The DOJ charged four cops involved in Breonna Taylor’s death
After the raid on Taylor's home, detectives reportedly met in a garage where they conspired to create a fake story that they offered to investigators to protect themselves.
More than two years after the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of the Louisville Metro Police Department, the officers involved are finally facing charges. On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced four current and former officers who played a part in the raid of Taylor’s home have been charged with civil rights violations, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force, and obstruction.
The police charged include detectives who were involved in obtaining the “no knock” search warrant that allowed Louisville law enforcement to enter Taylor’s home. According to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, former Detective Joshua Jaynes, Detective Kelly Goodlett, and Sgt. Kyle Meany submitted a false affidavit in order to get the warrant. Following the raid, they allegedly worked together to establish a “false cover story in an attempt to escape responsibility for their roles in preparing the warrant affidavit that contained false information," according to the charges.
A statement from the Department of Justice claims the officers knowingly included misleading statements, omitted material facts, and used information that was not supported by probable cause. Garland argued that the officers “knew that the execution of the search warrant would be carried out by armed LMPD officers, and could create a dangerous situation both for those officers and for anyone who happened to be in Taylor's home," but did it anyway.
After the raid that resulted in Taylor’s death, detectives Goodlett and Jaynes reportedly met in a garage, where they conspired to create a fake story that they offered to investigators to protect themselves.
Ex-detective Brett Hankison is also facing charges for his role in the raid. He is accused of willfully using “unconstitutionally excessive force,” which stemmed from his decision to fire his weapon into Taylor’s apartment, through her window and door. His charges also include depriving Taylor’s neighbors of their constitutional rights because his bullets hit their apartment, as well.
Hankison, who fired 10 shots during the raid, was charged with wanton endangerment on the state level earlier this year but was acquitted. Until now, he was the only officer to face charges related to the shooting that killed Taylor.
While there is no guarantee that these officers will be found guilty of all counts they are charged with, the fact the Department of Justice is involving itself presents the best chance for any of them to face penalty for their role in the deadly raid.