One Louisville Cop Fired for Role in Breonna Taylor Shooting

Kevin Peterson, center, founder and executive director of the New Democracy Coalition, displays a placard showing Breonna Taylor as he addresses a rally in Boston. Louisville’s mayor says one of three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Taylor will be fired, Friday, June 19, 2020. Taylor was gunned down by officers who burst into her Louisville home using a no-knock warrant. She was shot eight times by officers conducting a narcotics investigation. No drugs were found at her home. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

From the AP:

The Louisville Metro police department has fired one of the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, more than three months after the 26-year-old Black woman was killed in her home.

A termination letter sent to Officer Brett Hankison released by the city’s police department Tuesday said Hankinson violated procedures by showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly” shot 10 rounds of gunfire into Taylor’s apartment in March. The letter also said Hankison, who is white, violated the rule against using deadly force.

Taylor was shot eight times by officers who burst into her Louisville home using a no-knock warrant during a March 13 narcotics investigation. The warrant to search her home was in connection with a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.

Breonna Taylor Shooting

Officer Brett Hankison. (Louisville Police Department via AP, File)

The no-knock search warrant that allows police to enter without first announcing their presence was recently banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.

The letter said Hankison fired the rounds “without supporting facts” that the deadly force was directed at a person posing an immediate threat.

“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said in the letter. “Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the Department.”

The announcement comes after Mayor Greg Fischer said last week that Schroeder had started termination proceedings for Hankison while two other officers remain on administrative reassignment as the shooting is investigated.

Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Taylor’s family, previously said the move to fire Hankison was long overdue. “It’s about damn time,” he said, adding Hankison was an officer who “plagued our streets and made this city worse for over a dozen years.”

“Let’s hope that this is a start to some good, strong criminal proceedings against Officer Hankison, because he definitely deserves to at least be charged,” Aguiar added.

Breonna Taylor

Protesters calling for justice in Taylor’s shooting have taken their calls to the streets amid the international protests over racism and police violence after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he pleaded for air.

This month, Beyoncé also joined the call for charges against officers involved in Taylor’s death. The singer sent a letter to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, saying the three Louisville police officers “must be held accountable for their actions.”

“Your office has both the power and the responsibility to bring justice to Breonna Taylor, and demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life,” said the letter released on the singer’s website.

comments

  1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    no knock, know peace.

  2. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    Why did this take so long?

    1. avatar Ragnar says:

      Good question, as most TTAG comments condemned the officers when the original story was posted here.

      1. avatar 9x39 says:

        AFAIK, most still do. That it’s taken this long to act, especially within the confines of timeline since that largely blank report’s release, is an egregious affront to justice & morality. I’d say it’s telling, wrt the fact that only one has been fired.

      2. avatar 9x39 says:

        Also…

        Ragnar “the Red”?

        1. avatar Ragnar says:

          The name is in reference to Ragnar Danneskjold.

    2. avatar enuf says:

      For the common citizen, had one of us done this the arrest and charges would have happened that very hour.

      Police officers enjoy superior rights and privileges. Protections well above and beyond what you or I could ever hope for. The departmental investigation is designed to delay and exonerate. The union provides backing, legal help and pressure upon the department all in favor of the officer NO MATTER WHAT.

      That’s why.

      Heck, I’m surprised this took under a year.

      1. avatar billy-bob says:

        Not only would it have happened that quickly, the other two would have been charged as well since someone died during the commission of a felony. But they’re special, the laws that apply to us don’t apply to them.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          Wrong. There was no underlying felony, therefore felony murder statute does not apply. If the cops had been breaking in without a warrant or exigent circumstances it might be a different story. But they had a warrant.

          When this first came out I thought it might have been cops just busting down doors and hoping nothing would happen. Turns out they went and got some judge to sign off on it. Fully legal. And the judge has full immunity.

        2. avatar atavistic says:

          Agree 100% regarding Judge. Maybe an accessory charge for him, and a firing. If we’re going to hold cops to account, let’s hold everyone to account.

  3. avatar GS650G says:

    When Beyonce calls for head you’re really in deep shit.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      i’ll just assume that was deliberate.

