4 Officers Face Federal Charges Related to Breonna Taylor's Death

blurred megaphone in the bottom of the picture, image focused on painting of Breonna Taylor's face in the distance

Four current and former officers have been charged on federal crimes including civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses in the death of Breonna Taylor.

Four former and current Louisville police officers have been hit with federal charges in connection with Breonna Taylor's death, according to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who made the announcement on Aug. 4.

"The federal charges announced today allege that members of [Louisville Metro Police Department’s] Place-Based Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home, that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death," Garland said in the statement.

Former LMPD Detective Joshua Jaynes, 40, and current LMPD Sergeant Kyle Meany, 35 were charged with four counts of federal civil rights and obstruction offenses for their roles in preparing and approving a false search warrant affidavit that resulted in Taylor’s death, according to the statement.

The indictment alleges that Jaynes and Meany willfully drafted and approved an affidavit to obtain a search warrant for Taylor’s home that contained false and misleading statements. The release states that Jaynes and Meany also knew that armed LMPD officers would execute the search warrant, a move that could create "a dangerous situation for anyone who happened to be in Ms. Taylor's home."

"The affidavit falsely claimed that officers had verified that the target of the alleged drug trafficking operation had received packages at Ms. Taylor's address. In fact, defendants Jaynes and Goodlett knew that was not true," Garland said during a press conference.

LMPD Detective Kelly Goodlett has been charged for conspiring with Jaynes to falsify the search warrant for Taylor’s home and to cover up their actions afterward, according to the statement.

In the press conference, Garland mentioned that prosecutors alleged that Jaynes and Goodlett met in a garage after Taylor's death "where they agreed to tell investigators a false story."

Brett Hankison, 46, a former LMPD detective, was charged with two civil rights violations, alleging that he willingly used “unconstitutionally excessive force,” according to the statement.

The release states that Hankison used his service weapon to shoot through a covered window and covered glass door into Taylor’s apartment. Hankison also fired shots into three of Taylor’s neighbors' homes, shooting through a sliding glass door that was covered with blinds and a curtain, according to the statement.

The indictment reads that several of Hankison's rounds allegedly passed through the walls of Taylor's apartment and into her neighbors' unit. Both counts allege that Hankison used a dangerous weapon and that he conducted himself in an attempt to kill.

In March, Hankison went to court on state charges and was acquitted on three counts of felony wanton endangerment he was facing in connection with the March 13, 2020 raid that killed Breonna Taylor. No other LMPD officers were charged by state officials.

Garland further claimed that the officers who executed the search were not involved in the drafting of the warrant and were not aware that it was false.

"We share, but we cannot fully imagine, the grief felt by Breonna Taylor's loved ones and all of those affected by the events of March 13, 2020. Breonna Taylor should be alive today," Garland said.

Related Stories