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Trial starts for ex-officer linked to killing of Breonna Taylor

This is the first time one of the officers involved is facing criminal charges specifically related to Taylor’s death.
Trial starts for ex-officer linked to killing of Breonna Taylor
Posted at 6:33 PM, Oct 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-30 20:34:43-04

It’s been more than three years since the Louisville Metro Police Department shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her home during a botched police raid. 

But this is the first time one of the officers involved is facing criminal charges specifically related to Taylor’s death.  

Former Louisville Metro Police officer Brett Hankison is facing federal civil rights charges for "unjustifiably" firing into Taylor’s building that was "covered with blinds and a curtain."

Jury selection for Hankison’s federal case began Monday. Hankison faced similar charges from state prosecutors but was acquitted in March 2022. Hankison was charged with endangering the lives of Taylor’s neighbors but not for her death.

Christopher 2X is a long-time community activist in Louisville and the executive director of the 2X Game Changers organization.

"I think the community of Louisville has been yearning for some answers in regards to accountability," he said. "There's no guarantees on which way this might go. These jurors are pooled from, you know, the Western District of Kentucky and several counties and who knows what their opinions are as it relates to this situation?"

"Breonna Taylor should be alive today," said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Hankison is one of three LMPD officers facing federal civil rights charges related to Taylor’s death — a fourth has already pleaded guilty. 

"Joshua Jaynes and Sergeant Kyle Meany drafted and approved what they knew was a false affidavit to support a search warrant for Ms. Taylor's home. That false affidavit set in motion events that led to Ms. Taylor's death," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, of the Civil Rights Division for the Department of Justice.

Breonna Taylor was killed March 13, 2020, when LMPD officers attempted to execute a search warrant. While investigators found Hankison’s bullets didn’t hit anyone, they also concluded his shots entered a neighboring apartment. 

The police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others in 2020 set off nationwide protests against police brutality. 

SEE MORE: Federal charges filed against former officers in death of Tyre Nichols


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