Brett Hankison, the former Louisville Metro Police Department officer charged in connection with the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, was found not guilty on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment Thursday.
Jurors deliberated for just three hours before acquitting Hankison, the lone police officer who faced charges stemming from Taylor’s March 2020 death, the New York Times reports; the charges were related to Hankison “wantonly and blindly” firing 10 bullets that threatened to endanger three people in a neighboring apartment, and not the killing of Taylor itself during the execution of a no-knock warrant.
The other two officers involved in Taylor’s shooting death, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, did not face any charges following the incident. Hankison was fired from the LMPD three months after Taylor’s death, Cosgrove was fired in Jan. 2021 and Mattingly retired in April 2021.
The three had entered her apartment after executing a no-knock warrant, believing that Taylor’s apartment was allegedly being used as a place for drug suspects to pick up packages. While the police claimed they announced their arrival, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said otherwise, so when the three burst through the door, Walker, a registered gun owner, fired a shot at the people he believed were intruders. One officer was struck in the thigh. In turn the police allegedly fired about 20 shots, eight of which struck Taylor.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, was present as the verdict was read Thursday, WKLY reports. She left the courtroom without speaking to reporters. If Hankison had been found guilty, he would have faced a maximum of five years in prison.