The Cop Who Killed Breonna Taylor Has Been Fired: He Is Not On Trial, Brent Hankison Is
The trial of the sole police officer charged with circumstances related to the killing of Breonna Taylor began Wednesday in Louisville, Kentucky.
Brent Hankison, who is expected to testify, faces three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment of Taylor’s neighbors. That is it. That is all. He is not the officer that killed Breonna Taylor. That officer is not on trial. That officer was fired and has not been charged.
The prosecution said Hankison fired five shots, three of which reached an apartment occupied by three people: Cody Etherton, his pregnant partner Chelsey Napper, and their 5-year-old son. Taylor was not shot by Hankison.
Why is Brent Hankinson On Trial Instead of The Cop Ballistics Proved Killed, Breonna Taylor?
After the shooting in March 2020, Hankison was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department. No officers have been charged with Taylor’s death.
On March 13, 2020, shortly after midnight, there was a fatal shooting. During the night, Taylor, a 26-year-old Black medical worker, slept at home with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
The officers executed a warrant in connection with an investigation into Taylor’s alleged ex-boyfriend’s involvement in a suspected drug operation. An officer was shot in the leg by Walker, who claims he thought the officers were intruders. As a result, police opened fire on Taylor. There was no evidence of drug use in Taylor’s apartment.
Police Fire Wrecklessly Endangered Neighbors of Breonna Taylor
Etherton, the first witness, testified that the shots were “inches away from hitting me.”
“Literally, like, one or two more inches and I would have been shot,” he said. “I think about it all the time … I would never even got to meet my son,” he added, referring to his son Bryson. Etherton was cross-examined by Mathews, who asked whether the situation was chaotic.
“Yeah, the whole thing was chaotic,” Etherton said. “From the time that I got woke up to a loud boom, gunfire coming through my wall and nearly killing me, could have struck my girlfriend. It was chaos.”
The Ongoing Trial has Nearly Nothing to Do With Breonna Taylor
Additionally, Matthews mentioned that Etherson filed a lawsuit against Hankison and Louisville.
The second witness to testify was Louisville Police Sgt. Kyle Meany, who was investigating drug trafficking and Taylor’s ex-boyfriend. Kyle Meany was not involved in the search warrant execution.
No Officers Have been Charged With The Killing of Breonna Taylor
According to Meany, search warrants were obtained for several addresses, including Taylor’s. An affidavit attached to the search warrant for Taylor’s apartment was described as a “no-knock warrant,” he said, adding that the actual search warrant was signed by the judge.
Meany said police spied on Taylor’s apartment before obtaining the warrant, and they found photos of her ex-boyfriend.
Brent Hankison: Stands Trial For Reckless Fire, Not The Murder of Brenna Taylor
He said that police were briefed for the search warrant execution on March 12, 2020. According to Meany, there was a whiteboard with various addresses, including Taylor’s address, that were the subjects of the search warrants. He said the words “knock and announce” were written above the address.
Under cross-examination, Louisville police detective Mike Nobles testified he was unaware the warrant had been changed from a “no-knock” warrant to a “knock and announce” warrant.
More Concern over Endangering Breonna Taylor’s Neighbors Than Her Actual Murder
Nobles said that when officers began to knock on Taylor’s door, they were paused for two or three minutes because Hankison and another officer were trying to get a neighbor back inside his apartment after he stepped out to tell the police to “leave that girl alone.”
Nobles said Hankison and the other officer should concentrate on executing the warrant. Nobles said he did not see Hankison discharge his weapon, adding that the scene was chaotic. According to Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley, Hankison fired 10 bullets into Taylor’s apartment, some of which found their way to Etherton’s.
The Officer That Shot and Killed Breonna Taylor Is Not Mentioned By Name
Whaley recounted when officers made headway into Taylor’s apartment, the officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor moved forward to cover the officer with the battering ram. Due to this decision, he put himself openly in the line of fire. Hankison was supposed to take this task upon himself but he was busy with a neighboring household. He was telling them to go back inside instead of being in his assigned role.
When Etherton heard the ram, he walked toward his front door to see what was going on according to the prosecution.
“A bullet whizzed close to his head that he heard, and then saw debris, drywall dust, where that bullet had come through,” Whaley said.
Hankison Claimed There was a Shooter with an AR-15 in Breonna Taylor’s Apartment – This Was Determined To Be Untrue
Hankison gave investigators a statement in which he claimed to have seen a shooter with an AR-15-style rifle in a combat position, according to Whaley. There were no AR-15-style rifles found in Taylor’s apartment, Whaley said.
In his opening statement, Hankins’ attorney Stew Matthews said he did not plan to dispute the prosecution’s evidence, but the “issue is what was the reasoning behind his [Hankison] firing the shots.”
The Matter At Hand is The Reasoning behind Hankison Firing His Weapon, not The Murder of Breonna Taylor
The prosecution does not know whether Hankison could see what was happening through the doorway, and Matthews said it was “not accurate” to claim he couldn’t see into the hallway when the door was breached.
According to Matthews, Hankison saw the muzzle flash of the gun fired at officers, and “his perception of it was that it was an AR-15 rifle.”
Mr. Matthews stated that when Hankison fired his gun, he was “attempting to defend and save the lives of his brother officers.” According to Matthews, “under the police department’s operating procedures,” officers are obligated to defend other officers and citizens, and “that’s exactly what Brett Hankison was doing.”
This is a Trial Unconcerned With The Former Officer That Killed Breonna Taylor
“His actions were reasonable and justified given the chaotic situation he was in,” Matthews said. Hankison, who faces up to 5 years in prison if found guilty, pleaded not guilty. The police department also terminated two other officers involved in this incident: the officer who fired the shot that killed Taylor per a ballistics analysis, and the officer who prepared the search warrant. The real question is, who are these officers? What are their names and why aren’t they on trial for murder?