LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Residents along Louisville’s Elliott Avenue are reacting to the lawsuit alleging the city targeted the home of Breonna Taylor’s ex-boyfriend for redevelopment.
The lawsuit filed on Taylor’s behalf was amended Saturday, stating the investigation into Jamarcus Glover was initiated as a way for Mayor Greg Fischer to leave behind a “legacy” in Louisville’s west end.
Fischer’s office on Sunday called the allegations “outrageous,” adding that the city has worked for years to “revitalize the neighborhoods of west Louisville.”
Sean Thompson, a longtime Louisville contractor who’s familiar with Elliott Avenue, said something about the mayor’s project doesn’t seem right. Despite Fischer’s claim about “years of work being done,” Thompson and others in the area said they had never heard about it.
“If they did it just to clear out this neighborhood ... ,” he said.
Derrick Spaulding said he’s lived on Elliott Avenue for more than 20 years. Before he lost his vision, he said, the block was growing, but then shootings, drugs and violence took over the area.
“(It’s) one of the forgotten streets,” he said.
Renderings included in the lawsuit showed that Fischer’s plan included futuristic-looking homes, an amphitheater, a cafe and more. The lawsuit said the plan put police on a crusade to clear out Elliott Avenue, citing that in the weeks before Taylor’s death, the city had cleared eight homes there. Lawyers said a warrant was issued for the 2424 Elliott address, where Glover lived, as well as for Taylor’s address because she had a previous relationship with Glover.
WAVE 3 News asked Thompson if he thought the city’s plans about Elliott Avenue were genuine.
“No, I don’t think so,” he said.
Spaulding said the city needs to treat the residents of Elliott Avenue better.
“Make them feel like they’re living for something, and living in a nice home in a nice neighborhood,” he said.
Fischer’s office issued the following statement in response to the amended lawsuit:
“Those are outrageous allegations without foundation or supporting face. They are insulting to the neighborhood members of the Vision Russell initiative and all the people involved in the years of work being done to revitalize the neighborhoods of west Louisville. The Mayor is absolutely committed to that work, as evidenced by the city’s work to support $1 billion in capital projects there over the past few years, including a new YMCA, the city’s foundational $10 million grant to the Louisville Urban League’s Sports and Learning Complex, the Cedar Street housing development, new businesses, down payment homeownership assistance, and of course, the remaking of the large Beecher Terrace initiative.”