crime and punishment

Ex-Louisville cop Brett Hankison arrested not for Breonna Taylor’s death

Brett Hankinson (©Louisville Metro Police Department)

Brett Hankison (©Louisville Metro Police Department)

Former Louisville Metro Police Department officer Brett Hankison, 44, and his former colleagues Jonathan Mattingly, 47, and Myles Cosgrove, 42, were not charged in the death of Breonna Taylor. However, Mattingly was arrested for a different reason.

During a grand jury proceeding on September 23, 2020, Hankison was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for threatening the lives of Taylor’s neighbors. Judge Annie O’Connell announced that a warrant would be issued for his arrest and set a $15,000 cash bond for him.

On the same day, Hankison was booked into the Shelby County Detention Center in Shelbyville, Kentucky, United States at 4:30 p.m. and was released at 5:02 p.m. In the state of Kentucky, first-degree wanton endangerment is a class-D felony and if convicted, he could face up to five years in prison for each count.

 

The LMPD hired Hankison in January 2003. He was promoted from the 6th Division to its narcotics division in June 2016.

On March 13, 2020, Hankison, Mattingly and Cosgrove conducted an investigation centered on Jamarcus Cordell Glover and Adrian Orlandes Walker. The three cops raided Taylor’s apartment in southwest Jefferson County in Kentucky, United States while she and boyfriend Kenneth Walker, 27, were asleep.

Hankison, Mattingly and Cosgrove were not wearing body cameras because they were using a no-knock warrant. Detective Joshua C. Jaynes, 38, obtained the no-knock warrant along with four others, which Jefferson Circuit Judge Mary Shaw signed on March 12, 2020.

 

Kenneth thought they were broken into so he fired his gun and shot Mattingly in the leg. In response, Hankison, Mattingly and Cosgrove blindly fired at least 22 gunshots into the building, some of which entered other apartments and Taylor, who was shot eight times, died in the hall of the apartment.

It was Cosgrove who fired the shot that killed Taylor, which the grand jury considered justifiable, NBC News quoted Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron as saying. The grand jury believed that Mattingly and Cosgrove were “justified in their return of deadly fire” after Kenneth fired upon them.

On June 23, 2020, the LMPD fired only Hankison. He “wantonly and blindly” fired 10 rounds that “created a substantial danger of death and serious injury” to Taylor and the three occupants of the apartment next to hers, LMPD chief Robert J. Schroeder explained.

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