One of the three officers who shot and killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in a botched raid in Louisville in March will be fired according to an announcement by the city mayor Friday.
According to a press release, Mayor Greg Fischer announced that “Louiseville Metro Police Department Chief Rob Schroeder is initiating termination procedures against Louisville Metro Police Officer Brett Hankison.”
— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) June 19, 2020
But Fischer said he can’t talk about the decision, saying, “Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law that I very much would like to see changed, both the Chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment, or even the timing of this decision.”
However, on the LMDP’s Facebook page the agency posted the termination letter.
The letter, penned by Chief Robert Schroeder, says Hankison “wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds” into Taylor’s home.
According to Schroeder, Hankison had no idea who he was shooting at when he pulled the trigger all of those times — he could not see inside — which was a violation of the department’s deadly force policy. Schroeder called Hankison’s behavior a “shock to the conscience.”
Not only did he shoot indiscriminately into a home, but bullets also made their way to an adjacent apartment where three people lived, including a pregnant woman.
Officer Hankison is Also Under Investigation for Sexual Assault Allegations
Det. Brett Hankinson:
-Murdered Breonna Taylor
-Has been accused of sexually assaulting two women
-Sued multiple times for excessive force
-Sits on the Louisville Police Merit Board (which reviews police disciplinary appeals)
-Is still being paid by @LMPD
-Has not been arrested pic.twitter.com/2BKQVVuI4k
— African American Policy Forum (@AAPolicyForum) June 18, 2020
Officer Hankison came under more fire following the killing of Breonna Taylor when he was accused of sexual assault by several women.
According to WAVE3 News, Hankison has been under investigation for reports that on multiple occasions offered women rides home when they were leaving bars at night, then would engage in sexual conversation and touch them inappropriately. In one case, a woman claims Hankison went into her apartment and raped her while she was unconscious.
Hankison has not been charged for his role in the death of Breonna Taylor, nor have the other two officers involved, but he and the two other plainclothes officers who broke into the wrong apartment during a drug raid in March before shooting Taylor have been on administrative leave since the incident, according to WDRB.
Taylor’s Family, Celebrities & the Public Have all Been Critical of How the LMPD Is Handling the Investigation
— Lonita Baker (@Diva_Attorney) June 10, 2020
Calls for arrests of the three officers involved in Taylor’s death have been ongoing since the March 13 killing, when Louisville police raided Taylor’s home in after midnight, ramming through the door unannounced. It turned out to be the wrong home, and the 26-year-old emergency medical technician (EMT) was killed when police shot her eight times after her boyfriend fired on police in self-defense, not knowing who had ambushed the couple in their home while they slept.
In a statement given to Time, Taylor family attorney Lonita Baker said:
The police report released by Louisville Metro Police Department regarding the murder of Breonna Taylor is indicative of the lack of investigation done by the department. It shows an attempt to cover up Breonna’s murder and the unwillingness and/or incompetence of the department’s Public Integrity Unit (PIU) to investigate its own officers.
The case is still under investigation as the issue of who should do the investigation has been mired, according to USA Today. They reported that the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit were investigating, only to turn the case over to Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
Then FBI Louisville announced they would do their own investigation. Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia have both requested the Department of Justice conduct an investigation into what happened the night of Taylor’s death.
On May 29, Cameron tweeted about the investigation but has been quiet about it since.
Statement from Attorney General Cameron regarding the investigation into the death of Ms. Breonna Taylor: pic.twitter.com/Ixpxp20cbK
— Attorney General Daniel Cameron (@kyoag) May 29, 2020
On June 14, Beyonce wrote Cameron an open letter demanding action. She said:
Don’t let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy. With every death of a Black person at the hands of police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction and delays that follow it. This is your chance to end that pattern. Take swift and decisive action in charging the officers. The next months cannot look like the last three.