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HomeNewsEx-officer charged in Breonna Taylor raid begins trial

Ex-officer charged in Breonna Taylor raid begins trial


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nearly two years after Breonna Taylor’s shooting death by police, the only Kentucky officer facing criminal charges in the botched raid will stand trial Wednesday for shooting into Taylor’s neighbor’s apartment.

Brett Hankison, now a former officer, fired 10 shots near a side door during the raid, but none hit Taylor. Prosecutors say the bullets endangered Taylor’s neighbors — a couple and their infant child.

Hankison’s jury was selected from a larger-than-normal pool because of the the national publicity Taylor’s case has attracted since the deadly raid on March 13, 2020. Taylor’s name, along with George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery — Black men who died in encounters with police and white pursuers — were rallying cries during the racial justice protests seen around the world in 2020.

The 12 jurors and three alternates are expected to tour Taylor’s apartment and hear testimony from Hankison during the trial that’s expected to take two weeks. Several other current and former police officers are expected to testify.

The botched raid in 2020 lead to the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
The botched raid in 2020 lead to the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
AP
Hankison is standing trial on three counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly firing wildly into Taylor’s neighbors’ apartments in March 2020.
Hankison is standing trial on three counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly firing wildly into Taylor’s neighbors’ apartments in March 2020.
AP
Brett Hankison, left, exits the courtroom after the first day of jury selection.
Brett Hankison, left, exits the courtroom after the first day of jury selection.
AP

The 26-year-old Black woman worked as an emergency medical tech and was settling down for bed when Louisville officers with a narcotics warrant kicked in her door. They drew fire from Taylor’s boyfriend, who thought an intruder was breaking in. Two officers at the door returned fire, killing Taylor. Neither one was charged in her death, though one of the officers was struck by a bullet in the leg.

Hankison is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, a low-level felony that is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison.

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