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Officer involved in fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor fired

The Louisville Metro police department has fired one of the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

A termination letter for officer Brett Hankison released by the city’s police department today said Hankinson violated procedures by showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly” shot 10 rounds of gunfire into Taylor’s apartment in March.

The letter also said Hankinson violated the rule against using deadly force.

Taylor, who was Black, was shot eight times by officers who burst into her Louisville home using a no-knock warrant during a March 13 narcotics investigation. The warrant to search her home was in connection with a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.

The no-knock search warrant that allows police to enter without first announcing their presence was recently banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.

The letter said Hankison fired the rounds “without supporting facts” that the deadly force was directed at a person posing an immediate threat.

“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” Louisville interim police chief Robert Schroeder said in the letter. “Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the Department.”

The announcement comes after Mayor Greg Fischer said last week that Schroeder had started termination proceedings for Hankison, while two other officers remain on administrative reassignment as the shooting is investigated.

Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Taylor’s family, previously said the move to fire Hankison was long overdue. “It’s about damn time,” he said, adding Hankison was an officer who “plagued our streets and made this city worse for over a dozen years.”

“Let’s hope that this is a start to some good, strong criminal proceedings against Officer Hankison, because he definitely deserves to at least be charged,” Aguiar added.

Taylor’s death, along with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 and other police killings of Black people, has become a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement and has sparked nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.

Taylor’s death, along with the death of George Floyd and other police killings of Black people, has become a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement, sparking nationwide protests like this one on May 29 in Louisville, Ky. (Bryan Woolston/Reuters)

Hours after the March 13 raid, Louisville police Lieutenant Ted Eiden told reporters the officers had knocked on the door before forcing entry and were shot at by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

One officer was struck in the leg and all three returned fire, hitting Taylor at least eight times, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Walker was charged with attempted murder and assault, but last month state prosecutors dropped the charges, the Courier-Journal reported.

Two other officers involved in the incident remain on administrative reassignment while the shooting is investigated.

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