Insight Online News
Washington, Aug 5 : Four US police officers have been arrested and charged over the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in 2020 during a police search.
Taylor’s death, along with that of George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, prompted anti-racism protests across the US in 2020.
Taylor was killed in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13, 2020, by police in plain clothes as they were executing a “no-knock” search warrant.
The 26-year-old hospital worker was shot as officers stormed the apartment just after midnight while she was with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Federal investigators say that three of the four officers conspired to falsify the arrest warrant that led to Taylor’s death, the BBC reported.
Only one officer involved in the raid – former Louisville detective Brett Hankinson – had been previously charged over the case. He was the only one of the four indicted on Thursday who was present at the scene of Taylor’s shooting.
Hankinson, who fired 10 shots during the raid, was acquitted by a jury earlier this year of endangering Taylor’s neighbours when some of the bullets he fired entered their home.
The other officers charged by the Department of Justice are Joshua Jaynes, who was fired, besides serving officers Kelly Hanna Goodlett and Kyle Meany. Louisville police plan to fire Meany and Goodlett too.
All four are accused of civil rights offences, unlawful conspiracy, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction.
The search warrant obtained by police had included Taylor’s name and address. Authorities suspected her former boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, a convicted drug trafficker, had used her apartment to hide narcotics or money.
No drugs were found at the property, though Jefferson County Prosecutor Thomas Wine said the search had been cancelled after the shooting.
In 2020, the Taylor family sued Louisville police and reached a $12 million settlement.
Reacting to news of the charges on Thursday, the family’s lawyers said: “Today was a huge step toward justice.”