A mistrial was declared Thursday in the case of the former Louisville police officer charged in the police raid that killed Breonna Taylor.
Brett Hankison, 47, was charged with using excessive force that violated the civil rights of Taylor, her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, and her next-door neighbors. Hankison fired 10 shots into Taylor’s window in a flawed drug warrant search on March 13, 2020.
During the raid, officers opened fire after Walker, who believed an intruder was trying to break in, fired a gun toward the door.
Hankison reported that he saw the shot from Walker in the hallway after her door was breached. He backed up and ran around the corner of the building, firing shots into the side of the apartment.
“I had to react,” he testified. “I had no choice.”
The bullet shot from Walker’s gun struck former police Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, who dropped to the ground, firing six shots. Another officer, Myles Cosgrove, fired 16 rounds down the hallway, including the bullet that fatally struck 26-year-old Taylor in the chest.
Hankison was the only officer who fired his weapon the night of the Taylor raid criminally charged. Prosecutors determined that two other officers were justified in returning fire after one was shot in the leg by Walker.
Hankison was terminated from the Louisville Metro Police Department in June 2020.
The former officer was acquitted by a Kentucky jury last year on endangerment charges. State prosecutors had alleged he illegally put Taylor’s neighbors in danger.
He faced a maximum sentence of life in prison. Federal prosecutors could decide to retry Hankison at a later date.
A mistrial was declared Thursday by a judge in the federal case against former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison, who was charged with violating the civil rights of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in a botched 2020 police raid. https://t.co/rKkLQbsG5P pic.twitter.com/airWYr1IM4
— ABC News (@ABC) November 16, 2023
Lonita Baker, one of the attorneys for Taylor’s family, said afterward that Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, was disappointed with the outcome but remained encouraged “because a mistrial is not an acquittal. And so we live another day to fight for justice for Breonna.”
Many X users went to the social media platform to share their opinions on the verdict, many believing justice had not been served.
— Diana 🍁 🦃 🍂 (@DMR09) November 17, 2023
— Kayla Roney (@kroney1228) November 16, 2023
Srsly? Mistrial in #BreonnaTaylor federal civil rights case? 🤬 how many times does her family have to go thru this? She didn’t even get the benefit of KY’s Castle Doctrine! These cops need to be held responsible for killing her & violating her & her boyfriend’s civil rights
— Susie Bradford (@SusanKBradford) November 16, 2023
Heartbreaking to hearing this system has let #BreonnaTaylor down
— @theLadyArcher77 🏹 (@TheLadyArcher77) November 16, 2023