Four cops charged in Breonna Taylor’s death

On Thursday, the US Department of Justice indicted four police officers in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was killed in a botched 2020 raid on her home in Louisville, Kentucky.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the officers face federal charges of civil rights violations, unlawful conspiracy, perjury, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction.

“We contend that these crimes led to the death of Ms. Taylor,” Garland said. Breonna Taylor should be alive today.

The death of Taylor and George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020, was the center of a wave of massive protests in the US and beyond against racial injustice and the police. cruelty.

Taylor, 26, and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were sleeping in her apartment around midnight on March 13, 2020, when they heard a knock at the door.

Walker, believing it was a break-in, fired his pistol, injuring one policeman.

The police, who received a controversial drug arrest warrant, fired more than 30 shots in response, fatally injuring Taylor.

Garland said three Louisville cops — Joshua Janes, 45, Kyle Meany, 35, and Kelly Goodlett — were involved in falsifying a search warrant in a drug dealing case against Taylor’s ex-boyfriend.

They are accused of violating Taylor’s rights by demanding a search warrant for her home when they knew they had no probable cause.

“We contend that the defendants knew that the affidavit in support of this warrant contained false and misleading information and that material information was omitted from it,” Garland said.

He added that the officers also allegedly “took steps to cover up their wrongful behavior after Miss Taylor was killed.”

– “A huge step towards justice” –

A fourth police officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with using excessive force when he violently opened fire during the raid, killing Taylor.

Hankison, 46, was previously found not guilty in March of this year on state charges of “undue danger” for his actions during the Taylor home raid.

Taylor Walker’s boyfriend said the police kicked the door in without warning. The officers claimed to have introduced themselves.

Two of the officers involved were fired, but Hankinson was the only one to face state charges that were not about Taylor’s death, but about endangering residents of neighboring apartments.

Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer who represented the Taylor family, welcomed the allegations leveled against the officers.

“Today was a huge step towards justice,” Crump said in a statement.

He said he hoped it “sends a signal to all the other officers involved that it’s time to stop covering up and take responsibility for their role in the death of an innocent, beautiful young black woman.”

“Thanks to Breonna Taylor, we can say that this is the day that black women saw equal justice in the United States of America,” Crump said during a press conference with family members.

The city of Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city, settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the Taylor family for $12 million in September 2020.

The Department of Justice has said that a violation of a person’s constitutional rights carries a maximum penalty of life in prison if it results in death or involves attempted murder.

Obstruction carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, while conspiracy and false statements are punishable by up to five years in prison.