The Justice Department announced that after a two-year investigation into the police department in Louisville, Kentucky, the DOJ found a “far-ranging pattern of discriminatory and abusive law enforcement practices,” The New York Times reported.

Louisville police shot and killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in the middle of the night after employing a no-knock warrant to enter her apartment in 2020. Protests across the country followed her death, demanding investigations into police conduct.

The 90-page report revealed misconduct that included excessive force, unlawful traffic stops, arrests and detentions. It also reported the behavior exhibited “broad patterns of discrimination against Black people and those with behavioral health problems,” per the Times.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland said during a news conference that the behavior “erodes the community trust that is needed for effective community policing,” per The Washington Post.

The findings were based on data collected from the Louisville Metro Police Department and from Louisville Metro, which included documents and body camera footage.

The report said that Louisville Metro paid more than $40 million for claims of police misconduct over the last six years.

How did Louisville respond?

Democratic Mayor Craig Greenberg of Louisville promised the city would cooperate in making policing safer for everyone.

“We will not make excuses. We will make changes. We will make progress,” Greenberg said during the news conference, per the Post. “To those people who have been harmed: On behalf of our city government, I’m sorry. You deserved better.”

Rep. Morgan McGarvey, who represents most of Louisville, tweeted, “... LMPD consistently violated people’s constitutional civil rights. We can—and must—do more to hold law enforcement accountable & create lasting change in our community.”

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron tweeted, “The vast majority of Kentucky’s law enforcement community protects & serves the Commonwealth with dignity & honor, & I am thankful to these brave men & women who put their lives on the line day in & day out to keep our communities safe.”

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DOJ investigates Memphis Police Department

The Department of Justice announced it will also be performing a review of the Memphis Police Department after the deadly police beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols in January.

“The court orders that the release of videos, audio, reports, and personnel files of City of Memphis employees related to this indictment and investigation (to include administrative hearings, records and related files) shall be delayed until such time as the state and the defendants have reviewed this information,” the order reads, per CNN.

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According to CBS News, the investigation will review specialized “anti-crime” police units that were in place across the country, and it will also look into “the use of force and de-escalation policies that the Memphis Police Department had in place at the time of Nichols’ January 2023 arrest.”

Five officers were charged in Nichols’ death and have pleaded not guilty. Those officers were fired from the department, as well as two other officers, while three others were suspended, one retired to avoid being fired or put on leave and two had investigations dropped. A fire lieutenant and two EMTs who were on the scene were also fired, CNN reported.

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