Merrick Garland announces bombshell indictments in Breonna Taylor case

Merrick Garland announces bombshell indictments in Breonna Taylor case
Breonna Taylor.

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday announced that federal criminal charges have been filed against the four current and former Louisville Metro Police Department officers who were involved in the March 13th, 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor.

"We allege that the defendants knew their actions and falsifying the affidavit could create a dangerous situation, and we allege these unlawful acts resulted in Ms. Taylor's death," Garland said of Joshua Jaynes, Brett Hankison, Kelly Goodlett, and Kyle Meany at a press conference.

WLKY laid out the sequence of events that led to Taylor's death:

Taylor's apartment was raided on March 13, 2020 as part of a larger drug investigation.

The 26-year-old was at home with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when they heard knocking at the door.

Once in the hallway, plainclothes detectives burst open the front door of her apartment and gunfire rang out. An officer was shot in the leg, and Taylor was shot multiple times. Bullets went into neighboring units.

Taylor's death sparked months of protests across Louisville, and added fuel to nationwide movement around other shootings of Black people, like George Floyd.

Until now, only one officer involved had ever been charged, Det. Brett Hankison, but he was acquitted of all charges earlier this year.

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The Justice Department maintains that Taylor's civil rights were violated and that the accused individuals – whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested – lied to law enforcement. The also indictment includes additional allegations of unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force, and obstruction of justice.

"The charges announced today also allege that the officers responsible for falsifying the affidavit that led to the search [of Taylor's residence] took steps to cover up their unlawful conduct after Ms. Taylor was killed," Garland continued. "We allege that defendants Jaynes and Goodlett conspired to knowingly falsifying an investigative document that was created after Ms. Taylor's death. We also allege that they conspired to mislead federal, state, and local authorities who were investigating the incident. For example, we allege that in May 2020, those two defendants met in a garage where they agreed to tell investigators a false story. This indictment separately alleges that defendant Meany lied to the FBI during its investigation of this matter."

Garland added that "another indictment filed today alleges that after Ms. Taylor was shot, another LMPD officer, defendant Brett Hankison, moved from the doorway to the side of her apartment and fired ten more shots through a window in a sliding glass door, both of which were covered with blinds and curtains. Defendant Hankison has been charged with two civil rights offenses, alleging that he wilfully used constitutionally excessive force while acting in his official capacity as an officer."

Garland's briefing ended with an emotional address to Taylor's next of kin.

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"We share but cannot fully imagine the grief felt by Breonna Taylor's loved ones and all of those affected," Garland concluded. "Breonna Taylor should be alive today."

Watch below or at this link.

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