The Courier Journal has filed a lawsuit against Louisville Metro Government after the Louisville Metro Police Department failed to respond to a four-month-old request for search warrant applications cited in the critical March 2023 U.S. Department of Justice report on the department.
Under the Kentucky Open Records Act, agencies have five business days to respond to such requests.
“LMPD’s refusal to comply with this request should be seen for what it is: a deliberate and willful attempt to shield its officers from unwanted public scrutiny by simply ignoring requests that would cast the Department in an unflattering light. But these warrant applications are the public’s records, and the public is entitled to see them,” attorneys representing The Courier Journal wrote in the lawsuit.
The report was the result of a wide-ranging “pattern or practice” investigation launched by the DOJ in the wake of the 2020 police killing of Breonna Taylor.
The Courier Journal requested the warrant applications cited in the DOJ report on Aug. 23 and followed up repeatedly, asking about the status of the open records request.
Michael Abate (lawyer representing the C-J) said the handling of the records request was part of "a pattern of simply not responding, or when they do respond using blanket exemptions that have been rejected time and time again by the courts” that shows a “disregard for the public’s right to know.”