Officer Brett Hankison, one of the cops named in the shooting death of Louisville, Kentucky native Breonna Taylor, was accused of being a “dirty cop” in a separate, unrelated lawsuit filed last year.
The lawsuit, obtained by USA Today, was filed by Kendrick Wilson in October 2019, and accuses officer Hankison of harassing suspects with unnecessary arrests and planting drugs on them.
Wilson says in this lawsuit his “fatal misdeed was attracting the unwanted and undeserved attention,” saying the cop “for one reason or another, had to be engaging in illegal activity, and that he had to ensure his conviction.”
Wilson alleges in this lawsuit he was arrested by Hankison three times between 2016 and 2018 at bars in the city where the cops works as an off-duty security officer. Wilson also claims he and the cop had interactions outside the arrests, “including over a relationship with the same woman.”
One arrest in 2016 resulted in Wilson being charged with assault, but the charge was later dismissed.
Another arrest in June 2018, stated there was “presence of a narcotic odor” in Wilson’s pocket, which was picked up on by a police dog. The lawsuit says Wilson emptied his pockets and only had cash in them. The lawsuit also says that the officer’s body camera located narcotics “on the sidewalk several feet away from where the altercation took place.”
“He then jokes with other LMPD officers about ‘planting dope’ when Mr. Wilson expressed shock over the locating of these drugs,” the suit says.“Also visible on the body camera is an unnamed civilian, who can be heard communicating with Mr. Wilson that he saw an officer drop the drugs on the sidewalk before he retrieved them.”
In the lawsuit, Wilson says Hankison has a “vendetta” against him and calls him a “dirty cop.”
Wilson spent the night in jail and the lawsuit says “incurred the cost of drug tests, which all yielded negative results, in attempts to support his claim that he is not involved with narcotics.” The criminal case against Wilson remains pending in circuit court.
In October 2018, Wilson was arrested again by Hankison outside another bar after the cop reported a “large bag of powder cocaine” that weighed “an excess of 5 grams" on him. The suit says video taken by witnesses allegedly shows the cop “taunting” Wilson. The charges were dropped two months later and testing later showed the powder Hankison claimed to have located “came back negative for any controlled substances,” according to the suit.
Hankison denied all allegations of wrongdoing in a response filed a month after Wilson’s suit. In his answer to the complaint, Hankison said the “body camera video, recordings and court records should speak for themselves” and denied all other allegations.
The same month Wilson filed his suit, he said Louisville Metro Police narcotics officers searched his home and the barbershop he owned, which the lawsuit alleges led to the destruction of walls, carpets, vents and doors; only a legally registered handgun, ID and cellphone were found.
The suit claims that Hankison played "a role in the issuance of these warrants, which were carried out by narcotics officers.”
Wilson’s lawsuit accuses Hankison of malicious prosecution and violating his constitutional rights and seeks reimbursement for Wilson’s legal fees and punitive damages.
Hankison, along with colleagues Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, are on administrative reassignment while an internal investigation is underway into the March 13 shooting of Breonna Taylor.
The killing of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead in her Kentucky home by police, is now being investigated by federal authorities, officials announced Friday.
The Louisville Metro Police Department is conducting an internal investigation to see whether any criminal conduct occurred when police were executing a search warrant on March 13 at Taylor’s home and shot her eight times, killing her.
Taylor's family has filed a lawsuit against three officers with the department, alleging Taylor and her boyfriend were home in bed and thought they were being burglarized when officers showed up at their home after midnight. Taylor’s boyfriend, 27-year-old Kenneth Walker, allegedly opened fire on cops with his licensed weapon and one officer was shot in the leg, police said. The lawsuit says police then fired more than 20 round into the home “blindly.”
Louisville police have said they knocked on Taylor’s door several times while executing their warrant before entering and identified themselves as police before they were “immediately met by gunfire,” according to Lt. Ted Eidem.
On Wednesday, Kentucky Gov. Andrew Beshear called the details in the case “troubling” and asked the state attorney general and federal prosecutors to review the initial internal investigation “to ensure justice is done at a time when many are concerned that justice is not blind.”
Neither Taylor nor Walker had any criminal history before the incident. No drugs were located in the home. Walker has been charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer.
Walker has pleaded not guilty and has been released to "home incarceration."