The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it is filing charges against four police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor during a raid in March 2020.
The charges include “civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland. declare yourself at a press conference in Washington, DC, on Thursday.
Garland announced that his department is bringing the federal tariff against current Louisville Metro Police (LMPD) officers Sgt. Kyle Meany and Detective Kelly Goodlett, and former LMPD officers Detective Brett Hankison and Detective Joshua Jaynes.
Jaynes and Meany were accused of “authorizing a false affidavit to obtain a search warrant for Taylor’s home.” Janes was also convicted of two other counts of conspiring with another officer to “cover up a false warrant affidavit” and “falsifying a report with intent to obstruct a criminal investigation.”
Meany was additionally charged with “making a false statement to federal investigators.”
The Justice Department also alleged that Goodlett conspired with Jaynes regarding the affidavit.
Hankinson, the only LMPD officer named by the Justice Department who was present during the raid, was charged with two civil rights offenses for using “unconstitutionally excessive force.”
Garland also noted that those charges were separate from the Justice Department’s civil rights division’s investigation against LMPD and Louisville Metro Government that was announced in April 2021.
Breitbart News noted at the time this investigation was announced, the Biden administration, similar to the Obama administration, was interfering with local law enforcement agencies to exert their own influence and control. Instead, the Trump administration has allowed local law enforcement agencies to handle their own investigations.
Today’s announcement is another chapter in the saga of the legal battle involving LMPD officers over the March 2020 raid.
Taylor was fatally shot in her apartment by LMPD officers during a raid looking for drug dealer Jamarcus Glover, who was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Taylor.
While officers initially had the warrant for a no-knock raid, the dynamic of the operation changed after they realized Glover would not be present at Taylor’s apartment and were then asked to verbally announce themselves, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly said Breitbart News Sunday on March.
After the officers announced themselves, they were met by Taylor’s then-boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who shot the officers thinking they were intruders. Taylor was standing near Walker while he and the officers exchanged gunfire and was fatally shot during the struggle.
Taylor’s death, along with that of George Floyd, was used by Black Lives Matter in the summer of 2020 to incite violent riots across the nation that resulted in many deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
In September 2020, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) announced that his office had discovered that LMPD officers beat and turned themselves in despite the narrative circulating that they did not.
However, Cameron’s office recommended that charges be brought against Hankinson, resulting in the former officer being charged with three counts of wanton endangerment at the state level.
Despite charges being brought against the former LMPD detective, riots broke out in Louisville after Cameron’s announcement.
Hankinson was later found not guilty of all three charges in March.
Cameron noted in a statement that his office’s primary task at the time “was to investigate whether the officers who executed the search warrant were criminally responsible for Ms. Taylor’s death under state law.” He noted that he did not want Thursday’s announcement to be confused with his office’s investigation.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.