Breonna Taylor lawsuit amended, now places blame on Mayor Fischer for new development project

There are calls across the city -- and the country -- for the three officers involved in the...
There are calls across the city -- and the country -- for the three officers involved in the Breonna Taylor shooting death to be fired and charged.
Updated: Jul. 6, 2020 at 11:13 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - New information has surfaced in the Breonna Taylor case, claiming the city targeted her ex-boyfriend to bring in a new, large-scale development project.

The lawsuit filed on Taylor’s behalf was amended Saturday, stating the investigation into Jamarcus Glover was initiated as a way for Mayor Greg Fischer to leave behind a “legacy” in Louisville’s west end.

“Simply put, the Louisville mayor’s promise to leave an economic legacy in west Louisville before his term expires remains largely unfulfilled,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit includes renderings of the project from a presentation dated November 2019. The complete presentation obtained by WAVE 3 News shows Glover’s neighborhood on Elliott Avenue.

After the date of that presentation, the lawsuit claims, Glover began being targeted, residents evicted, and homes, purchased by the city, demolished. But, some residents lingered, such as Glover, who remained an obstacle for the project.

The lawsuit also claims officers were “deliberately misled” to believe that by focusing on Glover and his home, they were targeting some of Louisville’s largest violent crime and drug rings, when in reality, the lawsuit claims, they were simply a “setback” to a large real estate development deal spearheaded by the mayor and his administration.

Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, the Chief of Louisville Forward issued the following statement:

“This is a gross mischaracterization of the project. The work along Elliott Ave is one small piece of the larger Russell neighborhood revitalization and stabilization work we’ve been doing for years, including the transformation of Beecher Terrace through Choice neighborhoods grants. We have partnered with a community organization to understand community needs and wants, and the public land bank has been acquiring properties through foreclosure, donation, and some sales; less than half the homes there are occupied. We have also been in conversation with non-profit housing interests about using the publicly acquired properties to create Louisville’s first community land trust to ensure investment without displacement. Our goal is to provide a safe, clean, desirable, and affordable neighborhood for the residents of Russell.”

Sunday night, Fischer’s office also released a response to the lawsuit:

“Those are outrageous allegations without foundation or supporting facts. They are insulting to the neighborhood members of the Vision Russell initiative and all the people involved in the years of work being done to revitalize the neighborhoods of west Louisville. The Mayor is absolutely committed to that work, as evidenced by the city’s work to support $1 billion in capital projects there over the past few years, including a new YMCA, the city’s foundational $10 million grant to the Louisville Urban League’s Sports and Learning Complex, the Cedar Street housing development, new businesses, down payment home ownership assistance, and of course, the remaking of the large Beecher Terrace initiative.”

The lawsuit goes on to explain that the same squad which conducted the investigation into Glover -- Place Based Investigations -- was tasked with focusing on certain areas that needed to be cleared for development projects to proceed. PBI was a squad within the Criminal Interdiction Team, which ultimately served the warrant that led to Taylor’s death inside her home on March 13.

The lawsuit also claims the Criminal Interdiction Team was pressured to devote substantial manpower to Elliott Avenue to make way for the developers.

In the three weeks following the shooting at Taylor’s home, the city demolished eight homes on Elliott Avenue, the lawsuit states. A total of nine homes were demolished on Elliott Avenue in the prior 16 years.

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