breonna taylor

Louisville Moves to Fire Police Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting

The department says the officer "displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life" when he "blindly fired 10 rounds" into Taylor's apartment.

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The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) will fire one of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor during a botched nighttime no-knock raid, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.

In a termination letter obtained by local news outlet WDRB, Acting Police Chief Robert Schroeder wrote that Det. Brett Hankison, one of the three officers involved in the fatal March raid, "displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life" and violated the department's deadly force policy when he "blindly fired 10 rounds" into Taylor's apartment.

Lawyers for Taylor's family say she was asleep in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker on the night of March 13, when LMPD officers serving a no-knock narcotics warrant broke down their door with a battering ram. Walker, a registered gun owner, shot at the officers believing it was a home invasion, hitting one officer in the leg. The officers fired back and hit Taylor eight times, killing her.

The search warrant was illegal. No drugs were found in Taylor's apartment, and the main suspect that LMPD narcotics officers were pursuing, Jamarcus Glover, was already in custody when police broke down Taylor's door. As of yet, no officers have been criminally charged for Taylor's death.

The incident sparked national outrage, which boiled over into protests across the country following the May police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In the termination letter, Schroeder writes that he was "alarmed and stunned" by Hankison's recklessness.

"In fact the 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," Schroeder writes. "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."

In the wake of Taylor's death, LMPD Chief Steve Conrad announced that he would retire. Before that could happen, he was unceremoniously fired after police fatally shot another Louisville resident during the protests. During that shooting, none of the LMPD officers on the scene had their body cameras activated. 

The Louisville Metro Council has also banned no-knock raids in legislation named after Taylor. The FBI is currently investigating her death.

According to the termination letter, Hankison was disciplined last year for for "reckless conduct that injured an innocent person."

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  1. Wow! Atlanta cop fired and possibly facing death row. Louisville cop fired. Georgia cop fired.

    Those police unions man.

    1. Just wait until 2 years from now when they are reinstated with back pay.

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    2. Your comment implies that you think these decisions are evidence that police unions are not the problem others here keep claiming they are.

      If that’s a correct interpretation, I will counter with:
      1. The fact that these are news should tell you how exceptionally rare it is to actually hold police accountable. If this were the norm instead of the very rare exception, people would have a lot less problem.
      2. Let’s see if the firings stick before you exonerate the unions here. Some of the most egregious examples of union work to frustrate accountability have long come after the initial decision. Unions used lawsuits and other processes to get even some obviously incompetent and abusive cops returned to duty. Usually with back pay.

      1. The fact that these are news should tell you how exceptionally rare

        The fact that something is in the news tells you what the news wants you to think, and nothing else.

        1. Well, you know, the news also tells you the news.

          If you’re smart these days, you read about the event in news sources of various biases, because they will emphasize different parts of the story.

          If you’re smart these days, you know that everything gets misreported at first, so you wait at least a week for all the facts to come out before you draw any conclusions.

          1. Hear, hear. I recommend allsides.com. For each news item, they post a left, a center, and a right source.

            1. Pffft, my outrage schedule allots time for me to read one or two headlines and maybe a subtitle.

              Read multiple articles before I come to a conclusions?… Next you’re going to suggest that legislators should actually read bills before voting on them.

              1. seriously. couple headlines and the opinions of the people who post here are sufficient.

              2. That’s like asking us to read the articles before commenting on them. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

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      2. I believe my comment is more to the point that there might be a bit (just a bit mind you) of overstatement as to the authority of unions, and is incredibly naive to think the problems reside even mostly there and not even just a smidge with executive staff who, surprise, aren’t covered by unions, and in fact might be antagonistic to them and want them removed.

        Blaming unions is an excellent way to deflect from more systemic corruption.

        And much like how “libertarians” don’t scream and yell to end public defenders because the get guilty people off, the curious ferocity reserved for police having right to association and bargaining rights (as if working for the government means the loss of citizenship). Still waiting for the outrage over the Federalist Society. I mean an association of judges advocating for changes to law. Preposterous!

        And as far as reinstatement, couldn’t possibly be due to the fact there aren’t hordes of people lining up to eat donuts and take a bullet. Market forces applying to labor? Naw, better to go with half-cocked theories from the uninformed.

