Louisville Mayor Announces Firing Of An Officer In Breonna Taylor Shooting

Jun 19, 2020

Credit LMPD

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday morning that Brett Hankison is getting fired after the chief found he “displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he shot Breonna Taylor.

Hankison was one of three officers who has been on paid administrative leave since the March 13 shooting, when Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot and killed by plainclothes LMPD officers while they were executing a warrant. Fischer said interim chief Robert Schroeder is initiating termination proceedings.

Read Schroeder’s pre-termination letter here.

Credit Kate Howard/KYCIR

Until today, city officials have said action couldn’t be taken against the officers who killed Breonna Taylor until investigations were complete.

In the letter, released by LMPD immediately after the mayor’s briefing, Schroeder said that Hankison blindly fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment, endangering Taylor and her neighbors, and that his conduct “has severely damaged the image of our department we have established with our community.”

Credit Kate Howard/KYCIR

Hankison was one of three officers who served the warrant at Taylor’s house and one of at least two who fired weapons. No announcements were made about the other two officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, who are still on administrative paid leave.

Fischer Said He Can’t Talk About Firing

Fischer blamed state law in saying he couldn’t elaborate or take any questions from the media during the briefing, which lasted less than a minute.

“Both the chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to that moment,” Fischer said.

He referred questions about that to county attorney Mike O’Connell.

O’Connell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The law he cited states that, when a police officer has been charged with violating departmental rules or regulations, “no public statements shall be made concerning the alleged violation by any person or persons of the consolidated local government or the police officer so charged, until final disposition of the charges.”

Last week, Fischer announced that a task force would investigate two women’s claims of sexual assault against Hankison. Those allegations weren’t mentioned in the letter.