Sole Police Officer Charged In The Deadly Raid On Breonna Taylor’s Apartment Was Acquitted

Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press

Sophia Lorey Contributor
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Former Louisville Police officer Brett Hankison, charged with wanton endangerment, was cleared Thursday by a Kentucky jury.

Hankison fired shots into a neighboring apartment during the 2020 drug raid that ended with the death of Breonna Taylor. He was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, punishable by one to five years in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times.

During the trial Hankinson testified that he saw a muzzle flash from Taylor’s hallway and believed that the officers were under fire. He then opened fire to defend his colleagues, ABC7 reported.

Defense attorney Stewart Mathews told the jury that Hankison was doing what an officer should do in what he believe to be dangerous situation, and that he was not a criminal who belonged in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times. (RELATED: Police Release Report From Breonna Taylor’s Death, List Injuries As ‘None’ Despite Her Reportedly Being Shot 8 Times)

The Kentucky jury, composed of eight men and four women, delivered the not guilty verdict about three hours after the closing arguments, according to ABC7.

In opening statements of the trial, prosecutors made clear that the case was not about Breonna Taylor’s death, or the police decisions that led to the raid, the LA Times reported.

Hankison was fired by the Louisville Metro Police Department in June 2020 stating that his rounds created “substantial danger,” according to the New York Daily News.