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Ex-officer cleared in shooting during Breonna Taylor raid

Brett Hankison
Posted at 1:15 PM, Mar 03, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky jury has cleared a former police officer who fired shots during the 2020 drug raid that ended in Breonna Taylor’s death.

The jury on Thursday found Brett Hankison not guilty of three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots that ripped into a neighboring apartment.

A judge handed the case to jurors Thursday after lawyers for the prosecution and defense wrapped up their closing arguments.

Hankison was charged with three counts of endangering Taylor's neighbors by firing into the side of her apartment during the raid that left the Black woman dead two years ago.

Hankison's attorneys never contested the ballistics evidence but said he shot 10 bullets hoping to save his fellow officers.

Asked if he did anything wrong that night, he said "absolutely not."

Hankison added that Taylor "didn't need to die that night," the Associated Press reported.

During his testimony, Hankison testified that the gunfire began with a muzzle flash that illuminated a shadowy silhouette, and he thought it was someone firing an automatic rifle at his fellow officers.

The former officer said he returned fire hoping to eliminate the threat.

In March 2020, Taylor, a 26-year-old Black medical worker, was fatally shot in her home during a botched police raid.

According to the news outlet, the obtained warrant was later found to be flawed.

Two of the officers who fired shots that struck Taylor, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, were not charged.

Cosgrove, who state investigators believe fired the fatal shot, was fired last January, months after Hankison was fired.

Last June, Mattingly, who was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker, retired.