Louisville Metro Police Officer Brett Hankison, one of the three police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT killed in her Kentucky home in March, will be fired, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Friday.
Police executing a no-knock warrant “blindly” fired more than 20 rounds into the home of Taylor and her boyfriend, 27-year-old Kenneth Walker after midnight March 13, neighbors of Taylor have said in a lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police officers. The couple was asleep when police arrived. Taylor was killed in the shooting.
Mayor Greg Fischer said LMPD Chief Rob Schroeder is initiating termination procedures, but no further details were given.
"Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law that I very much would like to see changed, both the Chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment, or even the timing of this decision," Fischer said in a statement.
In a letter to Hankinson, Schroeder wrote on Friday, "I find your conduct a shock to the conscience. I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion."
"The result of your action seriously impedes the Department's goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department … Your conduct demands your termination,” the letter continued.
In documentation previously obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were advised to carry out a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s home as part of a narcotics investigation on a home ten miles away. Neither Taylor nor Walker were the investigation's target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used to receive drugs.
Authorities initially said they identified themselves despite the “no-knock” warrant, but Walker reportedly opened fire on police because he thought the home was being broken into. Walker called 911 during the ordeal and police informed him he’d shot an officer. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but his charges were later dropped.
The two other officers who fired their weapons while carrying out the warrant, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, have been placed on administrative reassignment.
Protesters have been calling for the firing and charging of the officers in the case, and have pointed out that while there have been charges filed in other cases involving the deaths of Black men at the hands of police, Taylor, a Black woman, hasn’t received the same treatment.
“Breonna Taylor was sleeping while Black in the sanctity of our own home," Benjamin Crump, the family’s attorney, said previously. "We cannot continue to allow them to unnecessarily and justifiably kill our Black women and escape any accountability.” None of the officers have been criminally charged.