Brett Hankison found not guilty on all charges stemming from Breonna Taylor raid

Watch the verdict in the player above.A jury has found Brett Hankison not guilty on all charges.Hankison was the only LMPD officer to face any charges in connection to the night Breonna Taylor died, but they had nothing to do with her death.He faced three wanton endangerment charges for bullets that went into a neighboring unit where three people – a couple and a small child – were present. On day six of the trial, a jury deliberated for about three hours and acquitted him of all charges. The judge then told Hankison he was free to go. No other officers were charged in connection with what happened that night, nor with Taylor’s slaying. The reading of the verdict was swift and came after a short day of closing arguments. Stew Mathews, Hankison’s attorney, said after the verdict that his client was relieved. Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, was present. She left the courtroom and declined to speak with reporters. Coverage from previous days here:Day 1 – Breonna Taylor’s neighbor recounts bullets whizzing through his apartmentDay 2 – Jurors hear his interview from days after Breonna Taylor raidDay 3 – Jurors taken to Breonna Taylor’s apartmentDay 4 – Judge denies Brett Hankison’s request for directed verdictDay 5 – Brett Hankison gets emotional on stand In Kentucky, wanton endangerment is defined as a person, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, who deliberately engages in conduct that creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person. he been found guilty, each charge carried a max sentence of five years in prison.Both Mathews and Barbara Whaley, the special prosecutor appointed to the case, reminded the jury numerous times that the trial was not about who was responsible for the death of Taylor .The couple who lived in the apartment that was hit by Hankison’s gunfire spoke on the stand during trial. Cody Etherton told the courtroom a shot was inches away from hitting him. Hankison himself also took the stand, and gave emotional testimony, even at one point talking directly to the neighbors, as well as Taylor’s family.”I felt sincere empathy for them. That was something, if my daughter was shot at, or bullets came into our house that would be very concerning and I apologize to her for that.”Prosecutors objected when he added, “And Ms. Taylor’s family, it was just, she didn’t need to die that night.”More background on the raidTaylor was killed on March 13, 2020 when officers showed up to her apartment with a no-knock warrant as part of a larger drug investigation.Officers in plain clothes used a battering ram to enter her apartment, and were met by gunfire from her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.That gunfire hit Sgt. John Mattingly. Hankison then ran around to the side of Taylor’s apartment and began firing into a sliding glass door, even though he couldn’t see behind it. Myles Cosgrove also returned fire, and hit Taylor. No drugs were found in Taylor’s home. Hankison was fired from LMPD, accused of firing 10 shots blindly that night, three of which went in to a neighboring unit — hence the charges, which came from a special grand jury convened by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Cosgrove was also fired, and Mattingly retired .The officer who sought the no-knock warrant, Det. Joshua Jaynes, was also terminated.

Watch the verdict in the player above.

A jury has found Brett Hankison not guilty on all charges.

Hankison was the only LMPD officer to face any charges in connection to the night Breonna Taylor died, but they had nothing to do with her death.

He faced three wanton endangerment charges for bullets that went into a neighboring unit where three people – a couple and a small child – were present.

On day six of the trial, a jury deliberated for about three hours and acquitted him of all charges. The judge then told Hankison he was free to go.

No other officers were charged in connection with what happened that night, nor with Taylor’s slaying.

The reading of the verdict was swift and came after a short day of closing arguments.

Stew Mathews, Hankison’s attorney, said after the verdict that his client was relieved.

Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, was present. She left the courtroom and declined to speak with reporters.


Coverage from previous days here:


In Kentucky, wanton endangerment is defined as a person, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, who deliberately engages in conduct that creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.

Had he been found guilty, each charge carried a max sentence of five years in prison.

Both Mathews and Barbara Whaley, the special prosecutor appointed to the case, reminded the jury numerous times that the trial was not about who was responsible for the death of Taylor.

The couple who lived in the apartment that was hit by Hankison’s gunfire spoke on the stand during trial.

Cody Etherton told the courtroom a shot was inches away from hitting him.

Hankison himself also took the stand, and gave emotional testimony, even at one point talking directly to the neighbors, as well as Taylor’s family.

“I felt sincere empathy for them. That was something, if my daughter was shot at, or bullets came into our house that would be very concerning and I apologize to her for that.”

Prosecutors objected when he added, “And Ms. Taylor’s family, it was just, she didn’t need to die that night.”

More background on the raid

Taylor was killed on March 13, 2020 when officers showed up to her apartment with a no-knock warrant as part of a larger drug investigation.

Officers in plain clothes used a battering ram to enter her apartment, and were met by gunfire from her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

That gunfire hit Sgt. John Mattingly. Hankison then ran around to the side of Taylor’s apartment and began firing into a sliding glass door, even though he couldn’t see behind it.

Myles Cosgrove also returned fire, and hit Taylor.

No drugs were found in Taylor’s home.

Hankison was fired from LMPD, accused of firing 10 shots blindly that night, three of which went in to a neighboring unit — hence the charges, which came from a special grand jury convened by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Cosgrove was also fired, and Mattingly retired.

The officer who sought the no-knock warrant, Det. Joshua Jaynes, was also terminated.

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