Only officer charged over Breonna Taylor’s death pleads not guilty

The only officer charged in connection with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor has pleaded not guilty.

Brett Hankison’s plea came five days after a grand jury indicted him on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into the home of Ms Taylor‘s neighbours in Louisville, Kentucky.

People march for the third day since the release of the grand jury report on the death of Breonna Taylor on September 26, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Image:Protests continued for days following the release of the grand jury report

The grand jury declined to charge him or the other two undercover narcotics officers who opened fire inside Ms Taylor’s house on the night of 13 March with her shooting.

Hankison’s lawyer asked that his client be allowed to keep firearms for self-defence. He said Hankison, who was fired in June, “has received a number of threats”. The judge turned down the request.

Breonna Taylor was a qualified emergency medical technician. Pic: Family
Image:Breonna Taylor was a qualified emergency medical technician. Pic: Family

The decision not to charge the officers set off protests in Louisville and across the country. The city’s mayor lifted a curfew on Monday that had been in place after many people refused to stop their night-time protests.

Ms Taylor was shot multiple times after her boyfriend opened fire as officers entered her home during a narcotics raid, authorities said.

The boyfriend said he did not know who was coming in and fired in self-defence. One officer was wounded.

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Police were actually searching for an ex-partner of Ms Taylor who did not live at the address and no drugs were found in the property.

A coroner’s report said Ms Taylor was shot five times and died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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