Louisville, KY – The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) is in the process of firing one of three narcotics officers who fired their weapons during a raid that resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor.
LMPD Interim Chief Robert Schroeder alleged that Officer Hankison “blindly” fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s home during the March 13 raid, in violation of the department’s use of force and obedience to rules and regulations policies, according to a letter he wrote to Officer Hankison on Friday.
Officer Hankison fired through windows covered with blinds after another officer was shot by a man on the inside of the residence.
“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” Chief Schroeder continued. “I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion.”
The chief said that the officer’s actions “seriously impedes the Department’s goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible,” according to the Courier Journal.
“I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department,” Chief Schroeder declared. “Your conduct demands your termination.”
Fischer said during the press conference that he is prohibited by law from discussing Officer Hankison’s firing in any further detail, the Courier Journal reported.
“Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law that I would very much like to see changed, both the chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment or even the timing of this decision,” he told reporters.
The incident occurred in the 300-block of Springfield Drive at approximately 1 a.m. on March 13, when LMPD Criminal Interdiction Division Sergeant John Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove, and Officer Hankison arrived at the residence to execute a search warrant pertaining to a narcotics investigation, LMPD Public Integrity Unit Spokesperson Ted Eidem said during a press conference at the time, according to WDRB.
The plan was to serve the no-knock search warrant at the same time other members of the Criminal Interdiction Division were serving an arrest warrant for Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, at his home on Elliott Avenue, 10 miles away, the Courtier Journal reported.
LMPD suspected Glover had been selling drugs out of his residence on Elliott Avenue but using Taylor’s address to receive mail, store drugs, or stash money he made selling drugs, the Courier-Journal reported.
LMPD Detective Joshua Jaynes said in an affidavit summarizing the investigation for the warrants that officers had seen Glover go into Taylor apartment in January and leave with a “suspected USPS package in his right hand.”
The affidavit said Glover went from Taylor’s apartment to a “known drug house” on Muhammad Ali Boulevard, the Courier-Journal reported.
Det. Jaynes said he was able to verify through the U.S. Postal Service that Glover had in fact been receiving packages at Taylor’s address.
“Affiant knows through training and experience that it is not uncommon for drug traffickers to receive mail packages at different locations to avoid detection from law enforcement,” he wrote in the affidavit, according to the Courier-Journal.
Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Taylor’s family, said Taylor had dated Glover two years earlier and maintained a “passive friendship” with him.
But officers reported seeing Taylor’s vehicle parked in front of Glover’s home on Elliott Avenue multiple times in 2020, and said that as of February, Glover was listing Taylor’s apartment as his “current home address,” the Courier-Journal reported.
The Criminal Interdiction Division officers executed the warrant on Taylor’s residence in plainclothes with no cameras.
Chief Conrad said some members of the Criminal Interdiction Division do not wear bodycams.
The officers said that they knocked on Taylor’s door repeatedly and announced their presence before forcing their way inside, WDRB reported.
They were “immediately met by gunfire,” Eidem said.
Sgt. Mattingly was shot in the upper thigh during the attack, lacerating his femoral artery, WHAS reported.
The officers immediately returned fire as they made their way to safety, according to WDRB.
The gunman, 27-year-old Kenneth Walker, ultimately surrendered to police.
When the LMPD’s SWAT team searched the residence, they located 26-year-old Breonna Taylor unresponsive inside, WDRB reported.
Taylor had been fatally shot during the exchange of gunfire.
Sgt. Mattingly was rushed to the hospital and taken into surgery, WDRB reported.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
Walker was booked into jail on a charge of attempted murder of a police officer, and his bond was initially set at $250,000.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge the following day, and was later released to home incarceration, according to WDRB.
No drugs were found inside Taylor’s home.
Records showed that police who served the arrest warrant on Glover at the Elliott Avenue address at about the same time recovered “several ounces of suspected crack cocaine, marijuana, and U.S. currency,” the Courier-Journal reported.
Taylor’s family claimed that Walker shot at the officers in self-defense, and said that Taylor was not involved in an illegal drug operation, WHAS reported.
“This is not a woman who would sacrifice her life and her family morals and values to sell drugs on the street,” a spokesperson for Taylor’s family told the news outlet.
Sgt. Mattingly and Det. Cosgrove remain on administrative reassignment pending the outcome of the investigation, the Courier Journal reported.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron are also investigating the fatal shooting.
According to court documents filed by Aguiar, Officer Hankison “fired more than 20 shots, the majority of which were fired blindly from outside the home through windows which were covered by shades and blinds,” the Courier Journal reported.
“Following the initial flurry of gunshots, witnesses state that an officer…yelled ‘reload’ and then proceeded to fire more into Breonna’s home,” Aguiar wrote. “Several of Hankison’s rounds went into an adjacent apartment in which a pregnant mother and 5-year-old son were located.”
Aguiar said he is also concerned that the LMPD may have attempted “to cover up incriminating evidence implicating criminal conduct” of Officer Hankison, according to the Courier Journal.
Earlier in June, the LMPD Public Integrity Unit opened another investigation into Officer Hankison after allegations that he sexually assaulted two women in separate but similar incidents surfaced on social media, the Courier Journal reported.
Both women claimed that Officer Hankison had offered them rides home from bars after they had been drinking.
One woman alleged on Facebook that the officer sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious, the Courier Journal reported.
The second woman tweeted that Officer Hankison kissed her forehead and rubbed her thigh after offering her a ride in 2019.