Louisville police is firing officer Brett Hankison involved in Breonna Taylor shooting




Louisville police is firing officer Brett Hankison involved in Breonna Taylor shooting
Louisville police is firing officer Brett Hankison involved in Breonna Taylor shooting  

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday that Louisville Metro Police is initiating termination of officer Brett Hankison, one of three officers to fire weapons at Breonna Taylor's apartment, killing her.

Taylor, 26, was shot by officers at her apartment on March 13 as they entered to serve a no-knock warrant. Her boyfriend thought officers were intruders and fired a shot as they entered. Taylor was shot eight times in the ensuing gunfire from officers.

Hankison is accused by the department's interim chief, Robert Schroeder, of "blindly" firing 10 rounds into Taylor's apartment, creating a substantial danger of death and serious injury.

"I find your conduct a shock to the conscience," Schroeder wrote in a Friday letter to Hankison laying out the charges against him. "I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion."

"The result of your action seriously impedes the Department's goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department," he added. "Your conduct demands your termination."

The other two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor's apartment - Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove - have been placed on administrative reassignment.

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Fischer, in a Friday news conference announcing the move, declined further comment.

"Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law that I would very much like to see changed, both the chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment or even the timing of this decision," Fischer said.

Hankison in recent weeks also has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women in viral social media posts. The allegations are similar, saying that he offered intoxicated women a ride home from bars before sexually assaulting them.

A spokeswoman for LMPD said last week that the department was "looking into the allegations."

Sam Aguiar, a Louisville-based attorney for Taylor's family, said Friday about Hankison's firing: "It's about damn time."

For months, protesters have been calling for the three officers to be fired and charged in Taylor's death. The protests intensified last month after death of George Floyd, a handcuffed Black man who died after a white officer pinned his neck to the ground with his knee in Minneapolis.

Last week, Louisville banned no-knock search warrants with an ordinance called Breonna's Law. No-knock warrants do not mean that police don't announce their presence, but rather that they identify themselves as police only after gaining entrance.

Police were attempting to serve a search warrant with a no-knock clause at Taylor's apartment as a part of a narcotics investigation when they entered her home, were met by gunfire and killed Taylor while returning fire.

Though officials say the officers knocked and announced their presence, Taylor's boyfriend said he didn't hear anyone say they were police and fired at what he thought were intruders. Neighbors identified by attorneys for Taylor's family also said they did not hear police announce their presence.

Taylor died in the ensuing gunfire, hit at least eight times. No drugs were recovered from her apartment.

Contributing: Tessa Duvall. Darcy Costello: 502-582-4834; dcostello@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @dctello. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com.

More on the Breonna Taylor shooting

FBI interviewing witnesses, taking a 'fresh' look at evidence

Minute by minute: What happened the night police fatally shot Breonna Taylor

Kentucky Attorney General won't put timetable on Breonna Taylor investigation

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Breonna Taylor shooting: Louisville police fire officer Brett Hankison

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