Ex-Cop Brett Hankison Charged With Three Counts For Breonna Taylor Case
By Halle Harris-Smith
September 23, 2020
Former detective Brett Hankison, who was fired in June, has been indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for his role in the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor.
On Wednesday (September 23), a grand jury announced that Hankison, one of the three officers who fired shots while executing a "no-knock" warrant at Taylor's home on March 13, would be charged in connection with Taylor's case. The other two officers — Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove — were not charged.
A warrant has been issued for Hankison's arrest and a bond is set at $15,000 cash.
Following the indictment of Hankison, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the other two officers on the scene were "justified in their use of force."
"This is a tragedy. And sometimes, the criminal law is not adequate to respond to a tragedy. And I fully acknowledge that and I know many that are watching today and those listening recognize that as well," he said. "But the response is that the grand jury was given all of the evidence, presented all the information, and ultimately, made the determination that Detective Hankison was the one to be indicted."
Earlier this month, Cameron presented his investigation findings surrounding the fatal police shooting of Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT who was killed after police broke down the door to her apartment while executing a "no-knock" warrant on March 13, to a grand jury.
Taylor was unarmed at the time of her death and the plainclothes police officers, who fatally shot her eight times, were also at the wrong house as the man they were actually looking for had already been arrested earlier that day.
Ahead of Wednesday's announcement, the Louisville Metro Police Department announced that six officers are under internal investigation for their actions involving Taylor's death. The department's Professional Standards Unit has reportedly begun their probe with Cosgrove and Mattingly, the officers who fired the shots into Taylor's apartment on March 13. The unit will also investigate Det. Joshua Jaynes, the officer who sought the search warrant for Taylor's residence. Det. Tony James, Det. Michael Campbell and Det. Michael Nobles.
Last week, the city of Louisville agreed to pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. The settlement came after six months of protests and international outrage over the death of the 26-year-old EMT. The settlement also included a dozen "significant" police reforms aimed at preventing future deaths by law enforcement.
At the press conference where the settlement was formally announced, Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, acknowledged the settlement, but also asked that the officers involved in the shooting be arrested. “Her beautiful spirit and personality is working through all of us on the ground, so please continue to say her name: Breonna Taylor,” Palmer said on Tuesday (September 15). "It is time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that and much more."
Photo: Getty Images