The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it is bringing charges against four police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor in the March 2020 raid.
The charges include “civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracy, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. statement at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Garland announced that his department is moving the federal TOLL Against the current Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officer Sgt. Kyle Meany and Detective Kelly Goodlett, and former LMPD officers Detectives Brett Hankison and Joshua Jaynes.
Jaynes and Meaney were charged with “approving false affidavits to obtain a search warrant for Taylor’s home.” Jaynes was also charged with two other counts of conspiring with another officer to “cover up a false arrest warrant affidavit” and “forge a report to obstruct a criminal investigation.”
Meaney was also charged with “making false statements to federal investigators.”
The Justice Department also charged Goodlett with conspiring with Jaynes over the affidavit.
Hankinson, the only Justice Department-named LMPD officer present during the raid, has been charged with two civil rights crimes for using “unconstitutional and excessive force.”
Garland also noted that the charges are separate from the Justice Department’s April 2021 civil rights investigation into the LMPD and the Louisville Metro government.
Announcing the investigation, Breitbart News noted that, similar to the Obama administration, the Biden administration is interfering with local legal institutions to insert its own influence and control. By contrast, the Trump administration has allowed local legal agencies to handle its own investigations.
Today’s announcement is another chapter in the saga of court battles involving LMPD officials over the March 2020 raid.
Taylor was shot and killed in her apartment by LMPD officers during a search of drug dealer Jamarcus Glover, who was in an “on and off” relationship with Taylor.
While officers initially had a no-knock warrant, the dynamics of the operation changed after they realized Glover would not be at Taylor’s apartment, and were then asked to verbally declare themselves, Sgt.Jonathan Mattingly told Breitbart News Sunday March.
They were met by Taylor’s then-boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who he believed was an intruder and shot them after police announced themselves. Taylor was standing near Walker when he and officers exchanged fire and was killed in the fight.
Taylor’s death, along with that of George Floyd, was used by Black Lives Matter to incite violent unrest across the country in the summer of 2020, resulting in multiple deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
In September 2020, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) announced that his office found that LMPD officers did knock on the door and announced themselves, despite rumors that they did not.
Cameron’s office did, however, recommend charges against Hankinson, leading the former official to be charged at the state level with three counts of wanton endangerment.
Riots erupted in Louisville following Cameron’s announcement, despite the charges against the former LMPD detective.
Hankinson was later found not guilty of all three counts in March.
Cameron did notice statement His office’s primary mission at the time was “to investigate whether the officer executing the search warrant was criminally responsible under state law for Ms. Taylor’s death.” 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.