Four Officers Indicted Over Breonna Taylor No-Knock Warrant And Killing

Breonna Taylor March

The U.S. Department of Justice charged four former and current Louisville police officers with federal crimes in connection with the fatal raid on Breonna Taylor’s home in 2020. The officers face charges that include civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields said in a statement that she is beginning termination procedures against officers Kyle Meany and Kelly Goodlett, and that ex-detectives Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankison have already been fired. She said it is critical that any illegal or inappropriate actions by law enforcement be addressed comprehensively.

Louisville police falsely claimed that a postal inspector had verified that a suspect was using Taylor’s home to receive parcels, but a postal inspector told WDRB News that his office had concluded that there were no suspicious packages going to the unit.

Jaynes tried to get an LMPD officer to say he had information about a drug dealer receiving packages at Taylor’s home, but the officer told Jaynes he had no information to support that claim. Jaynes and Goodlett provided a false Investigative letter to criminal investigators stating that the postal inspector did provide evidence of suspicious packages.

A Shively police officer told investigators he told a Louisville postal inspector that no packages had been delivered to Taylor’s apartment and that the post office had not received any packages either. The letter the officers turned in was a fabrication made after they shot and killed Breonna Taylor.

On April 10, 2020, about a month after Taylor was fatally shot by police, Salyer said he received a text from Jaynes, again asking about any packages going to Taylor’s home. Salyer told Jaynes there were no packages in months delivered to the address.

Clay Jaynes was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department for being untruthful, and his attorney has appealed that ruling.

Hankison was indicted on two counts of deprivation of rights for shooting through a bedroom window in Taylor’s apartment and into a neighboring unit, endangering three people, including a then-3-year-old boy. Taylor was inside the apartment with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. Four current, former Louisville police officers federally charged in Breonna Taylor’s death  CNN
  2. Justice Department charges 4 Louisville police officers in Breonna Taylor investigation  Fox News
  3. Federal Officials Charge Four Officers in Breonna Taylor Raid  The New York Times
  4. Breonna Taylor’s mother on new federal charges: ‘I’ve waited 874 days for this’  WLKY Louisville
  5. Attorney: ‘What a great day to arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor’  11Alive
John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.