UPDATE 6/19/20 12:30 p.m. EST:
Louisville Mayor Mayor Greg Fisch announced on Friday the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) is initiating termination against Brett Hankison, one of the officers involved in the March 13 shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
For three months Taylor’s family has attempted to move state and local officials to fire and charge the three officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, along with Hankinson. To date, Matttingly and Cosgrove have only been placed on administrative leave. The announcement also follows weeks of protests in Taylor’s honor which took place in Louisville and abroad.
In a letter obtained by the Louisville Courier Journal, Louisville Metro Police Department’s interim police chief Robert Schroeder accuses Hankison of “blindly” firing 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment in the early hours of the morning during a botched narcotics raid. Taylor was shot eight times while she slept in her bed.
“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” Schroeder wrote. “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,” the letter went on to say. “Your conduct demands your termination.”
Hankison is also the subject of multiple sexual assault accusations, which the LMPD is actively investigating.
But Taylor still has not received justice. All of the officers who took her life should face termination and should also be charged in her death.
Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Breonna Taylor’s Boyfriend Kenneth Walker, FBI Launches Investigation
Several developments in the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old decorated Louisville, Kentucky, EMT who was fatally shot by three white officers while sleeping in her home, evolved over Memorial Day weekend.
On Friday, prosecutors dropped attempted murder charges against Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend who fired at officer’s as they entered their apartment in search of drugs, The New York Times reports. The decision comes after Walker’s attorney, Rob Eggert, filed a motion to dismiss the charges.
“I believe that additional investigation is necessary,” Thomas B. Wine, the county prosecutor in Louisville, announced on Friday. “I believe that the independent investigation by the attorney general’s office in Kentucky, the F.B.I. and the U.S. attorney’s office must be completed before we go forward with any prosecution of Kenneth Walker.”
Taylor’s case caught national attention in the wake of the fatal shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery a 25-year-old man who was shot by two neighborhood vigilantes.
On March 13 Louisville Metro Police officers approached Taylor’s apartment with plans to execute a narcotics bust. Lawyers for Walker and Taylor state LMPD officers stormed into the home without knocking, using a battering ram, but LMPD officials claim they did knock before entering the apartment. Officers never located any drugs in the apartment. A shot fired by Walker struck one of the officer’s in the leg who recovered after undergoing surgery. Walker, a registered gun owner, claims he fired at officers because he didn’t know who or what was entering the apartment in an act of self-defense.
Taylor’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the LMPD in April, claiming the officer’s participated in a botched raid, lacking poor communication after the man they were reportedly looking for was already in police custody on the night of the incident.
Prior to the Walker announcement, the F.B.I. office revealed it would probe Walker’s case after several high profile voices, like Sen. Kamala Harris, called for an investigation into the shooting.
“The F.B.I. will collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner,” the Louisville field office of the F.B.I. said in a statement obtained by The New York Times.
Louisville police authorities also announced changes to their protocol last week including the usage of body cameras and a review of search warrant policies and procedures. LMPD Chief Steve Conrad announced his retirement will take place at the end of July in the wake of the F.B.I. probe.
“We look forward to further investigation, including by the FBI, into the chain of events that led to Breonna’s tragic and preventable death,” lawyers for Taylor’s family said according to WLKY.
However supporters of Taylor and Walker will be closely watching how the LMPD and F.B.I. authorities handle their respective investigations, in hopes that justice will be served for both Walker and Taylor, whose life was ended tragically and senselessly.