Ministry of Justice | The independent

The Louisville Metro Police Department engaged in illegal and unconstitutional practices that violate civil rights, according to the findings of a Justice Department investigation announced Wednesday.

The LMPD used excessive force, no-knock orders and “discriminates against black people,” according to the DoJ investigation.

“This unacceptable and unconstitutional behavior erodes the community trust necessary for effective police work,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement Wednesday. “It is also an insult to the vast majority of officers who risk their lives to serve Louisville with honor.”

The attorney general said in a news conference that the investigation revealed shocking misconduct, including officers calling black people “monkeys” and “boys,” as well as police footage of themselves throwing drinks at pedestrians and mocking people with disabilities .

The DoJ began investigating the LMPD in 2021, after officers shot and killed an unarmed black woman named Breonna Taylor during a botched drug bust the previous year.

The operation, which found no drugs and targeted Taylor’s boyfriend, sparked nationwide protests.

Federal officials will now negotiate an agreement with the LMPD to remedy the unconstitutional practices identified by the DoJ.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said the DoJ’s findings serve as “corroboration for some in the city of complaints they’ve filed about their own interactions with law enforcement, sometimes for years.”

“This is about our city, our neighbors and how we serve them,” he said Wednesday LouisvilleCourier Journal reports.

In August, the DoJ charged four current and former LMPD officials with violating Taylor’s civil rights and using excessive force.

The Justice Department is not alone in finding a problem with the LMPD.

An independent review of the department in 2021 found that black drivers were 60 percent more likely to be stopped than their share of the population, and that community trust in the department was low.

At the time, only 12.5 percent of LMPD employees were black, reflecting less than half the proportion of black people in Louisville’s population.

Last week, the LMPD released body camera footage of an officer shooting at two teens during a restraining order.

“This officer has a history of red flag conduct,” attorney Sam Aguiar told the Louisville Courier Journal. “The department must immediately explain why its previous incidents have not resulted in corrective action and training.”

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