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Officer Brett Hankison being fired from Louisville police after Breonna Taylor shooting

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday that Louisville Metro Police is moving to fire Brett Hankison, one of three LMPD officers to fire weapons on March 13 at Breonna Taylor’s apartment, killing her.

Hankison is accused by the department’s interim chief, Robert Schroeder, of “blindly” firing 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment, creating a substantial danger of death and serious injury. 

“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” Schroeder wrote in a Friday letter to Hankison laying out the charges against him. “I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion.” 

“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,” he added. “Your conduct demands your termination.”

Louisville Metro Police Detective Brett Hankison

Specifically, Hankison is accused of violating departmental policies on adherence to rules and regulations and use of deadly force. Schroeder, who wrote that he received the department’s Public Integrity Unit investigation into the case on Tuesday evening, notes Hankison was previously disciplined for reckless conduct in early 2019. 

The pretermination letter Schroeder sent Friday will be followed up with a pretermination hearing, expected to take place in the next week, where Hankison and his legal representation, attorney David Leightty, will respond to the allegations. 

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Schroeder will then issue a final decision, which Hankison can appeal to the Police Merit Board within 10 days. That board will consider if the chief’s decision was justified. If it determines it was not justified, it can levy its own punishment. 

The other two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor’s apartment — Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove — remain on administrative reassignment. 

Fischer, in a brief Friday news conference announcing Hankison’s termination, declined further comment.

“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 said.

Breonna Taylor

According to state law, “no public statements shall be made concerning the alleged violation” by local government officials “until final disposition of the charges.”

Hankison in recent weeks also has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women in viral social media posts. The allegations are similar, saying that he offered intoxicated women a ride home from bars before sexually assaulting them.

Attorneys representing Hankison in a civil lawsuit and the LMPD investigation did not immediately respond to Courier Journal requests for comment on Friday. 

Ryan Nichols, the president of the River City Fraternal Order of Police chapter representing Louisville Metro Police officers, declined to comment at this time. 

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Sam Aguiar, a Louisville-based attorney for Taylor’s family, said Friday about Hankison’s firing: “It’s about damn time.” 

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