Officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting to be fired by Louisville police

The mayor made the announcement about officer Brett Hankison.

June 19, 2020, 2:56 PM

A police officer involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor will be fired, the Louisville, Kentucky, mayor announced Friday.

Louisville Metro Police Officer Brett Hankison was one of three officers involved in the shooting that took place on March 13 when they conducted a no-knock warrant.

Mayor Greg Fischer said LMPD Chief Rob Schroeder is initiating termination procedures, but could not offer more details.

"Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law that I very much would 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 in a statement.

According to his termination letter that was shared with local reporters, Hankison violated procedure when he fired 10 rounds into Taylor's apartment while executing the warrant.

"I have determined you violated Standard Operating Procedure ... when your actions displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life when you wantonly and blindly fired ten rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor," the letter stated.

PHOTO: Det. Brett Hankison is seen in an undated photo released by the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Det. Brett Hankison is seen in an undated photo released by the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Louisville Metro Police Department

Schroeder also said Hankison violated procedure by using deadly force without knowing the force was directed at a person who posed an immediate threat. The chief noted that the door and window that he shot through were covered and prevented Hankison from identifying if there was any threat on the other side.

During the incident, Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, heard the plainclothes police attempting to break down the door. Walker took out his licensed gun and fired it, according to investigators. Police opened fire and hit Taylor, 25 and an EMT, at least eight times while she was asleep in her bed.

No disciplinary action has been taken against the other two officers, Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, but they have been reassigned to administrative duties pending the investigation.

Ben Crump, Lonita Baker and Sam Aguiar, the attorneys representing Taylor's family, said they were pleased with Hankison's termination and pushed for investigators to prosecute him and the other two officers.

"Today’s announcement makes it clear, as we have always maintained, that the city had the power to fire the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s murder. We look forward to them terminating the other officers involved in Bre’s murder," the attorneys said in a statement.

Schroeder said Hankison was previously disciplined last year for "reckless conduct that injured an innocent person," but would not go into further details.

A team of FBI members were in Taylor's apartment Thursday as part of its probe into her death, the agency's Louisville office said in a statement. The agents took a "fresh look" at all the evidence including re-interviewing witnesses, the FBI said in a statement that was posted on its Twitter page..

Taylor's death at the hands of officers sparked protests throughout the country, and along with George Floyd's killing, pushed lawmakers to enact police reforms. Lousiville's Metro Council passed Breonna's Law last week, which banned no knock warrents and requires officers to turn on their body cameras before executing any warrent.

ABC News' Sabina Ghebremedhin and Anthony Mcmahon contributed to this report.

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