Police in Louisville, Kentucky have parted ways with Brett Hankison, one of the three officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor. The nurse was killed following a no-knock raid on her boyfriend’s home in March.
The department informed officer Brett Hankison of his dismissal in a notice sent on Tuesday, stating that by “wantonly and blindly [firing] ten rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020,” he showed “extreme indifference to the value of human life” and violated department procedures.
“Based upon my review, these are extreme violations of our policies,” wrote Louisville chief of police Robert Schroeder, adding “I find your conduct a shock to the conscience.”
I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion… Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the department.
Hankison was one of three plainclothes officers to execute an ill-fated no-knock search warrant on Taylor’s home earlier this year, alongside Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove. Believing the raid was a home invasion, Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker opened fire on the officers, sparking a gun battle that would ultimately see Taylor shot eight times. While all three officers were placed on administrative reassignment pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting, none faced further consequences before Tuesday.
The department’s notice goes on to chastise Hankison for other violations, stating he did not ensure his gunfire was directed at a person posing an “immediate threat,” instead shooting “blindly” into Taylor’s home. It also noted that the officer had previously been disciplined for “reckless conduct that injured an innocent person,” though did not provide additional detail.
Taylor’s death has gained national attention, drawing general criticism of no-knock raids and stoking demands that all three officers involved be arrested and charged with murder. Her name and photo have also appeared regularly during protests over the law enforcement killing of George Floyd, whose death last month set off mass demonstrations over police brutality in hundreds of cities around the US.
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