DOJ Report Finds Unconstitutional Practices by Louisville Police Department

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has released the findings of its investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) and Louisville Metro Government in the wake of the death of Breonna Taylor.[0] The 90-page report outlines a pattern of unconstitutional and unlawful practices by the police department, including excessive force, searches based on invalid warrants, and discrimination against Black people in enforcement activities.[1]

Attorney General Merrick Garland was in Louisville on Wednesday to announce the findings of the civil rights investigation.[2] He said that the department’s conduct “erodes the community trust necessary for effective policing” and is “an affront to the people of Louisville who deserve better.”[3]

The report also accuses officers of using unjustified neck restraints and unreasonable use of police dogs and tasers; unlawfully stopping, searching, detaining, and arresting people during street enforcement activities; and discriminating against people with behavioral health disabilities.[4]

Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta said the findings of the investigation are “deeply troubling and sobering.” She added that the DOJ is committed to working with Louisville on a path forward to constitutional policing and stronger police-community trust.

The investigation was initiated in April 2021, following the death of Taylor in March 2020, when four Louisville officers were federally charged in connection with her death.[5] The DOJ has also charged several other officers in separate cases since 2020.[6]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in response to the report that the findings “show we have much work still to do to ensure every person in our community feels welcome and safe.”[7] He added that the city has taken steps to acknowledge previous wrongdoings, address inequities, and remove systemic barriers, but that “today we recognize that is only the beginning.”[7]

The FBI is also investigating Taylor’s killing separately.[6] The DOJ is now calling on the Louisville police department and local government to take steps to stop the unlawful practices and build trust. The department has committed to working with the city and police leaders, officers, and members of the community to make sure that Louisville Metro and LMPD “serve and protect the people of Louisville.

0. “DOJ issues scathing civil rights report on Louisville police”, 8 Mar. 2023,

1. “Louisville police ignored unlawful use of neck restraint policy: DOJ” Insider, 8 Mar. 2023,

2. “LIVE: Breonna Taylor's mother speaks after DOJ findings of LMPD violating civil rights” WLKY Louisville, 8 Mar. 2023,

3. “Louisville police engaged in pattern of unlawful and discriminatory conduct, DOJ finds” WPVI-TV, 8 Mar. 2023,

4. “Louisville police failed to protect Black people and violated civil rights, DoJ says” The Guardian US, 8 Mar. 2023,

5. “Louisville police use excessive force, invalid warrants and discriminatory stops, DOJ review finds” KPRC Click2Houston, 8 Mar. 2023,

6. “‘Disrespect for the people': Merrick Garland issues scathing report into LMPD practices” Yahoo News, 8 Mar. 2023,

7. “U.S. Department of Justice report says LMPD repeatedly violated civil rights” Louisville Business First , 8 Mar. 2023,