NewsCovering Kentucky


Louisville Mayor: LMPD Det. Brett Hankison will be fired

Posted at 11:56 AM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 12:23:38-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Louisville's police chief is firing Det. Brett Hankison, one of the three officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, for violating department policies on using deadly force and following internal rules.

Acting Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder told Hankison in a termination letter dated Friday that the detective's conduct in Taylor's shooting was "a shock to the conscience."

"I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion," Schroeder wrote.

"Your actions displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life," the chief wrote, referring to Hankison "blindly" firing ten rounds into Taylor's apartment.

In a brief statement at Metro Hall around 11:30 a.m., Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said LMPS was "initiating termination procedures" against Hankison but that he could not discuss specifics.

“Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law that I very much would like to see changed, both the Chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment, or even the timing of this decision,” Fischer said.

But in the terminatination letter, Schroeder made clear that Hankison's actions during the early morning raid of Taylor's home on March 13 violated standard procedure.

Schroeder wrote that Hankison "wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds" into into a patio door and window of Taylor's apartment, creating a "substantial danger of death and serious injury" to Taylor and three occupants of other apartments.

And, Hankison failed to "be cognizant of the direction" of his shots, which went into other apartments, according to the termination letter.

"I find your conduct a shock to the conscience," Schroeder wrote. "I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion."

Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Breonna Taylor's family, said Hankison already should have been fired.

"It's about time and this is the poster child of the dirtiest of dirty cops and the most dangerous of dangerous cops," he said. "I hope to God he's never back to working our streets again."

Protesters have pressed Fischer for weeks to fire Hankison and the other officers who shot and killed Taylor during the March 13 raid on her home. The mayor has repeatedly cited Kentucky law and the police union's contract with the city as his reason against taking any action.

He referred questions to Jefferson County Mike O'Connell's office. A spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The police department has been investigating Hankison for allegedly making inappropriate sexual advances toward at least four women.

The shooting of Taylor, a black woman, has drawn national scrutiny.

Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at officers when they rushed in, hitting one in the leg. Walker has told police that he thought he and Taylor were being robbed. Walker initially was charged with attempted murder, but the charge has been dismissed.

Nothing illegal was found at the home.