Federal lawsuit against four former and current officers in connection with Breonna Taylor’s death

Kentucky officials connected to the 2020 death of Breonna Taylor have been charged with violating her civil rights. The counts are mostly related to the botched nature of the raid.

On Thursday, August 4, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced, according to CNN, that four current and former Louisville police officers will be charged in their trial on the evening of Taylor’s death.

Included in the lot are detectives who recovered the search warrant used to conduct the raid and the former officer who blindly shot the woman’s home: Former Detective Joshua Jaynes, Detective Kelly Goodlett, Sgt. Kyle Meany and ex-detective Brett Hankison.

Speaking on behalf of the family, civil rights attorney Ben Crump said he welcomed the decision to indict the four officers.

In a statement, Crump said: “Today was a big step towards justice. We are grateful for the diligence and dedication of the FBI and DOJ in investigating what led to Breonna’s assassination and what happened after. The justice brought to Breonna today would not have been possible without the efforts of Attorney General Merrick Garland or Assistant AG for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke.”

“We hope this announcement of a guilty plea sends a message to all other officers involved that it is time to end the cover-up and accept responsibility for their role in causing the death of an innocent, beautiful young black woman.” , he continued. Goodlett was charged “on the basis of information,” which usually indicates that a defendant agreed to a guilty plea.

Clarke also released a statement saying, “Since the founding of our nation, the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution has guaranteed that all people have the right to be safe in their homes, free from false warrants, unreasonable searches and the use of unjustified and excessive force by the police.”

“These indictments reflect the Justice Department’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the criminal justice system and protecting the constitutional rights of every American,” concluded the assistant attorney general for civil rights.

On March 13, 2020, Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was fatally shot at her Louisville home. Officers broke into her home as part of a botched drug investigation into her ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover, who officers allege hid drugs in Taylor’s home. The burglary attempt caught both her and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker by surprise. Police claimed they reported and banged on the door before forcibly entering, but Walker thought the banging on the door that woke the couple was an intruder breaking into the apartment.

He fired a shot as the door gave way. It hit Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who prompted Mattingly, Hankison, and Detective Myles Cosgrove to return a volley of gunfire.

Walker wasn’t hit, but Taylor, who was standing behind her partner, was somehow hit five times and died shortly after.

Over the past two years, the family has experienced a series of ups and downs in trying to obtain justice for the deceased.

On June 23, 2020, Hankison, the police officer who blindly shot her home, was fired by the Louisville Metro Police Department. He was charged with triple countenance on September 23, 2020 (for endangering Taylor’s neighbors), but was acquitted on March 3, 2022.

On September 15, 2020, the family secured a $12 million settlement from the City of Louisville and a promise to change policy within the police department.

The new charges are the next steps taken by the government and family to ensure justice.

Jaynes, Goodlett and Meany are accused of making a false affidavit about the search of Taylor’s home prior to the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department raid. Federal authorities say the trio worked together to rework a “fake cover story to evade responsibility for their role in preparing the warrant affidavit that contained false information.”

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Hankison is charged with “willful unconstitutional use of excessive force … when he fired his service weapon through a covered window and glass door in Taylor’s home.”

Hankison is also accused of depriving Taylor and a guest at her home “of their constitutional rights by firing shots through a bedroom window covered with blinds and a blackout curtain,” and depriving Taylor’s three neighbors of their constitutional rights when he did so Firing bullets went down her wall and went into her adjoining apartment.

According to the DOJ statement, Jaynes and Meany helped to strip Taylor of his constitutional rights when they prepared and approved a false affidavit to obtain a search warrant, despite knowingly submitting an “affidavit containing false and misleading statements, omitting material facts , based on outdated information” and was not supported by a probable cause.”

Both men “knew that the execution of the search warrant would be carried out by armed LMPD officers and could create a dangerous situation for both those officers and anyone who happened to be in Taylor’s home.”

Goodlett is believed to have conspired with the two officers to “forge a search warrant on Taylor’s home and to cover up her actions thereafter.”

The indictment alleges that Jaynes and another officer worked to craft a forged investigative letter and made false statements to investigators in order to stop or prevent a criminal investigation into Taylor’s death. It also said Meany made false statements about the shooting.

Garland even revealed to Goodlett, and Jaynes met in a garage weeks after the fatal shooting to come up with a plan for leaking false information to investigators.

“We allege that Ms. Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated when defendants Joshua Jaynes, Kyle Meany and Kelly Goodlett applied for a search warrant on Ms. Taylor’s home because they knew officers had no probable cause for the.” search,” the Attorney General said.

While setting out their part in the shooting in a written affidavit, officers said the target of the drug trafficking investigation received packages addressed to the fatal shooting, although Jaynes and Goodlett were aware it was a lie.

Jaynes was taken into custody by the FBI on Thursday morning and committed to the Oldham County Detention Center, his attorney Thomas Clay reported, but was released with Hankison and Meany after appearing before Judge Regina Edwards. She said they could go free on the condition that they have no contact with each other or the victims.

They also told them guns should be removed from their homes and set unsecured bail of $50,000 per defendant, payable in full if the terms of their release are violated.

Hankison is appearing for another trial on September 14 and has a hearing date of October 13.

LMPD chief Erika Shields began the hiring process against Meany and Goodlett after the charges were announced.

The federal indictment comes over 874 days after Taylor’s death. Her mother, Tamika Palmer, said she waited for action to be taken to get her justice.

“Every day was March 13 for me,” said the bereaved mother, sharing where she has been since the fatal shooting.

Palmer also said: “What we said was the truth, that they shouldn’t have been there, and that Breonna didn’t deserve that. Today is overdue but it still hurts.”

The indictment is the first federal indictment against one of the police officers responsible for the raid. The prosecutor said those charges were in addition to various civil rights violations, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction, and that federal authorities had charged the four with unlawful conspiracy.

In response to the indictment, Garland stated, “We share the sadness felt by Breonna Taylor’s loved ones and everyone affected by the events of March 13, 2020, but cannot fully imagine it.”

“Breonna Taylor should be alive today.”

https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/08/05/federal-charges-filed-against-four-former-and-current-officers-connected-to-breonna-taylors-death/ Federal lawsuit against four former and current officers in connection with Breonna Taylor’s death

James Brien

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