More than two years after Breonna Taylor died at the hands of the Louisville Metro Police Department, the officers involved are finally facing charges.On Thursday, the Justice Department Announce Four current and former officials involved in the raid on Taylor’s home have been charged with civil rights violations, unlawful conspiracy, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction.
The police charged include detectives involved in obtaining a “no-knock” warrant that allowed Louisville law enforcement to enter Taylor’s home. According to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, former Detective Joshua Jaynes, Detective Kelly Goodlett and Sgt. Kyle Meany filed a false affidavit to obtain a warrant. Following the raid, they allegedly worked together to create a “false cover story to evade their role in preparing an arrest warrant affidavit containing false information,” the allegation said.
One statement The Justice Department alleges that the officials knowingly included misleading statements, omitted material facts, and used information that was not supported by reasonable cause. Garland argued that the officers “knowing that the search warrants would be executed by armed LMPD officers could pose a danger to those officers and anyone who happened to be in Taylor’s home,” but did so anyway.
After the raid that resulted in Taylor’s death, Detectives Goodlett and Jaynes reportedly met in a garage where they conspired to make up a fake story to provide to investigators to protect themselves.
Former detective Brett Hankison also faces charges for his role in the raid. He was charged with knowingly using “unconstitutional excessive force” after he decided to shoot Taylor’s apartment through her door and window. His charges also include depriving Taylor’s neighbors of their constitutional rights because his bullet also hit their apartment.
Hankerson, who fired 10 shots in the raid, was acquitted earlier this year on state charges of wanton endangerment. So far, he is the only officer to face charges related to the shooting that killed Taylor.
While there’s no guarantee these officers will be convicted of all the crimes they’re charged with, the fact that the Justice Department is involved gives any of them the best chance of facing punishment for their role in the deadly raid.