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Louisville police fires Brett Hankison, one of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor killing

Breonna Taylor Protest (Dana L. Brown/Flickr)

More than three months after the shooting of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police, the first of three officers involved in her death has been fired.

After initially stating their intent to fire him last week, the Louisville Metro Police Department announced on Tuesday that Officer Brett Hankison had been formally terminated, effective June 23, for multiple violations of police procedure. Hankison will have ten days to appeal the decision to the city’s Police Merit Board.

The violations stem from Taylor’s death on March 13, when the 26-year-old was killed by police officers who entered her apartment as part of a narcotics investigation. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot at what he believed to be unlawful intruders, and in response all three officers fired their weapons and fatally shot Taylor.

In a letter to Hankison made public by the department, Chief of Police Robert Schroeder wrote that the officer “wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds” into Taylor’s apartment as he and his two colleagues were serving the warrant at the residence.

“These rounds created a substantial danger of death and serious injury to Breonna Taylor and the three occupants of the apartment next to Ms. Taylor’s,” the letter said.

Schroeder added that Hankison fired the round without the knowledge that he was in immediate danger.

“In fact the ten (10) rounds you fired were into a patio door and window which were covered with material that completely prevented you from verifying any person as an immediate threat or more importantly any innocent persons present,” he wrote.

The other two officers at the apartment are still on administrative reassignment, and none of the three have yet faced any criminal charges.


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