Breonna Taylor killing: Ex-cop says he did nothing wrong in raid | Black Lives Matter News

Former US police detective Brett Hankison testified in his personal defence on Wednesday in regards to the botched police raid in Louisville, Kentucky, that left Breonna Taylor useless in March 2020.

Hankison mentioned the gunfire started with a muzzle flash that illuminated a shadowy silhouette, and he thought it was somebody firing an automated rifle at his fellow officers.

Hankison is on trial for firing bullets that went into an adjoining condo, endangering a pregnant neighbour, her younger baby and her boyfriend.

Not one of the law enforcement officials concerned within the killing of Taylor, a 26-year-old unarmed Black girl, who was sleeping in her mattress throughout the raid, have been charged along with her dying.

Requested if he did something incorrect throughout the raid, Hankison replied: “Completely not”, though he acknowledged firing into the window and patio door. As for Taylor, he mentioned, “She didn’t have to die that evening.”

Breonna Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer, then stormed out of the courtroom.

Hankison mentioned that as a police battering ram broke open Taylor’s door, the blast of a gun lit up the condo’s hallway and his fellow officer fell wounded within the doorway. He mentioned he thought the muzzle flash matched that of a protracted rifle, however no rifle was discovered within the condo.

“The percussion from that muzzle flash I may really feel,” Hankison mentioned, apparently struggling to keep up his composure as he described police sergeant Jonathan Mattingly taking place from a bullet wound.

Taylor’s taking pictures by police serving a narcotics warrant at her residence sparked months of Black Lives Matter protests in Louisville and throughout the US, as demonstrators referred to as for the officers to be charged in her dying.

Prosecutors solid doubt on whether or not Hankison may see by way of the entrance door and why he retreated to fireplace into the aspect of Taylor’s condo.

Hankison testified earlier within the day that he determined “to get out of that deadly funnel as shortly as attainable and get to a location the place I can return rounds”, so he ran round a nook the place he may see extra muzzle flashes by way of a sliding glass door and a bed room window, regardless of their closed blinds and curtains.

“I knew Sergeant Mattingly was down and I knew they had been attempting to get to him and it appeared to me they had been being executed with this rifle,” Hankison mentioned. “I assumed I may put rounds by way of that bed room window and cease the risk.”

Protesters march against racial injustice and for Black women following the grand jury decision in Louisville's Breonna Taylor case, in Denver, Colorado.
Protesters march towards racial injustice and for Black girls following the grand jury choice in Louisville’s Breonna Taylor case [File: Kevin Mohatt/Reuters]

Investigators later decided just one spherical was fired by Taylor’s boyfriend, who mentioned he thought an intruder was breaking in. The opposite 32 bullets fired within the raid got here from police.

Throughout an hour-long cross-examination, a prosecutor requested Hankison why, if he noticed a risk, he didn’t fireplace when he was at Taylor’s entrance door.

“You knew you needed to reply, however you didn’t reply,” mentioned Barbara Maines Whaley, an assistant state legal professional common.

“I didn’t reply as a result of we had been in that funnel,” Hankison replied.

“Weren’t you involved if you happen to fired by way of the sliding door you may hit your fellow officers?” Whaley requested. “Completely not,” Hankison replied.

“Did you’re feeling responsible about leaving your fellow officers within the deadly funnel?” Whaley requested.

“No,” Hankison replied.

Hankison was one in all solely two witnesses referred to as by his lawyer earlier than they completed his defence on Wednesday. Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday.

Hankison is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, a felony that carries a sentence of 1 to 5 years.

Chelsey Napper, the next door neighbor of Breonna Taylor, holds up an exhibit during questioning from the prosecution.
Chelsey Napper, the following door neighbour of Breonna Taylor, holds up an exhibit throughout questioning from the prosecution within the trial of former police officer Brett Hankison [Timothy D Easley/Pool via AP Photo]

The prosecution completed presenting its case on Tuesday with testimony from Chelsey Napper, who referred to as 911 after Hankison’s gunfire ripped by way of her condo, which shared a standard wall with Taylor’s.

Hankison is charged with endangering Napper, her five-year-old son and her boyfriend, Cody Etherton, whereas his fellow officers shot at Taylor’s boyfriend throughout the raid subsequent door.

Hankison was fired by police for taking pictures “blindly” throughout the raid on March 13, 2020. He fired 10 pictures, none of which hit Taylor or her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

Walker advised investigators that he had fired a single shot with a handgun as a result of he thought intruders had been breaking in. Walker’s bullet hit Mattingly within the leg, and Mattingly and one other officer, Myles Cosgrove, opened fireplace in response, killing Taylor.

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