Jun 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Louisville police officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting to be fired

A protest sign in New York. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday that one of the three police officers who discharged their weapons during the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor will be fired, reports the Courier-Journal.

Why it matters: Calls for the officers involved in the shooting to be fired or arrested have grown on social media in recent days.

  • Robert Schroeder, the city's interim police chief, said the officer, Brett Hankinson, "wantonly and blindly" fired 10 rounds into Taylor's apartment in a letter detailing Hankinson's firing.
  • "I find your conduct a shock to the conscience. ... I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion," Schroeder wrote.
  • "The result of your action seriously impedes the department's goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department. ... Your conduct demands your termination." 

The big picture, via Axios' Rebecca Falconer: Taylor's death prompted protests across Louisville and became a focal point of the Black Lives Matter protests.

  • Police who entered Taylor's home were investigating two men they believed to be selling drugs out of a house 10 miles away.
  • Officers used a battering ram to break down her door despite the fact that she was not a main suspect and shot her at least eight times after her boyfriend, who was awakened by the incident, fired his gun in self-defense.

The state of play: Fischer declined further comment and refused to share more information on additional steps that the department or city might take.

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