The criminal trial for former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison, who faces charges for his role in the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor, has been pushed back to next year.
Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing multiple shots that entered a neighbor's apartment and endangered three people on March 13, 2020.
He and Louisville Metro Police Department officers Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly fired a barrage of 32 shots into Taylor's apartment while serving a "no-knock" warrant and Taylor was killed.
During a hearing Friday, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith moved his trial to Feb. 1, 2022, pushing it five months back from its original date set for Aug. 31, 2021.
The coronavirus pandemic has delayed jury trials across the state and requirements for social distancing created logistical challenges to holding a trial, Smith said Friday according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Hankison's charges in September. Hankison fired 10 shots into Taylor's apartment, but Cameron said none of his shots struck Taylor.
Hankison pleaded not guilty to those charges in September. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison, Cameron said.
Though Hankison's attorney filed a motion to change the venue of the trial due to an "avalanche of publicity" in the Taylor case, in March a judge decided to keep the trial in Jefferson County.
Hankison's next hearing is slated for July 16, 2021.
The fatal shooting sparked national protests decrying police brutality and racism. To this day, no one has been charged directly for the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old certified emergency medical technician, which reignited uproar among activists and advocates.
"This is outrageous and offensive to Breonna Taylor's memory. It's yet another example of no accountability for the genocide of persons of color by white police officers," the Taylor family's attorneys Benjamin Crump, Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker said in a joint statement in September following the announcement of Hankison's charges.
Hankison and Myles Cosgrove were fired for the incident, however Sgt. Jon Mattingly remains on the force.
A federal investigation into Taylor's death remains ongoing.