Louisville Police in ‘dire straights’ following Breonna Taylor shooting

 Louisville Police in ‘dire straights’ following Breonna Taylor shooting

The beleaguered Louisville Police Department has been hemorrhaging officers since the Breonna Taylor shooting, in the face of a federal investigation and a soaring murder rate.

More than 230 cops have either retired, resigned or been fired since 2020 — a more than 20 percent decrease — and the department is struggling to make up the manpower deficit with new recruits, Fox News reports.

At the same time, deadly violence has sharply risen in Kentucky’s biggest city, with 201 shootings so far reported this year compared to 109 from the same time last year, and a 75 percent increase in annual murders through April 25, police data shows.

Two officers were shot in September after a grand jury did not indict cops in the killing of Taylor.

“I would say that we’re in dire straits,” said River City Fraternal Order of Police press secretary and police union spokesman Dave Mutchler, according to the article.

Protesters surround a police officer and a vehicle during a demonstration on the Breonna Taylor case in Louisville, Kentucky on September 25, 2020.
Protesters surround a police officer and a vehicle during a demonstration on the Breonna Taylor case in Louisville, Kentucky on September 25, 2020.
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“Our manpower is critically low,” Mutchler reportedly said. “One thing we have to consider when we’re talking about recruiting is that in the climate that we currently find ourselves, the pool of people wanting to become officers is shrinking every day.”

The 1,069-person department is now 225 people short of its target force size, and only 26 new recruits have signed on this year, according to the article.

A large majority — 118 — of the 188 people who left LMPD last year resigned, Fox reports.

Protests erupted in Louisville, Kentucky following the fatal police shooting of EMT Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020.
Protests erupted in Louisville, Kentucky following the fatal police shooting of EMT Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020.
Courtesy of Taylor Family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP

“We’re obviously losing a lot more officers than we are gaining. And if that continues, at what point can we not operate appropriately?” Mutchler reportedly said.

Earlier this week, The Justice Department announced it will look into whether the department routinely violates people’s constitutional rights after police shot and killed Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, during a drug raid.

No drugs were found during the March 13, 2020 incident, where police opened fire after Taylor’s boyfriend shot at them, mistaking them for intruders.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signs a state bill restricting no-knock raids and limits police departments' power to use them in Louisville, Kentucky on April 9, 2021.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signs a state bill restricting no-knock raids and limits police departments’ power to use them in Louisville, Kentucky on April 9, 2021.
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“[The investigation] will determine whether LMPD engages in unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures, as well as whether the department unlawfully executes search warrants on private homes,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday.

Prosecutors announced a similar investigation in Minneapolis in the wake of the George Floyd shooting.

“It is clear that the public officials in Minneapolis and Louisville, including those in law enforcement, recognize the importance and urgency of our efforts. We come to them as partners, knowing that we share a common aim,” Garland said.

Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department “will determine whether LMPD engages in unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department “will determine whether LMPD engages in unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures.”
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Federal investigators could impose a consent decree; a court order which mandates police reform.