The FBI on Thursday arrested and brought civil rights charges against four current and former Louisville police officers for their roles in the 2020 fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was shot in her home in a case that rocked the US.
Taylor, 26, was killed in Louisville, Kentucky in March 2020, when police executed a no-knock warrant in a botched narcotics raid.
Police shot Taylor multiple times after her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at them on the assumption that they were intruders.
Federal charges against former officers Joshua Jaynes, Brett Hankison and Kelly Goodlett, along with Sgt Kyle Meany were announced by Merrick Garland, the US attorney general, on Thursday.
Announcing the charges on Thursday, Garland said the charges allege that the officers took steps to cover up unlawful conduct.
Garland also said one officer was charged with wilfully using excessive force in the raid.
Federal officials “share but cannot fully imagine the grief” felt by Taylor’s family, Garland said, adding: “Breonna Taylor should be alive today.”
Hankison, who was dismissed from the department in 2020, was one of the officers at Taylor’s door and one of three who fired shots. Earlier this year in Louisville, he was acquitted by a jury of state charges of wanton endangerment.
Jaynes applied for the warrant to search Taylor’s house. He was fired in January 2021 by the former Louisville police interim chief Yvette Gentry, for violating department standards in the preparation of a search warrant execution and for being “untruthful” in the Taylor warrant.