The wheels of justice are finally starting to move in the case of Breonna Taylor. She’s the 26-year-old EMT shot and killed in her apartment’s bedroom on Mar. 13 when Louisville P.D. officers served a no-knock warrant on her residence. The incident occurred even though the narcotics suspect they were looking for was already in police custody. Det. Brett Hankison fired 10 shots into Breonna’s apartment. In the June 23 termination letter, Louisville Chief of Police Robert Schroeder explained that Hankison violated the department’s operating procedures regarding obedience to rules and regulations, as well as the use of deadly force.
Schroeder wrote that Hankison “wantonly and blindly” fired 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment on March 13. He also pointed out that, “The 10 rounds you fired were into a patio door and window which were covered with material that completely prevented you from verifying any person as an immediate threat or more importantly any innocent persons present.” The now-former cop has 10 days to appeal the chief’s decision to the Police Merit Board, on which he sat until earlier this month. We’ve got five things to know about Brett Hankison.
1. Hankison is the first officer to be fired in the wake of Breonna’s killing. Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove — the other two officers who participated in the no-knock warrant execution — are both still employed by the Louisville Police Department. They are currently on administrative reassignment.
2. Hankison is not facing any criminal charges at this time. Chief Schroeder wrote that the former detective showed, “extreme indifference to human life” when “he wantonly and blindly” fired into Breonna’s apartment. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron was given the investigation results of the Louisville Metro PD’s Internal Professional Integrity Unit on May 20, 2020. He has yet to bring charges against any of the three officers involved with Breonna’s death. The FBI is doing its own independent investigation ofg the case.
3. Hankison was a 17 year veteran of the Louisville PD and had previously received an award for his police work, as well as a reprimand. He joined the Louisville Metro Police force in 2003. Hankison had earned earned 43 letters of commendation during his career, and in 2013 was given an award for exceptional merit, according to Louisville TV station WLKY. The termination letter noted that in Jan. 2019, Hankison had been reprimanded by the LMPD for “reckless behavior.”
— LMPD (@LMPD) June 23, 2020
4. Hankison worked in the narcotics division for the past four years. He transferred into narcotics in 2016 and was working in that department at the time of Breonna’s killing. The officers were searching for a man suspected of moving drugs in and out of the apartment. He was allegedly friends at one point with Breonna’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker, a registered gun owner, actually fired one shot first as the plainclothes officers barged in, believing that intruders were breaking into their home. The bullet hit Sgt. Mattingly in the leg. Breonna was then struck by eight bullets in the police return fire.
5. Breonna’s family is relieved that Hankison was fired, but want to see him brought upon criminal charges. “It’s another good, small step,” Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Taylor’s family, told the Louisville Courier Journal.”We won’t be satisfied until rightful charges are brought against him, until charges are brought against everyone responsible for Breonna’s death.”