(TheConservativeTimes.org) – The jury in the civil trial of Brett Hankison, the former Louisville Metro Police Department detective who shot and killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in her home has failed to reach a unanimous verdict, resulting in a mistrial.
The incident, which occurred in 2020, happened when officers from the Louisville MPD conducted a no-knock warrant raid on Taylor’s apartment. Taylor’s boyfriend apparently mistook the raid – which was found out to be based on fraudulent warrant – for a home invasion, and fired a legally-owned gun at the officers. The officers fired back, killing Taylor in the process. Some of the shots from the officers’ firearms also penetrated the walls and went into a neighbor’s apartment space.
Several officers who participated in the raid were charged with federal civil rights violations, including Hankison. One of the officers that night, Kelly Goodlett, has already pleaded guilty to charges of falsifying a warrant and is expected to testify next year against Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany, who were also part of the raid.
Prosecutors alleged that the officers, Hankinson included, used excessive force – Hankinson alone fired 10 shots into Taylor’s window and a glass door, and one of his shots penetrated into a neighboring apartment unit that housed a family with a toddler. In his defense, Hankinson said he believed that a shootout was occurring – most of the shots came from officers’ firearms – and believed that his colleagues were fighting someone armed with an AR-type assault rifle. He was merely providing support, he argued.
The jury in the trial struggled for days to come together towards a unanimous verdict, but was unable to. They sent a letter to the presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings, indicating their predicament, but were instructed to keep trying. The impasse persisted even after the second set of deliberations.
A mistrial means that Hankinson could potentially face a retrial, but that will depend on the decision the prosecution team.
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