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Louisville police firing officer Brett Hankison involved in Breonna Taylor shooting

Louisville Metro Police Det. Brett Hankison (LMPD/TNS)

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 was shot by officers at her apartment on March 13 as they entered to serve a no-knock warrant. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot as officers entered, thinking they were intruders, and 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.”

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.”

A transfer log from Hankison’s personnel file shows he worked in LMPD’s 6th Division before joining the Narcotics Unit in 2016. Former Police Chief Steve Conrad said Hankison joined the department in 2003.

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.


© 2020 The Florida Times-Union