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'Your Conduct Demands Your Termination': Louisville Firing Cop Accused Of Killing Breonna Taylor
"I find your conduct a shock to the conscience," the police chief said in a letter to Brett Hankison about his role in Breonna Taylor's killing.
The city of Louisville will fire one of the officers responsible for killing Black EMT Breonna Taylor, accusing him of "blindly" firing into the woman's home while serving a no-knock warrant.
"I find your conduct a shock to the conscience," interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder wrote in a Friday letter to Detective Brett Hankison initiating termination procedures. "I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion."
Schroeder said that Hankison's actions the night of Taylor's death “displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
"The result of your action seriously impedes the Department's goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department," Schroeder added in his letter. "Your conduct demands your termination."
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the firing in a brief press conference Friday, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
"Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law that I would very much like to see changed, both the chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment or even the timing of this decision," Fischer told reporters, declining to speak more on the decision but confirming the police department is initiating termination proceedings.
Officials had previously said action couldn’t be taken against the officers who killed Taylor until investigations were complete, local outlet WFPL reported.
The Louisville Metro Police Department posted the letter to its social media channels on Facebook and Twitter, also stating, "We will have no additional statements on this matter."
"It's about damn time," Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Taylor’s family, said of the firing, according to the Associated Press.
On March 13, Taylor, 26, and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping in her Louisville apartment when three plainclothes LMPD officers allegedly burst into her home in the middle of the night. She was shot at least eight times by the officers — who have since been identified as Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove.
Cosgrove and Mattingly have been placed on administrative reassignment, according to the Courier-Journal.
Hankison's conduct has come under increasing scrutiny over reports of a lawsuit describing him as a "dirty cop" and accusations of sexual assault.
Taylor's death has become a flashpoint in demonstrations against police brutality following the death of George Floyd — especially in the area of Louisville. Protests have led to the firing of the police chief and the Louisville City Council passing a law to ban the use of no-knock warrants.
Federal agents were conducting an investigation at Taylor's apartment on Friday, according to the FBI's Louisville division.