Lawsuit after US health worker shot dead by police

A woman in the US state of Kentucky was shot and killed by police after they raided the wrong address, according to a lawsuit.

Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician (EMT), was shot eight times when officers entered her apartment in Louisville on 13 March.

They were executing a search warrant as part of a drugs investigation, but no drugs were found in the property.

The lawsuit accuses the officers of wrongful death and excessive force.

It was filed by Ms Taylor’s family last month and says the officers were not looking for her or her partner – but for an unrelated suspect who was already in custody and did not live in the apartment complex.

Louisville police said they returned fire after one officer was shot and wounded in the incident.

At a press conference on 13 March, the department said its officers knocked on the door several times and announced themselves as police.

But a lawyer for Ms Taylor’s partner, Kenneth Walker, said he fired in self-defence because the officers did not identify themselves and he believed they were breaking in.

The lawsuit alleges that the police then fired more than 20 rounds of ammunition into the home.

The department has declined to answer questions on the case citing an ongoing investigation.

“Breonna had posed no threat to the officers and did nothing to deserve to die at their hands,” the lawsuit reads.

“Shots were blindly fired by the officers all throughout Breonna’s home,” it added.

The family, which is seeking compensation and damages, has hired a prominent civil rights lawyer to represent them.

Ben Crump has represented the families of other high-profile black shooting victims, such as Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery.

Mr Arbery was jogging in February when he was confronted by two men and fatally shot. The men have been arrested and the justice department is considering bringing federal hate crime charges against them.

“We stand with the family of this young woman in demanding answers from the Louisville Police Department,” Mr Crump said in a statement.

“Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding her death, the department has not provided any answers regarding the facts and circumstances of how this tragedy occurred, nor have they taken responsibility for her senseless killing.”

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