LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department announced civil rights charges Thursday against 4 Louisville 4 over the 2020 drug raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor.
Federal officials “share but cannot fully imagine the grief” felt by Taylor’s family, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in announcing the charges.
“Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” he said. The charges range from unlawful conspiracies, use of force & obstruction of justice.
The charges are against former officers Joshua Jaynes, Brett Hankison, Kelly Goodlett & Sgt. Kyle Meany.
Local activists & members of the Taylor family celebrated the charges & thanked federal officials.
“This is a day when Black women saw equal justice in America,” lawyer Benjamin Crump said.
Taylor was shot to death by Louisville officers who had knocked down her door while executing the search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot that hit 1 of the officers as they came through the door & they returned fire, striking Taylor multiple times.
Hankison is facing 2 civil rights charges alleging he used excessive force when he retreated from Taylor’s door, turned a corner 2 fired 10 shots into the side of her two-bedroom apartment. Bullets flew into a neighbor’s apartment, nearly striking 1 man.
He was acquitted by a jury of state charges of wanton endangerment earlier this year.
Jaynes had applied for the warrant to search Taylor’s house. He was fired in January 2021 by former Louisville Police interim chief Yvette Gentry for violating department standards in the preparation of a search warrant execution & for being “untruthful” in the Taylor warrant.
Jaynes & Goodlett allegedly conspired to falsify an investigative document that was written after Taylor’s death. Federal investigators also allege Meany, who testified at Hankison’s trial earlier this year, lied to the FBI during its investigation.
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