Police chief declares state of emergency, fed buildings shuttered ahead of Breonna Taylor decision

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Several federal buildings in downtown Louisville will be closed this week as an expected announcement looms by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron regarding his office’s investigation into the killing of Breonna Taylor.

Meanwhile, Chief of Police Robert J. Schroeder declared a preemptive state of emergency Monday for the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department late Monday “to ensure we have the appropriate level of staffing to provide for public safety services and our policing functions.”

The windows of the Gene Snyder United States Courthouse were boarded up Monday, and the building will remain closed to the public through Sept. 25, according to an order signed Friday by Chief Judge Greg N. Stivers of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.

Per Stivers’ order, all scheduled in-court appearances will either be continued or converted to videoconference proceedings at the presiding judge’s discretion.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office has also been closed and will remain so through Friday “due to a court order,” CNN reported.

An unnamed courthouse official told the Courier-Journal that the closures are executed in anticipation of a major announcement but did not offer any further details.

Taylor, 26, was fatally shot March 13 after police executing a late-night “no-knock” warrant in a narcotics investigation broke down her apartment door.

None of the officers involved in the death of the EMT and aspiring nurse has been arrested or charged, and two of the three remain on the police force. The third officer was fired but is appealing the dismissal.

Protesters and the attorney representing Taylor’s family have demanded that all three of the officers involved in her fatal shooting be charged with at least second-degree manslaughter, Fox News reported.

A grand jury has been empaneled in the case, and Cameron is expected to present his findings.

One week ago, the city reached a $12 million civil settlement with Taylor’s family.

“While we await a decision from Attorney General Daniel Cameron on whether or not charges will be filed in this case, my administration is not waiting to move ahead with needed reforms to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said when announcing the settlement. “Her death has ignited a movement in Louisville, in the nation, for racial justice, sending thousands into our streets and cities all across the country and the world. … All crying out for justice for Breonna.”

According to the Courier-Journal, U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman has also asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide protection for Louisville’s federal courthouse and three adjacent buildings.