The Louisville Police Department fired an officer Tuesday for her role in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman who died after city police fired multiple shots at her apartment.
Acting Police Chief Robert Schroeder said in a letter shared on Twitter that the termination of Brett Hankison would be effective immediately. He said the dismissal stemmed from a review of the March 13 incident in which Taylor died.
The move follows Mayor Greg Fischer (D) ‘s announcement last week that the department was moving ahead with “termination procedures” for Hankison.
Taylor was killed in her Louisville apartment on March 13 after Hankison and two other plainclothes police officers forcibly entered with a no-hit order while Taylor was asleep.
Schroeder said an investigation found that Hankison violated police procedures on the standard use of force by blindly firing 10 shots at Taylor’s apartment without “supporting facts that his deadly force” was being used against someone posing an immediate threat. .
Some of the shots Hankison fired also traveled to the apartment next to Taylor’s, endangering the lives of three people who lived there, Schroeder added.
“These are extreme violations of our policies,” Schroeder said in his letter to Hankison. “I find his conduct shocking to consciousness. I am alarmed and stunned that he used deadly force in this way.”
Taylor’s death sparked outrage in the Louisville community and led to weeks of protests demanding the accountability of the officers involved. The name of the 26-year-old certified EMT also became a rallying cry as protests swept across the nation following the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Earlier this month, Fischer signed the “Breonna Act,” a measure that prohibits the practice of no-touch orders, which allow officers to enter a home without identifying themselves.
Taylor was allegedly shot and killed by officers who were executing a drug trafficking order as part of a narcotics investigation. Police had obtained an order with a no-touch provision, according to court records obtained by the Louisville Courier Journal. Authorities have said they called and expressed their presence before entering the apartment using a battering ram, but that is disputed by the Taylor family’s attorney and Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Walker was in the department at the time and claims he shot officers after they entered without calling or announcing who they were. Hankison and two other officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, are accused of returning more than 20 shots in response. Eight of the shots hit Taylor.
A lawsuit filed by the Taylor family in April accused officers of wrongful death, excessive force, and gross negligence. Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Taylor’s family, told the Courier Journal that Tuesday’s firing was a “good move,” but noted that “we will not be satisfied until legitimate charges are filed against him, until charges are filed against all. those responsible for the death of Breonna. “
Mattingly and Cosgrove are currently on administrative leave. No criminal charges have been filed against any of the officers involved.
Hankison was previously disciplined for reckless conduct in January 2019 after injuring an innocent person, Schroeder said. The police chief noted that the officer has 10 days to submit a written response to his dismissal.
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