Breonna Taylor’s death: Four current, former Louisville police officers charged with federal charges

The charges mark the first federal charge to be leveled against any officer involved in the failed 2020 raid. In addition to civil rights violations, federal authorities have charged the four with unlawful conspiracies, use of force and unconstitutional obstruction, Garland said.

Joshua Jaynes, Kelly Goodlett and Kyle Meany are accused of submitting a false affidavit to search Taylor’s home before the March 2020 Louisville Metropolitan Police Department raid and then working together to create a “fake stories intended to evade responsibility for their role in the preparation of subpoenas containing false information,” according to court documents.

They are also accused of conspiring after the shooting to cover up that the warrant was issued based on false information, as well as making false statements during interviews with criminal investigators.

“We allege that Ms. Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated when defendants Joshua Jaynes, Kyle Meany and Kelly Goodlett requested a warrant to search Ms. Taylor’s home knowing that officers had no cause legitimate reason for the search,” the attorney general said.

Perjury affidavit The officers verified that the target of their drug trafficking investigation received the packages at Taylor’s address, but Jaynes and Goodlett knew that was not true, Garland said.

“We further allege that defendants Jaynes and Meany knew a search warrant would be executed by armed LMPD officers and that conducting such a search could create a dangerous situation for anyone in The flag is in Miss Taylor’s house,” he said.

Jaynes, who emerged mostly from a prison in shorts and a polo shirt, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutors did not ask that he be detained pending trial. But they asked him to be barred from contacting any witnesses or possible defendants in the case.

Brett Hankison, who fired 10 shots at Taylor’s home and was acquitted of endangering innocent life earlier this year, has been indicted on two federal counts of disqualification under the color law. Hankison’s attorney declined to comment. Only Hankison has been charged at the state level.

Goodlett and Jaynes met in a garage a few weeks after the failed raid and conspired to pass on false information to investigators, the attorney general alleges.

Officials executing the search warrant were not involved in drafting the warrant and were unaware that it contained false information, the attorney general said.

Hankison was at the scene when the search warrant was issued and is charged with willful use of unconstitutional excessive force.

Lawyer: ‘Big step towards justice’

Garland said: “We share but we cannot fully imagine the pain of Breonna Taylor’s loved ones and all those affected by the events of March 13, 2020. “Breonna Taylor should remain live today.”

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Taylor family, welcomed the charges, as well as the “tough fight” waged by the Taylor family, attorneys, advocates and community members. copper.

“Today is a huge step towards justice. We are grateful for the diligence and dedication of the FBI and (US Department of Justice) as they investigate what led to Breonna’s murder and what caused it. The justice that Breonna receives today would not have been possible without the efforts of Attorney General Merrick Garland or Assistant AG for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke,” Crump said in a statement. Father. “We hope this guilty plea sends a message to all other officers involved that it’s time to stop the cover-up and to accept responsibility for their role in causing the death of a man. innocent, beautiful black women.”

In January 2021, LMPD terminate Jaynes and his colleague Myles Cosgrove. Cosgrove was fired for using deadly force in firing 16 rounds into Taylor’s home and failing to activate his body camera, according to a copy of his termination letter.

Jaynes was fired for “failing to complete a Secure Search Operations Plan form” and for dishonestly verifying that Taylor’s previous boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, received packages at Taylor’s home, letter of disapproval terminate the contract said.

Following the termination of the contract, Jaynes attorney Thomas Clay said the move was no surprise and promised to fight for his client to be reinstated.

Clay told CNN in January 2021: “Our view is that he did nothing wrong in any of the activities related to this search.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor, adding that the shooting was justified because Taylor’s boyfriend fired at the officers first. Kenneth Walker II, Taylor’s boyfriend, has said several times that he thinks the officers are intruders and one shot when they broke the door.
An evaluation board support Cosgrove’s termination last yearand Jaynes lost a similar appeal to the board in June, according to CNN affiliate WDRB.

The Louisville police union said at the time the lawsuits were “groundless”.

“Certainly there is no evidence in this case that LMPD policies and procedures have been violated to the extent that they warrant termination,” the Fraternal City Police Order said in a statement. “Interim Sheriff (Yvette) Gentry not only made the wrong decision, but sent an ominous message to every sworn officer of the Louisville Metro Police Department.”

Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was fatally shot in her apartment during a flawed forced raid in the early hours of March 13, 2020. Her death, along with those of skin, other black at the hands of law enforcement – including George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia – cause a summer protests calling for police reform.

None of the officers involved in the raid had previously been charged with Taylor’s actual killing.

State prosecutors only charged Hankison in connection with the shooting. The LMPD fired Hankison in June 2020, and in September 2020, a grand jury found Hankison on three counts of felony endangerment for blindly firing 10 shots at Taylor’s home.

In March, a jury acquitted Hankison of all charges.

CNN’s Amir Vera contributed to this report.

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