Brett Hankison, the only officer of the three at the scene, and the only one to be indicted for the shooting that killed Breonna Taylor on March 13 this year, pleaded not guilty to his charges during a telephone court appearance Monday afternoon. His plea was given by his attorney. Hankison was indicted by a Kentucky grand jury in the fatal shooting.
Taylor, 26, and an EMT, and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, 27, were sleeping during the time of the incident. Walker said the officers awakened him. When the officers didn’t respond to calls to identify themselves, Walker said he took out his licensed handgun and fired at the door. One of the officers was struck in the leg and they returned fire.
The three officers fired 32 shots into Taylor’s apartment, 10 of which were fired by Hankison, according to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Bullets from Cosgrove’s and Mattingly’s guns struck Taylor six times, according to Cameron.
Hankison, who was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department in June, was hit with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first-degree last week, for shooting into the apartment of Taylor’s neighbors during the March 13 incident. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
Hankison, Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly were executing a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s apartment as part of an investigation into a suspected drug operation. Cosgrove and Mattingly have been placed on administrative duty since the incident. No drugs were ultimately found in the apartment.
After months of protests and calls for justice, a grand jury delivered its indictment against Hankison last week. Cameron said the officers were justified in their use of force, much to the disappointment of Taylor’s family and their supporters.
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