On Tuesday, the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) announced on Twitter that the department had fired Brett Hankinson, one of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a black woman.
On March 13 of this year, three white law enforcement officers entered Taylor’s apartment in pursuit of a suspect in a narcotics investigation. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot at Officer Jonathan Mattingly’s leg assuming someone was attempting to break into the house. In response, Hankinson fired 10 shots into the house, eight of which hit Taylor killing her immediately.
In a lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family, it stated that no drugs were found in Taylor’s house and that Walker was a licensed gun owner.
The LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit said in a news conference on the same day of the shooting that the law enforcement officers knocked several times and announced their identity. However, according to court records, the officers had obtained a no-knock warrant and used a battering ram to enter Taylor’s apartment.
In LMPD’s tweet, Hankinson violated two standard operating procedures which included obedience to rules and regulations and the use of deadly force.
Louisville Chief of Police Robert Schroeder wrote in the letter that the first procedure was violated when Hankinson “wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds” into Taylor’s apartment.
Schroeder added that three shots fired by Hankinson entered the apartment next to Taylor’s, “endangering the three lives” there.
“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.”
According to Schroeder, the second procedure was violated when Hankinson fired his gun, “without supporting facts that [his] deadly force was directed at a person against whom posed an immediate threat of danger or serious injury to yourself or others.”
“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”
Schroeder denounced Hankinson’s actions as “extreme violations” of LMPD’s policies.
“Based upon my review, these are extreme violations of our policies. I find your conduct a shock to the conscience. I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion. You have never been trained by the Louisville Metro Police Department to use deadly force in this fashion. Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the Department.”
“I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Your conduct demands your termination,” Schroeder further wrote.
Former Officer Brett Hankinson and Officers Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, had been placed on administrative reassignment throughout the investigation.
On June 11, the Louisville Metro Council passed a law banning no-knock warrants named Breonna’s Law. However, no charges have yet been brought against the three officers involved in the shooting despite the nationwide calls from protesters demanding justice for Taylor.
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