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: 503322

Reported Deaths: 10057
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34400541
DeSoto32318411
Hinds32074631
Jackson24551386
Rankin22103391
Lee15657235
Madison14662281
Jones13894243
Forrest13506253
Lauderdale12037318
Lowndes11091192
Lamar10531138
Pearl River9557238
Lafayette8581140
Hancock7751130
Washington7458161
Oktibbeha7152133
Monroe6796178
Warren6752176
Pontotoc6736104
Neshoba6656206
Panola6572131
Marshall6494135
Bolivar6331150
Union607794
Pike5849154
Alcorn5691102
Lincoln5468135
George502979
Scott474198
Tippah472481
Prentiss471582
Leflore4676144
Itawamba4651105
Tate4632111
Adams4617120
Copiah450092
Simpson4458116
Yazoo445388
Wayne440772
Covington429894
Sunflower4246105
Marion4236108
Coahoma4178108
Leake409888
Newton383179
Grenada3731108
Tishomingo361592
Stone360664
Jasper336565
Attala335290
Winston315391
Clay309077
Chickasaw302367
Clarke295894
Calhoun279947
Holmes268788
Smith266550
Yalobusha237247
Tallahatchie228752
Greene220649
Walthall219364
Lawrence213640
Perry206456
Amite206056
Webster203446
Noxubee186940
Montgomery179757
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169639
Tunica160139
Benton149439
Kemper142141
Choctaw134627
Claiborne132838
Humphreys129738
Franklin120728
Quitman106828
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson95934
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 821255

Reported Deaths: 15424
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1149051930
Mobile726651340
Madison52400699
Shelby37685350
Baldwin37285552
Tuscaloosa35147613
Montgomery34130740
Lee23556246
Calhoun22255490
Morgan21037378
Etowah19844500
Marshall18390304
Houston17406412
St. Clair16091339
Cullman15493293
Limestone15402199
Elmore15292286
Lauderdale14366295
Talladega13870283
DeKalb12670261
Walker11255370
Blount10227176
Autauga10061148
Jackson9909185
Coffee9215191
Dale8912186
Colbert8907201
Tallapoosa7103198
Escambia6782134
Covington6724183
Chilton6658162
Russell637659
Franklin5992105
Chambers5615142
Marion5016127
Dallas5013202
Pike4799106
Clarke477284
Geneva4577127
Winston4538103
Lawrence4352117
Bibb425686
Barbour358376
Marengo338390
Monroe332064
Randolph330264
Butler328596
Pickens317384
Henry313166
Hale311988
Cherokee303260
Fayette294580
Washington251651
Cleburne247960
Clay245568
Crenshaw245475
Macon235563
Lamar225747
Conecuh186654
Coosa180940
Lowndes175764
Wilcox169139
Bullock151844
Perry139240
Sumter133338
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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