In relation to Breonna Taylor’s death, the Department of Justice has charged four former and present Louisville police officers, according to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement on Thursday. Charges include violations of civil rights, illegal plots, unlawful uses of force, and offences including obstruction.
4 Ex and Current Louisville police officers in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor
In a press conference, Garland stated, “The federal charges announced today allege that members of a Police Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home and that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations led to Ms. Taylor’s death.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland declared on Thursday that Breonna Taylor “should be alive today” after four current and former Louisville Metro Police officers were indicted on federal charges in connection with Taylor’s murder in March 2020, which sparked outrage in the area and across the country.
The federal charges brought against former Louisville detective Kelly Goodlett, sergeant Kyle Meany, and detective Joshua Jaynes claim they violated Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights when they requested a warrant to search her home while being aware they lacked probable cause. They also claim they knew the affidavit they used to support the request for the warrant contained false and misleading information and left out other crucial details, which led to Taylor’s demise.
“The affidavit erroneously said, among other things, that authorities had established that Ms. Taylor’s home was the destination of the alleged drug trafficking enterprise. In reality, Jaynes and Goodlett, the defendants, were aware it was untrue “During a press conference, Garland said.
Officers charged in the federal investigation
At addition, Garland claimed Jaynes and Goodlett were aware that Taylor’s home would be raided by armed police and that doing so may put “anyone who happened to be in Ms. Taylor’s home in a perilous situation.”
In the federal investigation into the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician whose name became a rallying cry for protesters during demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism, Sgt. Kyle Meany, 35; Officer Kelly Hanna Goodlett, 35; and former detective Brett Hankison, 46; also were charged.
Allegations against the four include lying on the search warrant, impeding investigators, and, in the instance of Hankison, endangering Taylor’s neighbours with careless gunfire. All four are accused of breaching Taylor’s civil rights.
How Did Breonna Taylor Die?
After Taylor’s passing, the two allegedly got together in a garage, “where they agreed to tell investigators” investigating into the botched raid “a fake account,” according to the prosecution.
Charges have also been brought against Brett Hankison, a former member of the Louisville Metro Police Department who was complicit in Breonna Taylor’s killing. Hankison is accused with two civil rights crimes, including deprivation of rights under colour of law, in a two-count indictment.
When there was no longer a “lawful objective justifying the use of deadly force,” Hankison allegedly used disproportionate force that violated the constitution by firing 10 rounds through a window and sliding glass door covered in blinds and curtains in Taylor’s home.
Breonna Taylor death sparked protests nationwide
Hankison was found not guilty on all counts following his trial on state charges stemming from the raid on Taylor’s residence. During the raid that resulted in Breonna Taylor’s murder, he was accused of carelessly firing into a nearby apartment. He was found not guilty on all three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree.
Taylor’s killing spurred demonstrations across the country, and anger was heightened when no officers were charged in connection with her fatal shooting.
After Hankison’s trial in March, Taylor’s attorney, Ben Crump, stated: “The lack of accountability showcased in every aspect of Breonna’s killing speaks to how much more work there is to be done before we can say our justice system is fair and our system of policing is protective of people of colour.”
Since April 2021, the Louisville Police Department has been the subject of a pattern or practise investigation by the Justice Department. The separate investigation is still ongoing, according to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, who also informed reporters that a DOJ team is still on the ground there interviewing stakeholders and going on ride-alongs with local police.
Breonna Taylor’s death – Information filed by the Justice Department
On March 13, 2020, at about 12:45 a.m., Louisville police officers searched Taylor’s flat. A visitor to Taylor’s residence who believed the officers breaking down the door to the flat were intruders fired one shot from a lawfully obtained gun, striking the first officer who answered the door. The Justice Department’s research indicates that two Louisville police officers then fired a total of 22 rounds into the apartment, one of which struck Taylor in the chest.
According to material submitted by the Justice Department, a third officer proceeded from the doorway to the side of the apartment and fired ten more shots through a window and a sliding glass door, both of which were covered with blinds and curtains.
Garland also claimed that the police who carried out the raid were not engaged in its creation and were not aware of the warrant’s false and deceptive claims when they did so.
Garland claimed that earlier on Thursday he had spoken with Taylor’s family and informed them of the allegations.
“We understand and share the sorrow that Breonna Taylor’s family and all those impacted by the March 13, 2020 events are experiencing, but we are unable to truly comprehend it. Breonna Taylor ought to be living right now “Garland said.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer reply to reporters
Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer, hailed the Department of Justice for the accusations and called them “deep.”
“Every I and ‘t’ was crossed and every ‘t’ was dot by the federal government. We haven’t historically witnessed anything like it being done on behalf of Black people, especially Black women. Since Robert Kennedy and the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King and John Lewis, I can’t recall the Justice Department being this dedicated to civil rights “said Crump.
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Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, told reporters, “Today’s late but it still stings,” adding that these accusations prove the police weren’t supposed to be there. She said, “Breonna didn’t deserve it.”
In a statement, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer applauded the federal authorities for pursuing this investigation and referred to the indictments as a “vital step forward” in bringing Taylor’s case to justice.
Although her sad death cannot be undone, Fischer stated in a statement that “we can and must continue to demand justice for her.”
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