Four Louisville Police Officers Federally Charged in Breonna Taylor’s Death

Four current and former Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers have been charged with civil rights violations and other counts in the 2020 raid that led to Breonna Taylor’s death.

The United States Justice Department announced the charges on Aug. 4, alleging that the violations “resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death.”

On March 13, 2020, LMPD officers obtained a search warrant and entered Taylor’s apartment. Two officers fired a total of 22 shots, one of which hit Taylor in the chest, killing her, U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland said.

An indictment charged former LMPD Detective Joshua Jaynes and current LMPD Sergeant Kyle Meany with civil rights and obstruction offenses by preparing a false affidavit to secure a search warrant for Taylor’s home.

The indictment further alleged that Jaynes and Meany knew the execution of the search warrant “could create a dangerous situation both for those officers and for anyone who happened to be in Taylor’s home.”

Meany also allegedly lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its investigation, according to the indictment.

A separate indictment charged former LMPD Detective Brett Hankison with using unconstitutionally excessive force during the raid on Taylor’s home.

A third charging document filed by the Justice Department charged LMPD Detective Kelly Goodlett with conspiring with Jaynes to falsify the search warrant and to cover up their actions.

According to the Justice Department, a conviction on the charge of willfully violating someone’s rights carries a maximum sentence of life in prison when the violation leads to death.

Obstruction counts carry a maximum of 20 years while conspiracy counts and false- statements counts each carry a maximum sentence of five years.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump applauded the charges, calling it a “monumental win.”

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