        1. Good points.
          You can’t stop people from unionizing, though you can prohibit collective bargaining.
          What annoys me is how easy it is to distract some people as Reason runs interference for the ruling caste.
          Must get rid of unions and QI! Don’t look at the legislators who pass laws, bureaucrats who create regulations, judges who sign off on warrants, or prosecutors who decline to press charges – nothing to see there!

          1. It’s not just Reason types. Fox News AFAICT has barely mentioned FISA judges in their thousands of hours of Russiagate coverage. There’s something deeper at play here.

            1. Fox is controlled opposition, at best, with a few commenters and hosts that are ok.
              They focus on the same propaganda as the rest

              1. The *real opposition* are the brave patriots at zerohedge and 4chan, of course.

                1. I don’t know about 4chan, but zerohedge is all over the place. The closest it comes to an ideology would be “anarcho-capitalist” but that’s even ill fitting.
                  Real opposition comes from individuals, and often on individual issues. Glenn Greenwald, Jonathan Turley, Victor Davis Hanson, Rush Limbaugh come to mind.
                  Since your perspective is 99% collectivist, you’re not going to understand.

                  1. You think Rush Limbaugh is “real opposition”? He is a GOP dick-sucker. He changes his opinion based on the changing winds of whatever the GOP voters want. When the Tea Party was a thing, he was preaching how we needed a “real conservative”, you know, like Ted Cruz. But now that we have Trump, who beat Ted Cruz, he is now all about how Trump is the savior of the nation. He is a fatass drug-addled grifter through and through. Put down the GOP talking points and look at who is lying to you.

                    1. Jeff, you say that as if anybody respects your NPC opinions.
                      Sorry, buddy, they don’t

        2. “And much like how “libertarians” don’t scream and yell to end public defenders because the get guilty people off”

          That’s because that’s what a public defender is supposed to do in our adversarial criminal justice system.

          “the curious ferocity reserved for police having right to association and bargaining rights (as if working for the government means the loss of citizenship)”

          It’s not just the police, it’s all public sector unions.

          “Still waiting for the outrage over the Federalist Society. I mean an association of judges advocating for changes to law.”

          The Federalist Society is not an association of judges and it does not advocate for changes to law. But other than those minor qubbles, great point.

          “And as far as reinstatement, couldn’t possibly be due to the fact there aren’t hordes of people lining up to eat donuts and take a bullet.”

          No, it really couldn’t. Reinstatement doesn’t mean rehired.

        3. the curious ferocity reserved for police having right to association and bargaining rights (as if working for the government means the loss of citizenship)

          You can be in any union you like. The government should be barred from ever negotiating with any union that claims to represent government employees.

          1. There is an inherent conflict of interest that is constantly ignored. The employees in a public employee’s union have undue influence over both sides in the negotiation. They (the employees) get to elect their union reps and they (and their families and friends) get to participate in the election of the people who appoint the government reps (the employer).

            Since 1 out of every 8 people works for some level of government, in many jurisdictions that influence is certainly large enough to swing elections to union friendly candidates. The influence the PEUs can wield as a voting block rivals that of the major parties, and is far greater than that of any minor party like those silly pothead Libertarians.

            1. Similarly, there is a potential conflict of interest in politicians exercising their free speech right (money is speech) in donating to an election of political cause, yet I haven’t heard the libertarian argument that anyone in government should lose their 1st amendment rights simply because it could affect an election (and they could potentially benefit). Like anyone else donating money isn’t attempting to do the same. But somehow only those outside of government are pure in their motivations, while any government employee is only looking to enrich themselves.

              It has echos of the arguments against Citizen United, but somehow libertarians could see their way to the obvious infringement there, but if the group pooling their money to affect an election is unsavory, special exemptions should apply. Good to see libertarians can accept and even promote the left’s arguments concerning PACs as it suits them. Could libertarian championing publicly funded elections and an end to lobbying be far behind?

              But those conflicts of interest are just the price of freedom, right?

          2. Bingo, juice.
            End government collective bargaining

        4. “I believe my comment is more to the point that there might be a bit (just a bit mind you) of overstatement as to the authority of unions,”

          This is the stupidest take of all the concern trolls out there.

          It literally took the entire country watching a cop strangle a man to death for 9 minutes before Union safeguards for cops were overcome. The fact that it took the mass publication of a ruthless murder- by a man who has 18 violence complaints against him- to override the standard Union tap-dance is as big an indictment of those unions as anything.

