Brett Hankison, the officer who shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her own home, commented on Taylor’s death while on trial.
On March 2, while testifying in his own defense, he admitted that Taylor’s death was unnecessary.
“She didn’t need to die that night,” Hankison told the Taylor family according to Buzzfeed.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, attended the trial and after hearing what Hankison had to say she walked out of the courtroom.
On Feb. 24, Palmer was removed from the court room for wearing a letterman jacket that bore her late daughter’s face on the front and back, the day of her death on the sleeve and “Say Her Name” embroidered on the back.
Hankison wasn’t charged for Taylor’s death, which occurred during a raid in March 2020, where cops were looking for her ex-boyfriend who didn’t live there. He instead was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots that endangered residents in the neighboring apartment. Hankison said he fired his gun after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot when he thought someone had broke into the home. When Walker fired his gun, he struck Sergeant Mattingly.
“I knew Sgt. Mattingly was down and I knew they were trying to get to him, and it appeared to me they were being executed with this rifle,” Hankison said during his testimony. “I thought I could put rounds through that bedroom window and stop the threat.”
During his testimony, he said that after Walker fired his gun, he mistakenly thought he saw him holding an AR-15 rifle, which he wasn’t. Hankison then went to the side of the apartment and fired 10 rounds with intent to hit Walker but was actually firing into the neighboring apartment. He claimed he did this after hearing many shots being fired, which he thought was coming from the AR-15. The shots were actually coming from two other officers who were with him during the botched raid.
When Walker was being escorted out of the apartment he told the officers that Taylor was dead in her bedroom.
“That kind of shook me because there was only supposed to be one person in that apartment, and now there was allegedly a girl inside, and that wasn’t why we were there,” he said.
If convicted, Hankison could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.