A jury found former Kentucky police officer Brett Hankison not guilty on March 3 of charges of endangering neighbors the night he fired into 26-year-old Breonna Taylor‘s apartment during a botched drug raid that resulted in Taylor’s death. Hankinson and other officers conducted a no-knock warrant when they entered Taylor’s residence without warning.
Taylor, who had worked at two local hospitals as an emergency room technician, was going to bed when officers arrived at her door. She was shot multiple times in her hallway and died at the scene. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he was startled by the police. Thinking intruders were breaking in, he opened fire. Walker is a registered gun owner.
After about three hours of deliberation, a jury of eight men and four women delivered its verdict.
Hankison, 45, had been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing through sliding-glass side doors and a window of Taylor’s apartment. In the process, multiple bullets pierced the wall of a neighboring apartment. Prosecutors accused Hankison of endangering the lives of a pregnant woman, her young child and boyfriend who lived there, AP reported.
Hankison’s attorneys said he fired 10 bullets because he thought his fellow officers were “being executed” when Walker fired, The Huffington Post reported.
The Louisville Metro Police Department fired Hankison for shooting blindly during the raid.
None of the officers involved in the March 13, 2020, raid that resulted in Taylor’s death have been charged, and Hankison did not fire any of the bullets that killed her.
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His acquittal will most likely shut the door on the possibility of state criminal charges against any of the officers involved in the controversial raid that sparked nationwide outrage and protests.
Protesters filled the streets for months after Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron declined to seek charges against any of the officers connected to Taylor’s death.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, left the courtroom quickly without comment after the verdict.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the verdict added to the “frustration and anger of many over the inability to find more accountability for the tragic events of March 13, 2020.”
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
“While the conduct considered in this case was not specific to Breonna Taylor’s death, the fact remains that she should not have died that night, and I know that for many, justice has still not been achieved,” he said.
The Louisville metro government has made changes since Taylor’s death, such as banning no-knock warrants and conducting a top-to-bottom review of the police department, according to Fischer.
Photo: Former Louisville Police officer Brett Hankison describes what he saw in Breonna Taylor’s apartment during testimony, March 2, 2022, in Louisville, Ky. Hankison was charged with wanton endangerment for shooting through Breonna Taylor’s apartment into the home of her neighbors during the botched police raid that killed Taylor. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, Pool)