Breonna Taylor's Death Makes Headlines Again

By Emanuel Eisen | Saturday, 06 August 2022 05:15
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Four Kentucky officers were federally charged for their parts in the killing of Breonna Taylor, who died in 2020 after police forced entry into her home while executing a search warrant regarding a drug-dealing investigation.

Louisville officers Kyle Meany and Joshua Jaynes deliberately used incorrect intelligence to get the search warrant that allowed them into Taylor’s apartment despite lacking “probable cause” for the search, according to their charges published on Wednesday. The two have been charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, one count of conspiracy, one count of falsification of records in a federal investigation, and one count of making a false statement to federal investigators.

“The Justice Department has charged four current and former Louisville Metro Police Department officers with federal crimes related to Breonna Taylor’s death,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland. “Among other things, the federal charges announced today allege that members of LMPD’s Place-Based Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home, that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death. Breonna Taylor should be alive today. The Justice Department is committed to defending and protecting the civil rights of every person in this country. That was this Department’s founding purpose, and it remains our urgent mission.”

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Jaynes, who got the warrant, was charged alongside detective Kelly Goodlett for supposedly meddling with investigations that were opened into Taylor’s death by the FBI by intentionally forging documents and preventing communication between law enforcement officers and investigators.

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“The object of the conspiracy was to cover up the fact that the Springfield Drive warrant affidavit was false, misleading, stale, and unsupported by probable cause by submitting a false investigative letter and making false statements to criminal investigators,” court documents state. “It was further part of the manner and means of the conspiracy for Joshua Jaynes to contact other officers and pressure them to provide support for the false information in the Springfield Drive warrant affidavit.”

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Officer Brett Hankison was also charged on two counts of the use of a dangerous weapon with the intent to kill after he fired bullets into the room where Taylor was sleeping “after there was no longer a lawful objective justifying the use of deadly force,” the affidavit states.

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“After two long years of relentless investigations, today’s indictments are a critical step forward in the process toward achieving justice for Breonna Taylor,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Wednesday. “While we cannot reverse her tragic death, we can and must continue to pursue justice for her. … While I know some may feel that this process has taken too long, as I have said from the beginning, there can be no shortcuts to justice.”

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