Back in 2020, videos of the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery went viral. Their killers – serving police officers – were arrested and charged soon after, and are currently incarcerated.
In March of the same year, Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police while she slept unarmed in her bed. She was shot during a “no-knock” raid on her apartment, as authorities suspected her ex-boyfriend and convicted drug trafficker, Jamarcus Glover, had used her apartment to hide narcotics or money. No drugs were found at the property.
While calls to “arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” abounded on social media, her killers went free – until now, over two years since her death.
Four current and former Louisville police officers involved in the raid on Taylor’s home – including detectives who worked on the search warrant, and the ex-officer accused of firing blindly into her home – have been charged with civil rights violations, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force, and obstruction.
Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany are charged with submitting a false affidavit to search Taylor’s home, knowing that “the affidavit contained false and misleading statements, omitted material facts, relied on stale information, and was not supported by probable cause.”
After Taylor’s murder, Jaynes colluded with Kelly Goodlett to craft a “false cover story in an attempt to escape responsibility for their roles in preparing the warrant affidavit that contained false information.”
Former detective Brett Hankison is also charged with violating Taylor’s civil rights. He is alleged to have “willfully used unconstitutionally excessive force [...] when he fired his service weapon into Taylor's apartment through a covered window and covered glass door.”
Hankinson also faces charges of depriving three of Taylor's neighbours of their constitutional rights as the bullets he fired penetrated a wall in Taylor’s home and into their adjacent apartment.
Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, says she’s been waiting for these charges to be filed. She added that her daughter’s death has taken her to a “place that we can't even imagine” and said that “every day's been March 13” for her.
Reacting to news of the charges on Thursday, the family's lawyers said that “today was a huge step toward justice.”