Brett Hankison, Louisville detective involved in Breonna Taylor killing, will be fired

LMPD Chief: 'Your conduct demands your termination'
Det. Brett Hankison
Det. Brett Hankison
Published: Jun. 20, 2020 at 12:07 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday morning that LMPD Det. Brett Hankison will be fired.

Hankison was one of three LMPD officers involved in the deadly shooting of Breonna Taylor, and once his name and picture started surfacing on local media, several women started coming forward in recent weeks alleging Hankison sexually assaulted them.

Below is a very brief statement Fischer made on Facebook Live at about 11:30 a.m. Friday:

“Thank you for joining us for a brief but important announcement. Chief Schroeder is today initiating termination procedures against Louisville Metro Police Officer Brett Hankison. Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law which I very much would like to see changed, the chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment or even the timing of this decision. I know that you will have questions, and I’m sorry that I cannot answer them because of the state law KRS Chapter 67C.3261F. Please direct any questions about the state law precluding us from commenting further to Jefferson County attorney Mike O’Connell. Thank you.”

It’s not clear if the other two LMPD officers involved in Taylor’s death -- Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove -- will be disciplined. The trio served a warrant at Taylor’s home on March 13, as part of a drug investigation. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, told police afterward that when he and Taylor asked who was knocking at the door, there was no reply. Then, when Walker saw the door being rammed open, he fired one shot toward the ground, prompting a barrage of gunfire in return. Taylor, a 26-year-old former EMT, was shot multiple times and lay dying in her hallway.

An hour before Fischer’s announcement Friday, WAVE 3 News reported that FBI agents were at Taylor’s home Friday morning, 98 days after her death. Then, a short time after the announcement, LMPD shared with local media Chief Rob Schroeder’s pre-termination letter to Hankison. The letter states Hankison “wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds” into Taylor’s apartment without knowing who or what he was shooting at.

“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” Schroeder wrote to Hankison, who, according to the letter, had previously been disciplined for “reckless conduct that injured (an) innocent person.”

“Your conduct demands your termination,” Schroeder continued.

The letter redacted the date on which Hankison will have an opportunity to defend himself.

The Taylor shooting has driven three weeks of civil unrest across Louisville, at a time when protests have packed streets in hundreds of cities around the country. Taylor supporters have demanded the three officers be fired and charged, but no criminal charges have been filed in the case. Hankison also has not been charged in connection with the sex-assault allegations.

Thursday, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced his office’s investigation is still ongoing, adding that he wouldn’t share any specifics about it until it is complete.

Read the pre-termination letter below, and watch Fischer’s very brief announcement below that:

Media Briefing 6-19-2020

Posted by Mayor Greg Fischer on Friday, June 19, 2020

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