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The Breonna Taylor horror is just one of many examples where police grievously injure or kill innocent people while executing no-knock warrants.

    No-knock warrants should require mandatory death penalty for any law enforcement officer executing them unless there is an extremely urgent life-or-death situation in the building. And when I say, “extremely urgent life-or-death situation,” I mean exactly that. One example would be an armed drug cartel member holding hostages at gunpoint in the building.

    A burning desire to prevent building occupants from destroying evidence of past crimes is not, I repeat, NOT sufficient reason to execute a no-knock warrant.

    If police are concerned that the subject of their arrest warrant will be armed and dangerous — and use that to justify a no-knock warrant in the middle of the night as a way to reduce the danger of arresting the suspect — too bad. Find another way to minimize the danger of arresting such a suspect that does not lead to needless loss of life.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      I am against #DefundPolice, but I support the permanent dismantling of Program 1033 that provides military equipment and vehicles (MRAPs) to civilian police departments. Demilitarizing our community Sheriff and municipal Police/SWAT departments would be a move in the right direction.

      Along the same vein, I believe no-knock warrants should be changed as a matter of national policy, requiring stringent conditions that would eliminate 95% of them. Approaching a target’s residence at 0400 hours with a body-armored entry stack at the primary door, a backup at the other side of the home, an overwatch sniper, and a hardened Bearcat in the street **might** be appropriate for a rare drug raid in which known criminals and weapons are confirmed to be present, but certainly not for normal warrants. And somebody please explain to me why the Dept of Education, the IRS, and even the Post Office now have their own SWAT teams?

      This Louisville officer allegedly shot 10 rounds into the victim’s apartment. I’ve not been able to find any online sources explaining how they were fired (at shadows? at the victim? all at once? in separate 2-round bursts?), but 10 rounds fired in the absence of opposing gunfire seems suspect to me.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Hazy, I could not agree more with abolishing the 1033 program. Obama cut the program, but apparently our president of law and order has been removing restrictions to allow more military equipment to Americas local police departments:

        “President Donald Trump plans to resume the transfer of surplus weapons, vehicles and other equipment from the nation’s military to its state and local law enforcement agencies, reviving a program that was sharply curtailed by President Barack Obama two years ago. The program launched in 1990 but was greatly limited after public reaction to images of heavily militarized police in the streets of Ferguson, Mo., and other sites of civil unrest.
        Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the move Monday morning at the Fraternal Order of Police convention in Nashville, and said the president would do so by executive order. The police union had lobbied for the restoration of the program, and Trump said he would do so during his campaign.
        The restrictions on distributing military surplus to police “went too far,” Sessions told the FOP on Monday. “We will not put superficial concerns above public safety…The executive order the president will sign today will ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence, and lawlessness to become the new normal. And we will save taxpayer money in the meantime.”

        Looks like we’re gearing up for aPolice State…

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          (hangs head in hands, takes deep breath…)

          I’m about to agree with something Miner just said. Lord forgive me.

          The only thing Obama did I agreed with was his termination of the 1033 program. I was highly disappointed upon learning that Trump had reinstated it. The proliferation of armored vehicles in residential areas is an abomination (anyone remember the stormtroopers banging on doors with MRAPs rolling down the streets in the Boston suburbs after the Marathon bombing? Grandmas and women with infants being forced out of their homes with hands above their heads while gun turrets swiveled around them?)

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Haz. You have solid reasons for demilitarizing the police. I agree with doing away with no knocks.

          miner, however, has ulterior motives for kicking the police. He wants to protect his fascist buddies at antifa. Justice has nothing to do with his desires.

        3. avatar Miner49er says:

          “He wants to protect his fascist buddies at antifa.”

          jwn, I’m from Huntington, WV. You claim to have worked for HPD, so you should know, they ain’t no antifa in Cabell or Wayne counties. Plenty of racists in these parts, but no Marxists.

          But if your delusions somehow comfort you, I’ll say no more and let you be comfortable in your ignorance.

