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4 Louisville Police Officers Charged in Breonna Taylor’s Death

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Four Louisville police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor have been charged with civil rights violations and other counts, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced.

The officers charged are both current and former officers of the department. According to AP News, former officers Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankison, along with current officers Kelly Goodlett and Sgt. Kyle Meany have been hit with the federal government filed civil rights charges. The charges include civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses.

“The federal charges announced today allege that members of a Police Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home and that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death,” Garland said in a news conference.

Taylor was fatally shot by officers who broke down her door while executing a search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a single shot, thinking it was an intruder. The firearm has been legally purchased. Walker struck one officer. Two Louisville officers then fired a total of 22 shots into the apartment. Taylor was hit six times, including once in the chest.

To date, Hankison has been the only officer charged who was on the scene that night. Goodlett and Meany have managed to hold onto their jobs, but the Louisville police are seeking to fire them.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump celebrated the decision to file charges.

“The federal government went through and dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’. It’s not something that we have seen historically done on behalf of Black people, especially Black women. I can’t think of a Justice Department being this committed to civil rights since Robert Kennedy and the civil rights movement, with Martin Luther King and John Lewis,” Crump said.

For Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, the news is bittersweet.

“Today’s overdue but it still hurts,” she told reporters.

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