Mar 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Ex-officer who shot into Breonna Taylor's apartment found not guilty

Photo of a mural of Breonna Taylor propped up on a grassy lawn

Protesters and volunteers prepare a Breonna Taylor art installation by placing posters and flowers before the "Praise in the Park" event at the Big Four Lawn on June 5, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty Images

A jury on Thursday acquitted the former Louisville police officer who shot multiple rounds into Breonna Taylor's apartment in a March 2020 raid that led to her death.

The big picture: Brett Hankison was the only officer to face charges — three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots blindly into neighboring apartments — in connection to the 2020 raid, which sparked protests against police brutality across the country.

  • None of the officers involved were indicted on homicide or manslaughter charges related to Taylor's killing.

Catch up quick: The Kentucky attorney general had said that the officers, who entered Taylor's home in plain-clothes, knocked and announced their presence despite having a "no-knock" warrant for a drug investigation.

  • But her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, and some neighbors said they didn't hear police announce their presence. Walker had also said that he thought the officers were intruders when he fired his weapon.
  • During his trial, Hankison maintained his innocence, arguing that he thought he saw the muzzle flash of a long rifle as officers used a police battering ram to break down Taylor's door.
  • He said he opened fire to "stop the threat," per AP. No rifle was found in Taylor's home.
  • Taylor was alive for at least 20 minutes after officers shot her and did not receive medical attention even though she showed signs of life, according to Walker and police dispatch logs.

Worth noting: In September 2020, the Louisville Metro government announced a $12 million settlement package with Taylor's family that would include a series of police reforms.

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