Four Louisville police officers have been federally charged in connection with a warrant that led to a police raid of Breonna Taylor’s apartment. The officers charged are not the ones who carried out the raid but the ones who (allegedly) created the warrant for it on the basis of false information and then gathered afterwards to concoct a cover story.
“We allege that Ms. Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated when defendants Joshua Jaynes, Kyle Meany and Kelly Goodlett sought a warrant to search Ms. Taylor’s home knowing the officers lacked probable cause for the search,” the attorney general said.
The affidavit falsely claimed officers had verified that the target of their drug trafficking investigation had received packages at Taylor’s address, but Jaynes and Goodlett knew that was not true, Garland said…
Goodlett and Jaynes met in a garage weeks after the botched raid and conspired to relay false information to investigators, the attorney general alleged.
Officers who carried out the search warrant were not involved in the drafting of the warrant and were unaware it contained false information, the attorney general said.
Way back in September of 2020, a grand jury indicted one officer involved in serving the no-knock warrant at Breonna Taylor’s apartment. The charges against officer Brett Hankison were for “wanton endangerment” because he had fired shots into several other apartments besides Taylor’s during the raid. In March of this year Hankison was found not guilty on all counts. However the federal charges announced today once again involve Hankison’s decision to fire blindly into several apartments.
The second indictment —against Hankison — includes two civil rights charges alleging that Hankison willfully used unconstitutionally excessive force, while acting in his official capacity as an officer, when he fired his service weapon into Taylor’s apartment through a covered window and covered glass door. Count One charges him with depriving Taylor and a person staying with Taylor in her apartment of their constitutional rights by firing shots through a bedroom window that was covered with blinds and a blackout curtain. Count Two charges Hankison with depriving three of Taylor’s neighbors of their constitutional rights by firing shots through a sliding glass door that was covered with blinds and a curtain; the indictment alleges that several of Hankison’s bullets traveled through the wall of Taylor’s home and into the apartment unit occupied by her neighbors. Both counts allege that Hankison used a dangerous weapon, and that his conduct involved an attempt to kill.
When no charges were announced in connection with Taylor’s death in 2020, there were immediate protests and an unlawful assembly was declared. After dark, two police officers were shot but both survived. Here’s a report featuring AG Merrick Garland announcing the new charges.