Former police officer Brett Hankison on Thursday was found not guilty of endangering neighbors during a raid that left Breonna Taylor dead in 2020.
Taylor was killed during a knock and announce drug raid on March 13, 2020 during which her boyfriend shot at police and they returned fire. LMPD Sgt. Jon Mattingly was shot during the exchange and has now recovered.
In September 2020, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced there would be no charges filed against two of the Louisville police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor, while the third was charged with “wanton endangerment.”
Detective Brett Hankison was indicted on three counts of “wanton endangerment in the first degree” by a grand jury.
Wanton endangerment is a Class D felony, punishable by one to five years in prison.
A jury on Thursday found Hankison not guilty on all three counts of felony wanton endangerment.
CBS News reported:
A Kentucky jury on Thursday cleared a former police officer of charges that he endangered neighbors when he fired shots into an apartment during the 2020 drug raid that ended with Breonna Taylor’s death.
The panel of eight men and four women delivered its verdict about three hours after it took the case following closing arguments from prosecution and defense attorneys. Hankison was shaking and visibly relieved after the verdict. Taylor’s sister, Juniyah Palmer, shook her head.
Hankison had been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing through sliding-glass side doors and a window of Taylor’s apartment during the raid that left the 26-year-old Black woman dead. Hankison’s attorneys never contested the ballistics evidence, but said he fired 10 bullets because he thought his fellow officers were “being executed.”