Four charged with federal crimes in death of Breonna Taylor
Four current and former Louisville, Kentucky Police officers have been charged with a range of federal crimes in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor.The 26-year-old was killed in her apartment in May of 2020 by police executing a search warrant.
Attorney General Merrick Garland says: “Those alleged crimes include civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses. The four defendants were charged through two separate indictments, and one information.”
Detective Joshua Jaynes faces the most serious charges. Attorney General Merrick Garland says he and Sergeant Kyle Meany are accused of falsifying the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant and knew they lacked probable cause. Garland says those actions violated Ms. Taylor’s civil rights and caused her death.
The Justice Department also alleges that after Taylor died, Detective Jaynes conspired with another officer to cover up their fabricated search warrant by writing a false letter of investigation and lying to criminal investigators.
Detective Brett Hankinson is also charged with two counts of using excessive force for firing his gun through a covered window and covered glass door.
Garland says: “We share, but we cannot fully imagine the grief felt by Breonna Taylor’s loved ones and all of those affected by the events of March 13th, 2020. Breonna Taylor should be alive today.
In addition to today’s charges, the Justice Department is investigating whether the Louisville Metro Police Department is engaging in a pattern or practice of law enforcement misconduct, including excessive force, improper searches and racial discrimination. That investigation is ongoing.