A Kentucky jury on March 3 found former Louisville police officer Brett Hankinson not guilty of all three counts of felony wanton endangerment in the botched raid that left Breonna Taylor dead.
The panel of eight men and four women reached their verdict after deliberating for about three hours, following nearly two weeks of testimony.
Hankinson, 45, was accused of endangering Cody Etherton, his pregnant partner Chelsey Napper, and their five-year-old son when he fired shots that went through their apartment when policed raided their neighbor Taylor on March 13, 2020.
The raid was linked to a narcotics investigation.
Etherton testified that he was “one or two inches” away from getting hit by the bullets that penetrated their shared wall, describing the scene as ,”chaotic,” “reckless,” and “unorganized.”
Hankinson fired a total of 10 shots that night because he thought his fellow officers were “being executed.”
When police entered Taylor’s apartment, her boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired a shot, fearing a home invasion.
Police fired a total of 32 rounds but none of the bullets hit Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Hankinson said the gunfire lasted only about five to ten seconds.
Hankinson is the only officer involved in the raid to be charged. He was fired in June 2020.
No charges were filed directly relating to Taylor’s death.
Taylor was 26-year-old emergency room technician. Her death, along with the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, sparked widespread Black Lives Matter protests.
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