After weeks of activists and allies demanding justice for the murder of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers on March 13, justice seems to be on the way.
One of the three police officers involved, Detective Brett Hankison, was fired Tuesday for “violating rules, procedures and standards of lethal force,” NBC said.
In a letter signed by Chief Robert J. Schroeder, Hankison and two other plainclothes officers used a “no-knock” order to enter Taylor’s apartment, “wantonly and blindly” firing 10 rounds.
“These rounds created a substantial danger of death and serious injury to Breonna Taylor and the three occupants of the apartment next to Ms. Taylor’s,” he said.
Schroeder added that Hankison fired those rounds without knowing if that deadly force was directed at someone who posed an immediate threat.
“Based upon my review, these are extreme violations of our policies,” he wrote. “I find your conduct a shock to the conscience.”
The two other officers who were with Hankison have been placed on administrative leave.
On the fateful night of March 13, officers and Taylor’s boyfriend exchanged gunfire, 20 of which hit the young African-American woman’s body. The incident was the result of a police investigation looking for Jamarcus Glover and Adrian Walker, who were suspected of selling controlled substances from a drug house more than 10 miles away.
The investigation argued that Glover had a prior relationship with Taylor, and the search warrant included her residence, where the drugs were suspected of being stored.
However, no substances were ever found at the young woman’s residence.
According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the police by the Taylor family’s attorney, the officers, who entered Taylor’s home without knocking or announcing a search warrant, opened fire “with a total disregard for the value of human life.”
Police said the officers were “immediately” met by gunfire when they entered the home. The suit says that Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, 27, believed their apartment was being broken into, so Walker called 911 and fired at what he believed was an intruder, striking an officer in the leg, NBC continues.
While Taylor’s boyfriend has been charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer, Hankison has only been fired, and both Taylor’s family lawyers and activists around the country are demanding that the Kentucky attorney general should file criminal charges against the officer.
“By the department’s own assessment, he committed wanton endangerment, wanton murder and wanton attempted murder,” lawyers Benjamin Crump, Lonita Baker, and Sam Aguiar said in a joint statement.