Police officer to be fired after black woman shot dead in her home

One of three US police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a black woman in her home is to be fired.

Breonna Taylor was shot eight times by officers who burst into her home in Louisville during a drugs investigation in March.

No drugs were found at the 26-year-old’s property.

A demonstrator holds a picture of Breonna Taylor following her death
Image:A demonstrator holds a picture of Breonna Taylor following her death

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said police had confirmed termination proceedings have started for officer Brett Hankison.

Two other officers remain on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

A letter sent to Mr Hankison by his police chief said the officer violated standard operating procedures when he “wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor”.

The letter said he fired the rounds “without supporting facts” that the deadly force was directed at a person posing an immediate threat.

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“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” interim police chief Robert Schroeder wrote.

“Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the department.”

Sam Aguiar, a lawyer for Ms Taylor’s family, said the move to fire Mr Hankison was overdue.

“It’s about damn time,” he said.

“It should have happened a long time ago, but thankfully it’s at least happening now.”

The warrant to search the home of Ms Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was in connection with a suspect who did not live there.

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Police used a no-knock search warrant, which allows them to enter without announcing their presence.

Louisville’s Metro Council has since voted to ban the use of no-knock warrants.

A 911 call by Ms Taylor’s boyfriend was released last month and marked the beginning of days of protests in the Kentucky city, fuelled by her death and that of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

Beyonce recently joined calls for charges against the officers involved in Ms Taylor’s shooting.

The pop superstar said in a letter to state attorney general Daniel Cameron that the three police officers “must be held accountable for their actions”.

Mark Gibson

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

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