use the apartment to store money and drugs, although no drugs or money were recovered from the scene.

Why the police needed a battering ram to execute a midnight raid on a woman they expected to be alone and unarmed in her own home was never made clear. But when they broke down her door, Taylor was asleep next to her boyfriend Kenneth Walker. Walker fired his gun, hitting an officer, after which the police rained down a hail of bullets, striking Taylor eight times and killing her.

The four-page incident report filed at the time was almost entirely blank, which the police attributed to technical errors. It described Taylor’s injuries as “none” and claimed no forced entry had occurred.

In the six months since Taylor was killed, her name has become a rallying cry for racial justice protestors nationwide. But instead of acceding to public demands to arrest the police who shot Breonna Taylor, Louisville prosecutors have instead worked to dirty up that name as post facto justification for her murder.

Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer, although the charges were later dropped with the possibility of being reinstated when the Justice Department concludes its own investigation. And now Jamarcus Glover has revealed that prosecutors offered him a sweethart plea deal if he would implicate Taylor as part of an “organized crime syndicate” dedicated to trafficking large amounts of drugs “into the Louisville community.” Taylor is named as a “co-defendant,” despite never being charged before the police shot her in her own home.

On Tuesday, we were told Breonna Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover was offered a plea deal, which would have required him to say that Taylor was part of his drug operation. Just now, the family’s attorney shared a picture of a plea deal that appears to show it is true

— Roberto Aram Ferdman (@robferdman) August 31, 2020

If Glover, a convicted felon with a history of drug trafficking, had taken the deal he might have gotten off with simple probation. But he didn’t, and subsequent drafts of the deal stipulated that he used her apartment to store “proceeds from the trafficking operation,” but didn’t describe her as a “defendant.”

“Our office has not and does not posthumously indict any person who is deceased,” Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine told NBC, without explaining how and unindicted party came to be described as a “defendant.”

Wine characterized the first deal as a “draft” which relied on jail phone calls, in which “Mr. Glover implicated Ms. Taylor in his criminal activity.”

“When I was advised of the discussions, out of respect for Ms. Taylor, I directed that Ms. Breonna Taylor’s name be removed. The final plea sheet provided to Mr. Glover’s counsel is attached and clearly does not include Ms. Taylor as a co-defendant,” he told WRDB.

Out of respect.

Taylor’s family has filed a wrongful death suit, and Walker has sued for a declaratory judgment barring future prosecution under Kentucky’s “stand your ground” law. Meanwhile, prosecutors work to coerce Glover into retroactively remaking Taylor as a criminal who deserved what she got.

And the protests rage on.

Drug suspect offered July plea deal if he would admit Breonna Taylor part of ‘organized crime syndicate’ (WRDB)
Breonna Taylor’s ex was offered a plea deal to say she was part of an ‘organized crime syndicate’ (NBC)
The Authorities Are Still Gunning for Breonna Taylor (The Nation)

Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.

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