The US Justice Department has charged 4 Kentucky cops with civil rights violations in connection with the fatal raid that killed Breonna Taylor.
On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced federal charges against former officers Joshua Jaynes, Brett Hankison, and Kelly Goodlett, as well as Sgt. Kyle Meany.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black medical employee, was killed on March 13, 2020, by officers from Louisville, Ky., who had knocked on her door while trying to execute a search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend shot a bullet that struck one of the officers as they approached the door, and the officers fired back, striking Taylor numerous times.
Garland said federal officials “share but cannot fully imagine the grief” felt by Taylor’s family.
“Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” he said.
Federal charges assert that the court papers used to secure Taylor’s residence was falsified. Garland stated that the officers who performed the raid were not engaged in the affidavit process and were oblivious of the alleged fraudulent activity.
Garland claimed that Jaynes and Goodlett “met in a garage in May 2020, where they agreed to tell investigators a false story” about the fatal raid.
Meany is also accused of misleading the FBI about the incident during an interview.
Hankison, who was fired from the department in 2020, was one of 3 officers who started firing at Taylor’s door that night.
The Justice Department accuses him of using “constitutionally excessive force” during the raid, including firing his firearm through a window with drawn window shades.
In Louisville earlier this year, a jury acquitted him of state charges of wanton endangerment.
Jaynes had requested a search warrant for Taylor’s home.
Former Louisville Police interim chief Yvette Gentry fired him in January 2021 for having violated dept guidelines in the preparation of a search warrant execution and for being “untruthful” in the Taylor warrant.
According to Justice Department officials, a relatively broad investigation to determine whether the Louisville Police Department participates in a “pattern or practice” of law violations is currently in progress.