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Louisville officer acquitted in Breonna Taylor case

Brett Hankison testifies at his trial on charges of wanton endangerment. Associated Press/Photo by Timothy D. Easley

Louisville officer acquitted in Breonna Taylor case

When officer Brett Hankison fired 10 shots through a sliding glass door into Breonna Taylor’s apartment, he did not commit wanton endangerment, a jury concluded on Thursday. Hankison participated in the raid at Taylor’s apartment in Louisville, Ky., on March 13, 2020, when officers served a search warrant in a drug case. Taylor was not a suspect. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot at officers as they entered, and the officers returned fire. None of Hankison’s shots hit Taylor.

Where does this leave the Taylor case? Hankison was the only officer involved in the raid to face criminal charges. The Louisville police department fired him and two others, including the officer who fired the shot that killed Taylor. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible civil rights violations in the case. Walker has filed a lawsuit against the police department, and so have some of Taylor’s neighbors. Last year, Louisville settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Taylor’s family for $12 million.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Sophia Lee’s report on why the case became a cultural flashpoint in 2020.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is WORLD’s executive editor for news. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kan.


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