        4. avatar As Astra says:

          So minor how many people have been killed by an MRAP since 1990? Seriously to hear you talk you would think cops are getting truck loads of Browning M2s dropped off at local stations. Seriously if all LVMPD had was S&W Police .38s this would still happen.

        5. avatar jwm says:

          Your ignorance is showing miner. Or you’re lying. I’ve never claimed to work for HPD. I’ve never been a cop. Never made such a claim.

          You see racists behind every bush. No doubt your inner guilt at knowing you support the margeret sanger plan to genocide poc makes you hope that others are like you.

        6. avatar Miner49er says:

          Really? Well, my mistake, sorry.

          But I still don’t know any members of antifa.

      2. avatar enuf says:

        I do not have the link now but did read a statement that he fired from outside into the bedroom window. The windows were closed and whatever coverings there were, the window was covered. Drapes or blinds. He could not possibly of been able to see who he was shooting at.

        He completely missed the boyfriend who had fired one round put put eight of his ten rounds into the innocent young EMT lady in her bed.

        That’s murder and he should have been arrested for it by other officers on the spot the instant they realized what he had done.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          I can’t speak for the Louisville PD, but an LAPD associate once told me the Department’s patrol officers operate on the informal policy of “control and contain, and let the Detectives back at the station sort it all out”.

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          I believe that Louisville PD just terminated one of the officers involved in the BBQ slaying for exactly the same behavior.

          That’s one of the problems with moving from the military into police work, and not realizing that in a domestic law-enforcement situation, ‘spray and pray’ is unacceptable.

      3. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        Radly Balko’s “Rise of the Warrior Cop” is a good analysis of the problems originating within police culture in America. Balko sort of got shoved aside by the BLM radicals (who co-opted many of his points and used them for their own purposes) but his book is a good examination of how police-work has evolved—at least in the minds of many critics—to make cops look more like representatives of an occupying power than they did in previous decades. As Balko points out, the major casualty of this change has been trust. Today, people who in previous decades would have felt trust in their local police now experience wariness when they see a cop. The no-knock raids that killed Breonna Taylor and the Tuttles in Houston are perfect examples of the kind of police behavior make former police supporters wary of the police. That’s not a good thing for our country.

      4. avatar billy-bob says:

        Heck, open the program up to all civilians, no reason the po-po should have access to things we can’t.

      5. avatar Coffeemonster says:

        I think you should run for office. I don’t hear this careful parsing by anybody in a meaningful, relevant position: no gestapo, enforce laws to preserve freedom.
        We need enforcement of just laws, not just the use of force under the cover of law.

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    THIS! No knock raids,trigger happy po-leece,red flag laws,qualified immunity and ad finititum nauseam. Instead of looting over the death of felonious thugs this is what should concern EVERYONE!

  6. avatar RCC says:

    Not mentioned in the article is that the suspected drug dealer was already in custody. The large boxes someone saw and decided were drugs turned out to be shoes bought on line.

    Can’t imagine what that person would think of the rifles I‘ve had couriered to home.

  7. avatar Dale Menard says:

    This guy was really stupid and should be prosecuted. But how can this be a racist incident since he could not see her?

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      Don’t be obtuse, the police had surveilled the home, and testified to obtain a search warrant.

      1. avatar just another mat says:

        The police obviously did very poor surveillance or they would have realized they were at wrong house

        1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

          No, they were at the house they meant to be at. Taylor had at one time dated the dealer who had already been arrested. The surveillance had seen the former BF’s car parked at the address and the USPS confirmed that the former BF had packages delivered to the address. (You do realize that the USPS photographs every piece of mail? So much for your privacy.) They thought she was holding drugs for the former BF.

          Why the above justified a 4 AM breaking and entering, I don’t quite know. Why they could not have waited till she was coming home from work and served the warrant as she unlocked the front door is a question for the ages.

          Taylor is just another victim in the war by cops on the American people. End the drug war and many of these atrocities disappear.

        2. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Was their source a crook who gave the address to avoid arrest or another beating?

        3. avatar The Truth About Breonna Taylor says:

          They have a considerable case that she was receiving and holding drugs for the ex, possibly without the knowledge of the current boyfriend. It just so happens that at the time the warrant was served he had already picked up all of his packages.

