The FBI arrested four officers involved in the March 2020 police raid that killed Breonna Taylor. Three are facing charges of violating the civil rights of Taylor which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, if convicted. According to the federal indictment, there were lies behind the raid on Taylor’s Louisville apartment. A warrant issued for the no-knock police raid that resulted in Taylor’s death should never have been granted, and “Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” according to U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland. He and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke jointly made an announcement of the charges. Those include the violation of Taylor’s civil rights, unlawful conspiracy, obstruction offenses and unconstitutional use of force.
Former LMPD detectives Brett Hankison, 46 and Joshua Jaynes, 40, face federal civil rights charges related to their roles in the Taylor investigation. Current LMPD Detective Kelly Hanna Goodlett and Sergeant Kyle Meany are also facing the same charges. None of the officers including Myles Cosgrove, the officer who shot Taylor, were directly charged in Taylor’s death. Although, Cosgrove was fired 9 months after the fatal raid.
The Louisville Metro Police Department fired Jaynes in January 2021, for his false statement added to his sworn affidavit for the warrant to search Taylor’s apartment over her drug-dealing ex-boyfriend in Kentucky. Jaynes claimed that he had checked through the postal inspector that the ex-boyfriend of Taylor – Jamarcus Glover, the primary target of the police investigation and an alleged drug trafficker – was getting suspicious packages at his address. That claim, however, was rebutted by both the postal inspector and Jaynes’ colleagues, reported by Vice.
LMPD Det. Hankison was not a part of the original investigation that led to the warrant to search Taylor’s apartment, he played a central role in the execution of the warrant that resulted in her killing. A separate indictment stated that after Taylor was shot, Det. Hankison walked from the door to the side of her apartment and fired 10 more shots. The first count accused him of depriving Taylor and her boyfriend by shooting through a bedroom window.
Det. Hankison was cleared of criminal charges in a trial this year, Garland confirmed he was charged with two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law. Goodlett, who helped with the warrant and served on the same small team that conducted the investigation, has been on leave since early 2021. An investigation was initiated into allegations that she and several other officers threw drinks at Louisville residents from their police vehicles.
Meany, the sergeant leading the team of Goodlett and Jaynes, was responsible for supervising the investigation, including the verification of affidavits and search warrants filed by his team. The DOJ’s ongoing investigation of the Louisville Metro Police Department is separate from these charges, per Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke. “The civil pattern or practice investigation is being handled independently from the criminal case by a different team of career staff,” the department said.
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