This Cop Was Acquitted for His Role in the Breonna Taylor Raid. The Feds Are Prosecuting Him—Again.
A federal jury deadlocked Thursday in the trial of Brett Hankison, a former officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department who was charged with violating the civil rights of Breonna Taylor and her neighbors when he fired 10 shots during a March 2020 raid gone horribly wrong.
It’s a trial that never should have happened.
That’s not because Hankison’s behavior was beyond reproach. Government employees are, unfortunately, rarely accountable to the communities they serve—a queasy sort of irony when considering they’re employed by the taxpayer. But Hankison, who was terminated from the police department, was accountable to his community in March of last year when he was prosecuted in state court on three counts of wanton endangerment.
A jury acquitted him. Several months later, in August 2022, the Department of Justice charged him with two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.
While technically distinct, that indictment gave the DOJ the chance to have another go at Hankison, despite the fact that he’d already gone before a jury for his actions taken the night of the raid. That federal prosecutors find Hankison to be an unsympathetic defendant should not give them license to essentially reprosecute him for alleged misconduct of which he was already deemed not guilty, no matter how much the DOJ disdains that verdict.
Early in the morning on March 13, 2020, Louisville cops broke into Taylor’s apartment to execute a search warrant tied to a narcotics investigation concerning Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, as the government alleged he had been receiving packages at her address. Police claim they first knocked and announced themselves. But Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s then-boyfriend, says the two were asleep in bed prior to the raid, that he never heard the officers identify themselves, and that he thought they were intruders.
After police broke down the door, Walker fired one shot, hittin
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