The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) will fire one of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor during a botched nighttime no-knock raid, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.
In a termination letter obtained by local news outlet WDRB, Acting Police Chief Robert Schroeder wrote that Det. Brett Hankison, one of the three officers involved in the fatal March raid, “displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life” and violated the department’s deadly force policy when he “blindly fired 10 rounds” into Taylor’s apartment.
Lawyers for Taylor’s family say she was asleep in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker on the night of March 13, when LMPD officers serving a no-knock narcotics warrant broke down their door with a battering ram. Walker, a registered gun owner, shot at the officers believing it was a home invasion, hitting one officer in the leg. The officers fired back and hit Taylor eight times, killing her.
The search warrant was illegal. No drugs were found in Taylor’s apartment, and the main suspect that LMPD narcotics officers were pursuing, Jamarcus Glover, was already in custody when police broke down Taylor’s door. As of yet, no officers have been criminally charged for Taylor’s death.
The incident sparked national outrage, which boiled over into protests across the country following the May police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
In the termination letter, Schroeder writes that he was “alarmed and stunned” by Hankison’s recklessness.
“In fact the 10 rounds you fired were into a patio door and window which were covered with material that completely prevented you from verifying any person as an immediate threat or more importantly any innocent persons present,” Schroeder writes. “You further failed to be cognizant of the direction in which your firearm was discharged. Some of the rounds you fired actually travelled into the apartment next to Ms. Taylor’s endangering the three lives in that apartment.”
In the wake of Taylor’s death, LMPD Chief Steve Conrad announced that he would retire. Before that could happen, he was unceremoniously fired after police fatally shot another Louisville resident during the protests. During that shooting, none of the LMPD officers on the scene had their body cameras activated.
According to the termination letter, Hankison was disciplined last year for for “reckless conduct that injured an innocent person.”