The Department of Justice has raided and filed charges against four former and current Louisville police officers over the drug bust that led to the death of Breonna Taylor.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced charges against Officers Kyle Meany and Joshua Jaynes, former detective Kelly Goodlett and former officer Brett Hankison on Thursday.
Charges against the officers include “civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses,” according to a report from ABC News.
“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 during a news conference. “We share, but we cannot fully imagine, the grief felt by Breanna Taylor’s loved ones and all of those affected by the events of March 13, 2020. Breonna Taylor should be alive today.”
Taylor was killed during a knock and announce drug raid on March 13, 2020, during which her boyfriend shot at police and they returned fire.
According to retired Louisville Police Sgt. John Mattingly, who was shot during the Taylor incident, the officers were raided by FBI tactical teams early Thursday morning.
Mattingly tweeted “the FBI used tactical teams to raid 4 officer’s/former officer’s homes early this morning over the Breonna Taylor case. It’s political theater. These officers had cooperated. There was no need for this show of force.”
The FBI used tactical teams to raid 4 officer’s/former officer’s homes early this morning over the Breonna Taylor case. It’s political theater. These officers had cooperated. There was no need for this show of force. @megynkelly @TuckerCarlson @SebGorka @benshapiro @TuckerToday
— John Mattingly (@SgtMattingly) August 4, 2022
The DOJ alleges that Jaynes, Goodlett and Meany violated Taylor’s 4th Amendment rights by obtaining a warrant without proper probable cause. The department alleges that the officers knew that their affidavit for the warrant had “false and misleading information” and omitted other facts of the case.
Goodlett and Jaynes were charged with conspiracy for allegedly falsifying the affidavit. The department claims that after Taylor’s death the two met in a garage to discuss a “false story” that they would give to investigators.
Hankison is charged with two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.
ABC News reports, “Hankison allegedly used unconstitutional excessive force during the raid when he fired 10 shots through a window and sliding glass door in Taylor’s home that was covered in blinds and curtains after there was no longer a ‘lawful objective justifying the use of deadly force.'”
Garland said that he spoke to Taylor’s family on Thursday morning prior to his press conference.