Brett Hankison, a former Louisville police officer who fired into Breonna Taylor’s apartment the night she was killed, is going on trial in federal court this week for violating Taylor’s civil rights during the botched 2020 raid.
The trial is a second attempt by prosecutors to convict Hankison for his actions on the night Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot to death by police after they knocked down her apartment door. Hankison was acquitted in a state trial last year. Jury selection in the federal case is to begin Monday, reports the Associated Press. Taylor was shot to death by officers executing a search warrant, which was later found to be flawed.
Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot that hit one of the officers as they came through the door, and they returned fire, striking Taylor in her hallway multiple times. Hankison is one of four officers who were charged by the U.S. Department of Justice last year with violating Taylor’s civil rights. Taylor’s killing along with George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minnesota police ignited protests that summer over racial injustice and police brutality. When U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the federal indictments, he said Taylor “should be alive today.” Former officer Kelly Goodlett has pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge. Former detective Joshua Jaynes and former Sgt. Kyle Meany, charged with conspiring to deprive Taylor of her civil rights, are set for trial together next year. Hankison is the only officer of the four who was at the March 13, 2020, raid.