Justice Department Announces Civil Rights Charges Against Louisville Cops in Breonna Taylor's Death

Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by police after the obtaining of a widely criticized no-knock warrant at her apartment in Louisville.

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The Justice Department has announced federal charges against Louisville police officers in connection with the 2020 no-knock search warrant death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor.

Per the Associated Press, civil rights charges have been filed against former officers including Joshua Jaynes, Kelly Goodlett, and Brett Hankison. Additionally, Sgt. Kyle Meany has also been charged.

“The federal charges announce today allege that members of the Place Based Investigations unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Taylor’s home, that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference on Thursday, as seen above.

As Garland detailed during Thursday’s presser, the officers who carried out the search at the apartment “were not involved in the drafting of the warrant” and were not aware “of the false and misleading statements” therein.

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“When those officers executed the search warrant, Ms. Taylor was at home with another person who was in lawful possession of a handgun,” he said. “When officers broke down the door to Ms. Taylor’s apartment, that person, believing that intruders were breaking in, immediately fired one shot, hitting the first officer at the door. Two officers immediately fired a total of 22 shots into the apartment. One of those shots hit Ms. Taylor in the chest and killed her.”

The federal charges against the four current and former Louisville Metro Police Department officers were broken down into greater detail in a subsequent press release from the DOJ, with Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke noting that Breonna Taylor “should have awakened in her home as usual” on March 13 of 2020 “but tragically did not.”

While the first indictment sees Jaynes and Meany charged with civil rights and obstruction-related offenses in connection with a false search warrant affidavit that Garland said on Thursday not only created a “dangerous situation” but also resulted in Taylor being shot and killed.

The second indictment, meanwhile, sees Hankison charged in connection with firing his gun into the apartment through a covered window and covered glass door. A third charging document charges Goodlett in connection with conspiring with Jaynes in the falsification of the search warrant, as well as conspiring with him in a subsequent cover-up attempt.

Per a regional report from the Louisville Courier Journal, the four individuals in question have been arrested.

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