Breonna Taylor: US police charged over shooting death

Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor, 26, was a decorated emergency medical technician

Four US police officers have been arrested and charged over the fatal 2020 shooting of Breonna Taylor.

Ms Taylor was killed in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, by plainclothes police who were executing a “no-knock” search warrant.

The hospital worker, 26, was shot as officers stormed the apartment just after midnight as she was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

Her death sparked racial injustice protests around the country.

Only one officer involved in the raid – former Louisville detective Brett Hankinson – had been previously charged over the case.

But Mr Hankinson, who fired 10 shots during the incident, was acquitted by a jury earlier this year. He is among the four people to face new charges through the US Department of Justice.

The others are Joshua Jaynes, also a former officer, and serving officers Kelly Hanna Goodlett and Kyle Meany.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the new charges. He said the officers were being charged with civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracy, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction.

Mr Garland added that three of the officers – all but Mr Hankinson – had been charged with falsification of a search warrant.

Mr Hankinson is charged with using excessive force when he opened fire during the raid.

“Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” Mr Garland told reporters.

The search warrant obtained by police included Ms Taylor’s name and address. Authorities believed that an ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, was involved in a drug ring and had used her apartment to hide narcotics.

No drugs were found at the property, though Jefferson County Prosecutor Thomas Wine said the search had been cancelled after the shooting.

In 2020, the Taylor family sued Louisville police and reached a $12m (£9m) settlement.

Reacting to news of the new charges on Thursday, the family’s lawyers said: “Today was a huge step toward justice.”

Kenneth Walker shot and wounded one of the police officers in the leg during the raid, taking him for an intruder.

He was charged with attempted murder but the case was dismissed.

Ms Taylor’s death – along with that of two black men, George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia – sparked anti-racism protests across the US and the globe.

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