Ex-Cop in Breonna Taylor Raid Found Not Guilty

Brett Hankison faced three counts for firing into neighboring apartment
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2022 7:35 PM CST
Updated Mar 3, 2022 2:30 PM CST
Trial Begins Over Shots Fired in Breonna Taylor Raid
Cody Etherton, the next-door neighbor of Breonna Taylor, testifies Wednesday in Louisville.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, Pool)

Updated: A former police officer in Louisville, Kentucky, accused of recklessly firing his gun during the fatal raid on Breonna Taylor's apartment has been found not guilty, reports NBC News. Brett Hankison, 45, was not on trial over Taylor's death but because bullets from his gun entered the apartment of her neighbors. Hankison had been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, per the AP. Our story from Feb. 23 follows:

Testimony began Wednesday in the only trial of a police officer in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. Former detective Brett Hankison faces three felony counts of wanton endangerment in the Louisville raid that killed Taylor in her home in March 2020, the BBC reports. Prosecutors say that Hankison, though he could see no target, recklessly fired shots into a neighboring apartment that risked the lives of the family inside: Cody Etherton; his pregnant wife, Chelsey Napper; and their 5-year-old son. A defense lawyer told jurors they'd be shown that Hankison's actions in a chaotic situation were justified.

Witnesses who took the stand Wednesday included Etherton and four officers who took part in the raid. "We knocked for a really long time," before entering Taylor's apartment, one of the officers testified. The search began as a no-knock raid but was shifted to a "knock and announce" warrant. Jason Vance, who was assigned to the public integrity unit at the time, showed the jury the layout and photos of bullet casings. The jurors will visit the site on Friday, per CNN. The trial in Jefferson County Circuit Court is scheduled to last about two weeks. (More Breonna Taylor stories.)

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