Four former and current police officers were indicted on Aug. 4 in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor.
Former Louisville Metro Police Department detective Joshua Jaynes, current Louisville officers Kyle Meany and Kelly Goodlett, and former detective Brett Hankison were charged by a federal grand jury.
Jaynes and Meant are accused of violating Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights when they sought a warrant to search her apartment in 2020 because they allegedly knew an affidavit in support of the warrant contained false and misleading details and omitted material information.
The pair also knew executing the search warrant could create a dangerous situation for anyone else who was in her home at the time, according to charging documents.
Taylor was shot dead in her home on March 18, 2020. Officers serving the warrant were fired upon by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. They fired back, and some of the bullets struck Taylor.
A judge approved the warrant request because officers said they conclusively linked Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, a known criminal, to Taylor’s residence, including finding mail addressed to Glover at Taylor’s apartment.
“We were told that the target, their main target, the male, had packages sent to this location in her name,” Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers, told investigators. “She held—she possibly held dope for him. Received the packages and held his money.”
That has since been questioned by Tony Gooden, a U.S. postal inspector in the area, who told WDRB-TV that an investigation concluded there were no “packages of interest” going to the address.
Investigators said the wording on the affidavit was “misleading” and recommended the affidavit be reviewed for possible criminal action.
“On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor should have awakened in her home as usual, but tragically she did not,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a statement. “Since the founding of our nation, the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution has guaranteed that all people have a right to be secure in their homes, free from false warrants, unreasonable searches and the use of unjustifiable and excessive force by the police. These indictments reflect the Justice Department’s commitment to preserving the integrity of the criminal justice system and to protecting the constitutional rights of every American.”
After the warrant was executed, Jaynes worked to cover up the false warrant affidavit with Goodlett while Meany made a false statement to federal investigators, according to the charging documents.
Jaynes, Meany, Goodlett, and Hankison were charged with deprivation of rights. Jaynes was also charged with conspiracy and falsification of records, while Meany was charged with lying to investigators.
Lawyers for Janes and Hankison did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
It wasn’t clear whether Goodlett and Meany had legal representatives.
Hankison, the only person charged in relation to the situation by prosecutors inside Kentucky, was acquitted by a jury in March.
Ben Crump and other attorneys representing Taylor’s family said in a statement that the new charges are “a huge step toward justice.”