US prosecutors on Thursday charged four current and former Louisville, Kentucky, police officers for their roles in the 2020 fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was shot in her home in a case that rocked the United States.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday said that three of the officers, Kyle Meany, Joshua Jaynes and Kelly Goodlett were charged with knowingly using false information to obtain the search warrant that authorised the search of Taylor’s home that led to the botched raid that killed her.
A fourth officer, former Detective Brett Hankinson, was charged with civil rights violations for allegedly using excessive force, Garland said.
The death of Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was unarmed, was one in a trio of cases that fuelled a summer of protests against racial injustice and police violence two years ago, when the country was reeling from the still-new COVID-19 pandemic.
“Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” Garland told a news conference.
Louisville police were investigating alleged drug trafficking when they broke down the door of Taylor’s home, leading her boyfriend, who was carrying a legally owned firearm, to shoot at the officers, who responded by firing 22 shots into the apartment, killing Taylor, prosecutors said.
Hankinson in March was acquitted by a Kentucky jury of endangering Taylor’s neighbours when the bullets he fired during the raid hit a neighbouring apartment.