Nov 16, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Mistrial declared in trial of ex-officer in fatal Breonna Taylor raid

People at a memorial for Breonna Taylor in downtown Louisville on in September 2020.

People at a memorial for Breonna Taylor in downtown Louisville on in September 2020. Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A federal judge declared a mistrial on Thursday in a case against a former Louisville Police Department detective charged with civil rights violations for his actions during the fatal 2020 raid on Breonna Taylor's apartment, AP reports.

Why it matters: The mistrial was declared after the jury said it could not reach a unanimous verdict on the civil rights charges against Brett Hankison, who shot multiple rounds into Taylor's apartment during the raid.

  • The jury had been deliberating since Monday.

Details: The Justice Department said Hankison and other Louisville police officers broke into Taylor's home with a falsified "no-knock" search warrant as part of a drug investigation.

  • Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the police did knock and announced their presence, though neighbors and Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said they heard no announcement or knock.
  • Walker, who believed that intruders were entering the home, fired one shot from a handgun, striking one officer. The police responded by opening fire and striking Taylor multiple times.
  • Taylor was alive for at least 20 minutes after police shot her but did not receive any medical attention, according to Walker and police dispatch logs.

Federal prosecutors accused Hankison, 47, of violating Taylor's civil rights by firing his weapon into her apartment through a covered window and covered glass door and using excessive force.

  • Hankison faced the federal charges after he was acquitted last year by a state jury for three felony wanton endangerment charges stemming from the raid.

The big picture: He was the only officer to face state charges, but was one of four police officers indicted by the Department of Justice following its two-year investigation into Taylor's death.

  • Another former detective, Kelly Goodlett, pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges for helping to falsify the search warrant used to execute the raid and for trying to cover up what happened afterward.
  • The former detective pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of falsifying a search warrant and trying to cover up what happened.
  • None of the officers involved were indicted on homicide or manslaughter charges related to Taylor's killing.

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