          I am opposed to no knock warrants. I am also opposed to drug laws and the war on drugs and the militarization of police.

          If they had just arrested her after work some time or when she was walking out of the grocery store then she would be in jail for being part of a drug ring and we would never have heard of her.

          For more information on her situation watch The Officer Tatum on youtube.

          Other cases that would never have been anything if cops had just arrested the perps during their routine daily activities; Waco, Ruby Ridge, and The 1986 Miami/Dade shootout. I’m sure there are many more, but no knocks, felony stops, and surprise assaults frequently ruin a perfectly good legal case.

  8. avatar BusyBeef says:

    Fired . . . . with full pension and medical benefits, just to be re-hired by another department, with his conduct record ignored and sealed from the public.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      I couldn’t find any information about the state his pension and benefits. Did you? I’d guess the same thing you posited but would like to know for sure.

    2. avatar AD of the Hinterlands says:

      There’s more to this story, though I’m not sure it has gone beyond the local news. Apparently several accusations of sexual assault have been made against this guy since his face has been all over the TV.
      Are there political reasons for this cop to be fired and, thus far, not the other two? I couldn’t say.
      The mayor himself is in pretty deep doo-doo. Residents think he should’ve fired all three sooner and are also upset about a heavy handed response to the protests. Police believe the mayor has tied their hands and fuelled further violence and chaos.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    Hey, Louisville, maybe next time you should hire decent people, train them properly and make sure that their rules of engagement don’t include murder.

    Just a thought.

  10. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

    He should have been fired a month ago, but I don’t know about what charges. Maybe something, though it seems everyone once him drawn and quartered in the street. I’m willing to trust a jury.

    I still feel like some other people on the force need to be held accountable. Yes, he pulled the trigger but who was the hero(es) that screwed the pooch on the address?

    An example needs to be made so police forces around the country can understand how important it is to get the right intelligence and not go in on a no knock without it.

    In every other contractor, service, or delivery job, you’d be punished severely for wrong address. Don’t ask me how I know though I only was responsible for a few thousand dollars of waste and no lives were ever at risk.

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      They had the address they wanted. They just chose to serve the warrant like they were in Soviet Russia, not the United States of America.

    2. avatar Docduracoat says:

      This is not a wrong address case.
      They were indeed at the address they planned to attack
      This woman apparently had dated the already arrested criminal.
      He had multiple boxes brought into her house.
      So the cops, decided that these were drugs her ex-boyfriend stashed at her house.
      So they raided exactly the house they planned to raid and of course found nothing.
      Instead of just killing the family dog and terrorizing a family like they usually do, this time they executed an innocent black woman.
      Why they can’t wait until she opens the door to go to or from work is the issue.
      No knock raids are fun for cops.
      The innocent public be damned.
      They have qualified immunity

  11. avatar 24AND7 says:

    APPEASE.. APPEASE… APPEASE… THE MOB!!!

    1. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

      When the mob is right in its demand for redress of grievances, yes.

    2. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      You mean like the mob of badge thugs that shows up to fill courtrooms in uniform when they want to intimidate juries or witnesses?

      1. avatar 24and7 says:

        Ground control to Major dickhead…

        Those cops are ordered to show up to court..Most of them need to be at home asleep Because they work night shift..

        What’s really bad is when a liberal bastards always take the side of the criminals..All criminals need to be put down like the sick animals they are..This country would be a much better place

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          Does that include criminal cops?

          Or is that somehow ‘different‘…

  12. avatar 24and7 says:

    NO JUSTICE…WELL THEN, MOB JUSTICE RULES!! THE NEW AMERICA..

  13. avatar enuf says:

    The only acceptable use of a No Knock Warrant should be in a Hostage Rescue. Especially so during hours of the day or night when people are likely to be asleep.

    Yelling “POLICE! SEARCH WARRANT!” a moment before bashing a door down, charging into a dark home where the innocent/wrong person is going to be instantly and confusingly bolted out of a deep sleep, shocked into a Fight or Flight reaction is just arrogant incompetence.