          1. Unions only have the power politicians (like Klobuchar) and bureaucrats give them.
            Fuck unions, especially public sector unions, but don’t let the people who fail to hold their members accountable off the hook

          2. Actually, the stupidest take is listening to libertarians scoff at the idea of disbanding the police while in the same breath call for the disbanding of unions.

            I guess only one of these is possible to reform.

      3. Your comment implies that you think these decisions are evidence that police unions are not the problem others here keep claiming they are.

        No, the comment implies no such thing. You *infer*.

    3. Cops being fired and charged with murder is a new thing. Before it was administrative leave and an internal investigation. We’re making progress.

  2. “Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!”
    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1273972301156016130

    Notice “protestors” in the list of people Trump is afraid of? Maybe he can bring his bunker with him to Tulsa.

    Donald Trump once again caught unaware of the first amendment.

    1. Time and time again, President Trump has shown the first amendment the same due respect the democratic party continually shows to the second amendment.

    2. He’s just following the example of MSM calling riots “mostly peaceful protests”.

  3. “displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life”

    Isn’t that, uhm, illegal? If you already determined this is what he did, where are the handcuffs?

    1. Police crimes are too often treated like workplace violations, but they may still bring charges. I doubt it. In fact, I doubt he’ll stay fired. But actual authority figures acknowledging that police panic isn’t an acceptable legal defense is a good step.

  4. Why don’t we ever hear about the judges that rubber stamp these warrants? Theories: 1)journalists as a social class hate cop types and like judge types. b)The ‘neo-liberal’ moment has deified judges as the democratic bulwark against voters. iii)”Name of judge” is a fact that takes some time to lookup and 95% of journalism now is clickbait.

  5. It’s amazing (not really) how many of these raids gone wrong end up being based on illegal warrants. Of course we only find out the warrant was illegal because the fatal shooting brought it into the spotlight. So how many other warrants are also illegal, but never reported as such because everything went according to plan (ie. someone was deprived of liberty and property for a victimless crime)?

  6. Louisville. Democratic administration. Can’t be racist.

  7. WWII ends as the allies capture Adolf Hitler before he can kill himself, and drag him before an international criminal court. He is found guilty. His sentence?

    He’s fired from his job! Justice!

  8. The officer is a scapegoat. The No Knock warrant marched those cops in plain clothes into a dark apartment without announcing they were cops in the middle of the night. The occupant understandably fired at the armed intruders who had broken into his house and the cops understandably fired back at the person shooting at them. Its the fault of the law, the department and the judge who issued the warrant that Beronna was killed.

    1. If they fired every officer that engages in panic fire inside a residence he had just broken into in the middle of the night then they’re going to have to completely overhaul their training. Going home safe at all cost might have to start with not breaking into homes in the middle of the night.

      1. Hence “defund the police” is now a thing. Police had every opportunity for the last several decades to shape up, they didn’t. Now they’ll get to deal with poorly-constructed legislation aimed at curtailing them. When they whine about it, I’ll have a good laugh.

  9. if any of the state agents had made one proper decision there would be an alive girl.

    1. Until the chirona got her…

  10. In the termination letter, Schroeder writes that he was “alarmed and stunned” by Hankison’s recklessness.

    …suddenly.

    1. Just like how the charges against her BF were dropped the day after the protests started.

  11. One officer to be fired. Who selected this sacrificial lamb I wonder. News accounts of the raid mentioned 8 Officers. What happened with the others? Also, what happens with the boyfriend of the victim, who was criminally charged as I understand?

  12. GOOD.

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  14. Where the he’ll is Dumpty? Finally, after more than a decade, we get some cases where the totality of the circs supports the officer against the rowdy mob….

  15. If judges are going to be given power to make these decisions to break into a persons house unannounced the the judge needs to do their do-diligence and be subjected to some level of accountability/penalty/reprimand/firing.

    The Judge who authorized the no-knock search warrant needs to be held accountable for a poor decision. The same is true of everyone who had a hand in the decision to do the no-knock search. In this case the system lead to the death of an innocent victim.

    It appears that the cops who fired their guns and will probably loose their jobs were put into a no-win situation were they were simply following their training and orders. In this situation is more of a problem with the leaders than the cops on the ground.

    The cop who will probably be fired should be allowed to sue the police leadership and judge for putting them into the situation in the first place. Qualified Immunity or just plain immunity will probably shield negligent leaders in the police and the judge from their reckless decisions.

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