Louisville officer found not guilty of crimes connected with Breonna Taylor death
© WikiMedia (Sarahmirk)
Louisville officer found not guilty of crimes connected with Breonna Taylor death

A Jefferson County Circuit Court jury on Thursday acquitted Detective Brett Hankison, a former Louisville Metro Police Department detective, of all three counts of felony wanton endangerment in connection with the March 2020 raid that killed Breonna Taylor. 

Hankison was charged with felony wanton endangerment after he deliberately and blindly fired his gun into Taylor’s apartments in the city of Louisville during the execution of a “no knock” search warrant after midnight. That “no knock” search eventually led to the death of Taylor.

Hankison’s case focused specifically on the danger he presented to Taylor’s neighbors when he choose to aimlessly shoot into Taylor’s apartment from the outside. Hankison shot ten times from outside the apartment. Three of Hankison’s bullets flew through a shared wall and into the kitchen and living room of Taylor’s neighbors Cody Etherton, Chelsey Napper, and Napper’s five year old.

The trial began on February 24. According to Etherton’s testimony, “one or two more inches, I would have been shot.” Hankison also testified, telling the jury that he thought him and his fellow officers were under fire from a high powered rifle. Hankison posited that he reacted in such a way because he was attempting to save the lives of his fellow officers after one of them had been shot.

The jury deliberated for about three hours before eventually returning a verdict of not guilty for Hankison.