Louisville police leader demoted after meddling in Breonna Taylor’s case

Published 9:33 pm Saturday, February 6, 2021

A Louisville police major who was in charge of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor has been demoted for ignoring an order to stay out of investigations, The Courier-Journal reported.

On Jan. 19, the same day she was sworn in, new Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields informed Kimberly Burbrink in a letter that she had been found in violation of “obedience to orders.” Burbrink was demoted to lieutenant and moved to another division.

Burbrink had been under investigation for her actions in the Taylor case. A July investigative summary written by Sgt. Jason Vance of the Public Integrity Unit said Burbrink was allowed to attend a May video call about the case, during which she asked “pointed questions” and “took opposition with investigators.” Days later, Burbrink told Vance she had updated the officers being investigated about the case — possibly giving the subjects of the investigation inside knowledge of the investigators’ findings.

In a statement, Chief Shields said she feels confident in Burbrink’s ability to continue to serve the community.

Taylor was fatally shot March 13 by Louisville officers carrying a narcotics warrant based on the suspicion that an ex-boyfriend might have used her apartment to stash drugs or cash. None were found in her home.