Ex-officer cleared in shooting during Breonna Taylor raid
A Kentucky jury on Thursday cleared a former police officer of charges that he endangered neighbors when he fired shots into an apartment during the 2020 drug raid that ended with Breonna Taylor’s death.
The panel of eight men and four women delivered its verdict about three hours after it took the case following closing arguments from prosecution and defense attorneys.
Hankison had been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing through sliding-glass side doors and a window of Taylor’s apartment during the raid that left the 26-year-old Black woman dead. Hankison’s attorneys never contested the ballistics evidence, but said he fired 10 bullets because he thought his fellow officers were “being executed.”
Hankison, 45, testified during the trial that he saw a muzzle flash from Taylor’s darkened hallway after police burst through the door and thought officers were under heavy fire, so he quickly wheeled around a corner and sprayed 10 bullets, hoping to end the threat.
But in closing arguments Thursday, prosecutors cast doubt on what Hankison said he saw, challenging whether he could have looked through Taylor’s front door when police broke it open with a battering ram.