Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting to Be Fired by Police: Louisville Mayor

June 19, 2020 Updated: June 19, 2020

A Louisville police officer who was involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor earlier this year will be fired by the department, said Mayor Greg Fischer on Friday.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Rob Schroeder was “initiating termination procedures against Louisville Metro Police Officer Brett Hankison,” according to Fischer’s office.

“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,” the mayor said in a statement.

A memorandum (pdf) from the Louisville Metro Police Department announced Hankison’s firing on Friday. Hankison was one of three officers involved in the shooting of Taylor.

“Based upon my review, these are extreme violations to our policies. I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” Schroeder, the police chief, wrote in the document, saying that Hankison violated two standard operating procedures, including use of deadly force and obedience to rules.

Schroeder said Hankison showed an indifference to human life when he fired 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment, noting that the rounds also entered a neighbor’s apartment.

Epoch Times Photo
A person holds a sign that mentions Breonna Taylor during a protest in Tacoma, Wash., on June 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

“The result of your action seriously impedes the Department’s goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department,” the chief added. “Your conduct demands your termination.”

He concluded that the detective has “never been trained by the Louisville Metro Police Department to use deadly force in this fashion,” and his “actions have brought discredit upon yourself in the department” and “severely damaged the image of our Department we have established within our community.”

Both the mayor and Schroeder said that further questions about his termination cannot be answered due to Kentucky state law. They instructed reporters to seek comment from Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell.

Two other officers who fired their weapons into Taylor’s apartment—Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officer Myles Cosgrove—were placed on reassignment following the woman’s death.

Taylor’s death has been often cited as an example of police misconduct by Black Lives Matter protesters following the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody in May. Floyd’s death sparked protests, riots, acts of arson, vandalism, and nationwide unrest.