Louisville detective Brett Hankison was charged with three felony counts of first degree wanton endangerment following the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor on March 13, according to a livestream of the grand jury announcement on Wednesday. However, his charge has nothing to do with the death of Taylor, and instead has to do with the stray bullets he fired into the apartment of her white neighbors.
Hankison was fired in June for his use of force during the botched drug raid that led to Taylor’s death. He was terminated after an investigation found that he “wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds” into Taylor’s home, as reported by Heavy. Some of the bullets fired by Hankison penetrated an adjacent apartment, endangering a pregnant woman, the department found.
On Wednesday, following the news of the grand jury announcement, the specifics around Hankison’s charges quickly crystallized. Roberto Adam Feldman of VICE tweeted, “Brett Hankison is being tried for endangering three of Breonna Taylor’s white neighbors”
Sam Aguiar, one of the attorneys for Taylor’s family, wrote on Facebook, “Way to really rub it in. Three counts for the shots into the apartment of the white neighbors, but no counts for the shots into the apartment of the black neighbors upstairs above Breonna’s. Let alone everything else you got wrong.”
Taylor’s three white neighbors mentioned in the indictment are Chelsey Napper, Cody Etherton and Zayden Flournoy.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Initials of Taylor’s Three White Neighbors Were Referenced in the Grand Jury Indictment
This charge is for shooting “a gun into an apartment.” The indictment, read by the judge, didn’t mention the Breonna Taylor’s initials, as a victim, but did mention the initials of 3 other individuals: CE, CN, & ZF.
The attorney general asked for bail to be set at 15,000 dollars
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) September 23, 2020
During the press announcement for the grand jury indictment, the indictment mentioned the initials of the three neighbors who were allegedly endangered by Hankison’s actions the night he and two other officers broke into Taylor’s apartment. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, are represented in those initials. The three initials are CE, CN, and ZF.
These three sets of initials match those of Etherton, Napper, and Flournoy, Taylor’s white neighbors who sued the Louisville Metro Police following the March 13 raid.
According to the Courier Journal, the lawsuit was filed in May. It states that Napper was pregnant at the time of the raid, and had a child in the home. It’s possible that Flournoy is Napper’s child. The lawsuit reads in part, “A bullet that was shot from the defendant police officers’ gun flew inches past Cody Etherton’s head while he was in the hallway of Chelsey Napper’s apartment.” It accuses the officers of failing to use “sound reasonable judgement” when they blindly fired through the apartment walls.
The lawsuit seeks punitive and compensatory damages from the police department, citing extensive damage to Napper’s apartment, including a shattered sliding door.
This is a developing post and will be updated.