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Garland announces Justice Department investigation into the Louisville Police Department

LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 26: Police officers put a protestor in the back of a police vehicle on September 26, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Mayor Greg Fischer mandated a city-wide curfew restricting protestors from gathering between the hours of 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Protesters marched in the streets for the third night in response to Attorney General Daniel Camerons handling of the Breonna Taylor case and the grand jury verdict indicting one of three officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police officers during a no-knock warrant at her apartment on March 13, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday announced a Justice Department investigation into the practices of the Louisville Police Department.

The impending probe will come a little over a year after officers with the department shot and killed Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old aspiring nurse, in her own home during a botched raid. The department came under intense scrutiny following the incident and her killing, along with that of several other Black Americans, led to widespread protests in the US over policing and racial injustice.

Garland, speaking at the Justice Department’s headquarters, referred to Taylor during his announcement of the investigation, which he said “will assess whether (Louisville Metro Police Department) engages in a pattern or practice of using unreasonable force, including with respect to people involved in peaceful expressive activities.”

“It will determine whether LMPD engages in unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures, as well as whether the department unlawfully executes search warrants on private homes,” he said, adding that “it will also assess whether LMPD engages in discriminatory conduct on the basis of race, or fails to perform public services that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Investigation will include comprehensive review of the Louisville police department policies and training.”

The attorney general said that “if there’s reasonable cause to believe there is a pattern or practice of constitutional or statutory violations,” the department “will issue a public report of our conclusions” and that it will “aim to work with the city and police department to arrive at a set of mutually agreeable steps that they can take to correct and prevent unlawful patterns and practices.”

This investigation will mark the second pattern or practice investigation announced by Garland’s Justice Department. Last week, he announced an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department following the police killing of George Floyd last year.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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