Feds File Charges Against 4 Officers Involved in Breonna Taylor Raid

LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 15: A man looks over a memorial dedicated to Breonna Taylor on September 15, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. It was announced that the city of Louisville will institute police reforms and pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by Louisville …
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it is filing charges against four police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor during a raid in March 2020.

The charges include “civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force, and obstruction offenses,” Attorney General Merrick Garland stated at a press conference in Washington, DC, on Thursday.

Garland announced that his department is bringing the federal charges against current Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers Sgt. Kyle Meany and Detective Kelly Goodlett, and former LMPD officers Detective Brett Hankison and Detective Joshua Jaynes.

Jaynes and Meany were charged with “approving a false affidavit to obtain a search warrant for Taylor’s home.” Jaynes was also slapped with two other charges of conspiracy with another officer to “cover up the false warrant affidavit” and “falsifying a report with the intent to impede a criminal investigation.”

Meany was additionally charged with “making a false statement to federal investigators.”

The Department of Justice also alleged that Goodlett conspired with Jaynes regarding the affidavit.

Hankinson, the only LMPD officer named by the DOJ that was present during the raid, was charged with two civil rights offenses for using “unconstitutionally excessive force.”

US President Joe Biden hugs Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor, after signing an executive order to revise use-of-force policies for federal law enforcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., US, on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. On the two-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, Biden signed the order that would impose new requirements on all federal law-enforcement agencies, including a restriction on no-knock warrants and a ban on choke holds. Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Joe Biden hugs Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor, after signing an executive order to revise use-of-force policies for federal law enforcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Garland also noted that these charges were separate from the Department of Justice’s civil rights division investigation against the LMPD and the Louisville Metro government that was announced in April 2021.

Breitbart News noted at the time when that investigation was announced, the Biden administration, similar to the Obama administration, was interfering with local law agencies to insert their own influence and control. In contrast, the Trump administration allowed local law agencies to handle their own investigations.

Today’s announcement is another chapter in the court battle saga involving LMPD officers regarding the March 2020 raid.

Taylor was fatally shot in her apartment by LMPD officers during a raid searching for drug dealer Jamarcus Glover, who was in an “on-again-off-again” relationship with Taylor.

While police officers initially had the warrant for a no-knock raid, the dynamics of the operation changed after they realized Glover would not be present at Taylor’s apartment and were then required to verbally announce themselves, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly told Breitbart News Sunday in March.

After officers announced themselves, they were instead met by Taylor’s then-boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who fired at the officers thinking they were intruders. Taylor was standing near Walker while he and officers were exchanging fire and was fatally shot during the battle.

Taylor’s death, along with the death of George Floyd, was used by Black Lives Matter in the summer of 2020 to incite violent riots across the nation that resulted in multiple deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

Civil rights activist Tamika Mallory (C) of Until Freedom speaks during a press conference at Jefferson Square Park on September 25, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. The press conference addressed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's handling of the Breonna Taylor case and the grand jury verdict indicting one of three officers involved in her death. Taylor was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police officers during a no-knock raid at her apartment on March 13, 2020. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Civil rights activist Tamika Mallory of Until Freedom speaks during a press conference at Jefferson Square Park on September 25, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky. The press conference addressed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s handling of the Breonna Taylor case and the grand jury verdict indicting one of three officers involved in her death. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

In September 2020, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) announced that his office discovered LMPD officers did knock and announce themselves despite a narrative circulating that they did not knock.

However, Cameron’s office did recommend that charges be brought against Hankinson, resulting in the former officer being indicted with three counts of wanton endangerment at the state level.

Despite there being charges brought against the former LMPD detective, riots erupted in Louisville after Cameron’s announcement.

Hankinson was later found not guilty on all three counts in March.

Cameron did note in a statement that his office’s main task then “was to investigate whether the officers who executed the search warrant were criminally responsible for Ms. Taylor’s death under state law.” He noted that he did not want Thursday’s announcement to be conflated with his office’s investigation.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.

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