The police department in Louisville, Kentucky, will likely fire one of the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, according to The New York Times.
The officer, Brett Hankison, was one of three officers who used a “no-knock warrant” to enter Taylor’s apartment with a battering ram, during a late-night drug investigation in March. The officers shot Ms. Taylor at least eight times. Last week, the police released a four-page incident report of Ms. Taylor’s death, which listed “none” under victim injuries.
The other officers involved in the case — Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — have been placed on administrative reassignment.
In a statement on Friday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said officials could not elaborate further about the decision to start termination proceedings against Officer Hankison, citing a provision in state law.
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, according to The Louisville Courier Journal.
“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. Your conduct demands your termination.”
Ms. Taylor, a 26-year-old black emergency medical technician, was killed shortly after midnight on March 13, when Louisville police officers, executing a search warrant, used a battering ram to crash into her apartment. After a brief confrontation, they fired several shots, striking her at least eight times.
According to The Louisville Courier Journal, the police were investigating two men who they believed were selling drugs out of a house that was far from Ms. Taylor’s home. But a judge had also signed a warrant allowing the police to search Ms. Taylor’s residence because the police said that they believed that one of the two men had used her apartment to receive packages. The judge’s “no-knock warrant” allowed the police to enter without warning or without identifying themselves as law enforcement. According to the New York Times, the officers say that they did announce themselves, but Ms. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he did not hear any warning and opened fire, striking an officer in the leg. The officers then fired back, killing Ms. Taylor, who had been in bed.