Two years ago, Taylor was killed when police raided her home executing a no-knock warrant on Mar. 13, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky. A 26-year-old emergency medical technician, Taylor was sleeping when officers came through her door. Later it was revealed that she was not the subject of the warrant.
Despite the national outcry, not a single officer was charged, including the former Louisville police officer who was responsible for her death. Brett Hankison, the officer who shot into Taylor’s home 10 times, was fired. While he was initially the only officer charged in the case, he was acquitted earlier this year of all charges related to Taylor's death.
The new charges are against all the Louisville Metro Police officers who were involved in Taylor’s death, including Hankison as well as Joshua Jaynes, Kelly Goodlett, and Kyle Meany. All face multiple felony charges, including various civil rights violations, use of excessive force, and conspiracy charges related to the falsification of reports.
Hankison has been charged on two counts of deprivation of rights. According to the DOJ, Hankison allegedly used unconstitutional excessive force during the raid when he fired 10 shots through a window and sliding glass door in Taylor's home that was covered in blinds and curtains after there was no longer a "lawful objective justifying the use of deadly force."
According to ABC News, the federal charges against detective Joshua Jaynes, former Louisville detective Kelly Goodlett, and sergeant Kyle Meany allege they violated Taylor's Fourth Amendment rights when they sought a warrant to search her home while knowing they lacked probable cause.
"Among other things, the affidavit falsely claimed that officers had verified that the target of the alleged drug trafficking operation had received packages at Ms. Taylor's address. In fact, defendants Jaynes and Goodlett knew that was not true," Garland said.
Garland added that Jaynes and Goodlett seemed to know armed officers will be carrying out the raid at Taylor's home and that conducting the search could create "a dangerous situation for anyone who happened to be in Ms. Taylor's home."
Jaynes was accused of lying about verifying information on the warrant affidavit used to search Taylor’s home. As a result, he was fired from the department in January 2021 but was never criminally charged until now. Jaynes had appealed the decision but lost that argument before the department’s merit board.
Garland also said he spoke with Taylor's family earlier Thursday and informed them of the charges.
"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 13, 2020. Breonna Taylor should be alive today," Garland said.
“I’ve waited 874 days for this,” Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said. She met with family and supporters at Jefferson Square Park Thursday, where protests went on for months after Taylor’s death in March 2020.
“This is a day when Black women saw equal justice in America,” lawyer Benjamin Crump said.
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