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Officer charged in connection to Breonna Taylor death pleads not guilty

Officer charged in connection to Breonna Taylor death pleads not guilty
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Brett Hankison, the only officer charged in connection to Breonna Taylor’s shooting death, pleaded not guilty to three counts of wanton endangerment during his arraignment Monday, the Louisville Courier Journal reported

A grand jury indicted the former detective for the Louisville Metro Police Department last week for firing shots into another apartment when officers executed a no-knock warrant that resulted in the fatal shooting of Taylor.

After Hankison’s plea, Judge Ann Bailey Smith called for “all discovery documents” to be filed, according to the newspaper. The officer is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 28 for a pre-trial conference. 

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Last week, Hankison was taken to Shelby County Detention Center before posting his $15,000 bond within hours. If convicted, he could face up to five years for each count.

Hankison was the only officer involved in the March 13 shooting that killed Taylor to be indicted, but his charges are not directly related to the shooting, meaning none of the three officers were charged with the shooting.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black EMT, died after three police officers — Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — acted on a no-knock warrant for a drug case involving her ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover. 

Her boyfriend Kenneth Walker thought intruders were entering the household and fired shots, prompting the officers to shoot back and kill Taylor. There were no drugs found at the apartment.

Hankison was fired from the police department in June, which he declared a “cowardly political act” and is appealing. 

The grand jury’s decision to indict only Hankison was met with backlash across the country as activists, lawmakers and celebrities continue to call for more actions against the officers involved. 

In recent days, reports have surfaced saying the ballistics report from the Kentucky State Police does not align with the Kentucky attorney general’s statements that Walker definitively shot at police first. The report says the bullet in Mattingly’s thigh was neither “identified nor eliminated as having been fired” from Walker’s gun.