    Of course innocent people shoot at the dark shape coming thru the door. They’ve had no time to process, to think, to reason thru the chaos in a couple of seconds. “HOME INVASION” and “DEADLY THREAT” are the most apparent realities to the residents in those few seconds.

  14. avatar Anon says:

    FYI, there are about 20,000 no knock raids each year, on average. Last year it’s estimated there were 40,000. This works out since in the early 2000’s, there were 5,000 each year.

    “In 2003, then-NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly estimated that 10 percent of the more than 450 no-knock raids his officers carried out EVERY MONTH went to the wrong address. “That estimate came after a wrong-door raid resulted in the homeowner’s death: when police broke into the home of 57-year-old Alberta Spruill and threw in a flash-bang grenade, the shock gave her a fatal heart attack,” Vox reported.”

    From: https://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/no-knock-raids-SWAT-facts-figures/2015/06/19/id/651434/

    The police should be smart enough to pick up someone on the street or pull them over with NO trouble instead of invading someones house If they can’t do this, they are incompetant.

    As a gun owner, I’m concerned about the police conducting a no knock raid at my house as they will be fired upon……someone kicking in my door unannounced is going to get shot at……and just calling out “this is the police” means nothing to me, anyone can do that!

  15. avatar Sian says:

    This is how it should be done, no emotional, reactionary rush to overcharge, do a complete investigation, fire who needs to be fired, THEN bring criminal charges once the thorough investigation is complete.

    Let’s hope for more firings and some serious criminal charges in these officers’ near future.

  16. avatar Hannibal says:

    The fact that he fired 10 rounds as a reason for termination is stupid. He was being shot at (wait and read below before you start frothing)- if he had fired 9, would it be okay? 5?

    It’s ignoring the major issue here which was that to try and score a drug bust the cops smashed down someone’s door and charged in (not even in full uniform if I remember correctly!!!) causing the people inside to reasonably think they had to defend themselves. And the police weren’t even competent enough to be right. If you’re gonna break down someone’s door and invade their home, you better either be doing it for life-or-death OR at least be certain. Probable cause may be enough legally (that’s another issue…) but it is not enough practically.

    So here’s what I want to know: who screwed up the warrant? Why where they wrong? Why weren’t they certain? Invading someone’s home like that is risking death to everyone. So how did someone drop the ball and why aren’t they fired? Also, how did the judge sign 5 such warrants (including this one) in 12 minutes? Is that the level of protection we deserve from the judicial branch?

    No-knock warrants like this should probably just be considered deadly force. And judges who sign search warrants should be liable if they are found to have done so recklessly (unlike the cops, they are fully immune). Different story if the application contains errors or lies, that on the police.

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      He fired 10 rounds at a target he could not see. That should be a firing.

      Just like the cop in Atlanta should be facing charges for the rounds that hit the car filled with innocent bystanders, even if the shooting of the drunk was justified. A government employee should be required to follow the basic rules of firearm safety. Remember “Know your target and what is behind it”? Break that rule as a cop and you should do a couple decades in gen pop at the state’s maximum security prison.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        There IS NO real-world urban gunfight where you can possibly know what is behind your target. Bullets go through cars and walls, to say nothing of simple concealment (i.e. in the woods). Anytime that you have buildings as a backdrop, which is almost 100% of the time in a city, you cannot follow that ‘rule’ as such.

        Unless you are lucky enough to confront an armed perpetrator on a shooting range with a berm behind him or perhaps on the beach in front of the ocean, you cannot know that your bullets will not harm someone else.

        And if you want someone to let themselves be shot because returning fire might hit someone who is in a car that they couldn’t have known about between the tunnel vision and incoming rounds… or someone in a building behind the shooter because most walls don’t stop pistol rounds… or down the street past where you can see at night… you better go out and do it yourself. Because there will never be a time you can actually defend yourself and no one else is that stupid.

      2. avatar hannibal (test) says:

        Hey, how about letting my comments show up?

      3. avatar Hannibal (test) says:

        what the shit is going on ttag?

  17. avatar burley says:

    Charges should be filed. Negligent manslaughter is a minimum, for every officer involved.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email