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Former Louisville detective Brett Hankison pleads not guilty to charges related to Breonna Taylor shooting

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 9/28/2020 David Matthews
Troy Barron et al. posing for the camera: Breonna Taylor and Brett Hankison (Handouts) © Provided by New York Daily News Breonna Taylor and Brett Hankison (Handouts)

Former Louisville detective Brett Hankinson pleaded not guilty to three charges of felony wanton endangerment in connection with the shooting death of Breonna Taylor last March.

Hankison fired through “a sliding glass door and through a bedroom window,” according to state attorney general Daniel Cameron’s indictment. Some of the bullets went into an adjacent apartment which was occupied by three people, including a child and a pregnant woman. The charges are related to endangering those three people because ballistic evidence was inconclusive whether or not Hankinson shot Taylor.

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith also ordered that Hankinson is not allowed to possess any weapons while he is on pre-trial release. His attorney Stewart Mathews claimed Hankinson has been threatened and wanted a weapon to protect himself, according to a tweet from criminal justice reporter Jason Riley.

Hankinson, who was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department in June, was charged last Wednesday following a grand jury investigation for firing his gun blindly into the apartment. No other officers involved in the deadly raid at Taylor’s boyfriend’s apartment were charged.

Hankinson was released on $15,000 bail shortly after he was arrested and booked last week. If convicted on all three charges, Hankison faces between three and 15 years in prison.

Louisville mayor Greg Fischer said Monday that the city was ending its curfew but will retain physical barriers and traffic restrictions downtown following several days of demonstrations.


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