Justice Department on Thursday Four current and former officers of the Louisville Metro Police Department indicted With federal crimes related to the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor in March 2020.
Former officers Joshua Jaynes, Brett Hankison and Kelly Goodlett were arrested by the FBI on Thursday. Sergeant Kyle Meaney, who still works for the department, was also arrested.
The charges allege that Jaynes, Hankison and Goodlett used false and misleading information to obtain search warrants, which sent officers to Taylor’s home, where they used a beating ram to break open the door and 26 Inside the death of the year-old shot “blindly” – the old hospital technician.
Jaynes wrote in a 2020 warrant application that he would “verify with a US Postal Inspector” that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, a suspected drug dealer, was using her address to obtain the package.
According to the Justice Department, this was not true.
“The federal charges announced today allege that members of the Police Investigation Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain a search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home and that the act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations Taylor died as a result,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a news conference on Thursday.
The Justice Department also slapped Jaynes and Goodlett with conspiracy charges, alleging that they met in May 2020 in a garage, “where they agreed to tell a false story to investigators.” Goodlett was charged with a criminal information, not a grand jury indictment, a move that often indicates a plea agreement.
In a second indictment, prosecutors say Hankinson used unconstitutionally excessive force during the raid when he walked through Taylor’s door to the side of the building, where he found his apartment with a bedroom window and a sliding glass window. 10 bullets fired through the door, both of which were blind and covered with curtains.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clark said, “Today’s indictment alleges that Hankinson’s use of excessive force violated the rights of Breonna Taylor and her guest and her neighbors, whose lives were at risk from bullets entering their apartment.” Was.”
Louisville Police fired Hankinson for his actions. He was also charged with three counts of aggravated endangerment, but was acquitted by a Kentucky jury.
Ben Crump, the attorney representing Taylor’s family, welcomed the federal charges.
“We hope this declaration of a guilty plea sends a message to all other officers involved that it is time to accept responsibility for their role in causing the death of an innocent, beautiful young black woman and stop the time, ” Crump said. a statement.
He added, “There are still many families who are fighting and praying for justice and accountability in situations where their loved ones were wrongfully killed by the police.” “We need to stand with them, fight with them, pray with them and do everything possible for them.”