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Former Louisville police officer pleads not guilty to charges related to Breonna Taylor's killing

The former Louisville police officer...

Posted: Sep 28, 2020 12:20 PM
Updated: Sep 28, 2020 6:00 PM

The former Louisville police officer charged in connection to Breonna Taylor's killing pleaded not guilty Monday to three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

Brett Hankison was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department in June for his actions during the raid on Taylor's apartment. Hankison's lawyer asked the judge to let Hankison keep his gun because he has seen death threats online and the judge did not grant the request.

'No, I will not,' said Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith.

Hankison will not be allowed to keep any firearms, which is a condition of his $15,000 bond.

A pretrial hearing is set for October 28.

No officer who took part in the March 13 raid is charged for Taylor's actual killing. A grand jury instead leveled three counts of felony wanton endangerment against the ex-detective for blindly firing 10 shots into Taylor's home, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron said last week.

The announcement set off days of demonstrations in several American cities. Protesters and other critics of the grand jury's decision wanted stiffer charges. They also decried the decision not to charge any other officers involved.

Though two Louisville police officers were shot during the first night of protests after Cameron's announcement, Mayor Greg Fischer said Monday he is ending the city's curfew following several days of peaceful demonstrations. Downtown barriers and traffic restrictions will remain in place, and the curfew could be reassessed in coming days, he said.

Charges against Hankison

Hankison fired through 'a sliding glass door and through a bedroom window,' according to a statement from Cameron's office, and some of his rounds pierced the wall of a neighboring apartment, where three people, including a child and pregnant woman, lived, the attorney general's statement said.

The three felony counts are for endangering the three people in the neighboring apartment, according to Cameron's office, which further alleges Hankison demonstrated 'extreme indifference to human life.'

'There is no conclusive evidence that any bullets fired from Detective Hankison's weapon struck Ms. Taylor,' the statement said.

A defendant 'is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person,' according to Kentucky law.

Wanton endangerment is a Class D felony, Kentucky's lowest class of felony. If convicted on all three charges, Hankison faces between three and 15 years in prison.

Hankison was released from the Shelby County Detention Center on Wednesday after posting $15,000 bail.

The raid

Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker III, were in their apartment when Hankison and other officers arrived to serve a search warrant in a drug investigation.

Police say they identified themselves before ramming through the front door, and Cameron said one neighbor corroborates the story. Other neighbors say they did not hear the officers identify themselves as police, but some of the neighbors have told CNN that they were sleeping and awoke only after hearing gunshots.

When the officers breached the door, Walker fired, hitting Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg, police allege. Walker has said through his attorney that he did not realize it was police entering his apartment.

In addition to the 10 shots Hankison fired, Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove fired 22 rounds, six of which struck Taylor, Cameron said, explaining their use of force was justified because Walker fired first.

Walker was initially charged with attempted murder and assault, but the charges were dropped.

Ben Crump, an attorney for Taylor's family, slammed the grand jury's decision, saying Hankison and other officers should face murder charges.

'How ironic and typical that the only charges brought in this case were for shots fired into the apartment of a White neighbor, while no charges were brought for the shots fired into the Black neighbor's apartment or into Breonna's residence,' Crump said in a statement.

'This amounts to the most egregious disrespect of Black people, especially Black women, killed by police in America, and it's indefensible, regardless of how Attorney General Daniel Cameron seeks to justify it.'

Mattingly's attorney, Kent J. Wicker, said Wednesday the grand jury's decision not to indict the officers 'shows that the system worked and that grand jurors recognized and respected the facts of the case.'

'The death of Breonna Taylor is a tragedy,' Wicker said. 'But these officers did not act in a reckless or unprofessional manner. They did their duty, performed their roles as law enforcement officers and, above all, did not break the law.'

Avenues of investigation still open

Hankison was fired months ago, with Interim LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder telling the detective in a June 23 letter, 'I find your conduct a shock to the conscience.'

Hankison is appealing his termination.

In addition to an FBI civil rights investigation, the LMPD's professional standards unit is investigating the actions of Cosgrove, Hankison, Mattingly, and detectives Joshua Jaynes, Tony James, Michael Campbell and Michael Nobles, LMPD spokesman Sgt. Lamont Washington told CNN.

Schroeder placed Jaynes on administrative leave in June, citing questions about how the search warrant for Taylor's home was approved. Jaynes requested the search warrant.

It's unclear if the FBI and internal probes could yield more charges. The Taylor family is demanding the release of the grand jury transcripts and Walker is suing the LMPD, either of which could provide more details about officers' actions that night.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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