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LMPD fires officer Brett Hankison for role in Breonna Taylor shooting

Jack Pilgrim06/19/20


Article written by:On3 imageJack Pilgrim


The Louisville Metro Police Department has initiated the termination proceedings for Detective Brett Hankison for his role in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

This afternoon, LMPD released the official letter served to Hankison informing the longtime officer of his termination for creating a “substantial danger of death and serious injury” to Taylor and those in a neighboring apartment.

In the letter submitted by LMPD Chief of Police Robert Shroeder, Hankison’s behavior on the job is described in detail the night of Taylor’s death, with Shroeder noting that he has “utmost confidence” in his decision to terminate the officer’s employment.

Read the letter in its entirety below:

I have determined you violated Standard Operating Procedure 5.1.2 Obedience to Rules and Regulations when your actions displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life when you wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020. These rounds created a substantial danger of death and serious injury to Breonna Taylor and the three occupants of the apartment next to Ms. Taylor’s. I make my determination pursuant to the preponderance of the evidence.

You have also violated Standard Operating Procedure 9.1.12 Use of Deadly Force when you used deadly force by blindly firing ten (10) rounds into Breonna Taylor’s apartment without supporting facts that your deadly force was directed at a person against whom posed an immediate threat of danger or serious injury to yourself or others. In fact the ten (10) rounds you fired were into a patio door and window which were covered with material that completely prevented you from verifying any person as an immediate threat or more importantly any innocent persons present.

You further failed to be cognizant of the direction in which your firearm was discharged. Some of the rounds you fired actually travelled into the apartment next to Ms. Taylor’s endangering the three lives in that apartment. You have previously been disciplined for reckless conduct that injured an innocent person in Professional Standards Case #17-062 for which you were disciplined on January 9, 2019.

Based upon my review, these are extreme violations of our policies. I find your conduct a shock to the conscience. I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion. You have never been trained by the Louisville Metro Police Department to use deadly force in this fashion. Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the Department.  Your conduct has severely damaged the image of our Department we have established with our community. The result of your actions seriously impedes the Department’s goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Your conduct demands your termination. I have utmost confidence in my decision to terminate your employment for the best interest for the Louisville Metro Police Department and our community.

Hankison was one of three officers involved in the shooting, with the other two being Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Det. Myles Cogrove. As of now, no action has been taken against either officer and none of the three have been charged.

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