4 Cops Involved in Breonna Taylor’s Murder Have Been Arrested and Charged…Finally

It's taken nearly two and a half years after the shooting of Breonna Taylor for the FBI to charge four of the police officers who conspired in her murder.

4 Cops Involved in Breonna Taylor’s Murder Have Been Arrested and Charged…Finally
Photo:Jon Cherry/Getty Images (Getty Images)

Two years have passed since Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was fatally shot by Louisville Metro police officers in her home. As of Thursday morning, four officers involved in the shooting have only just been arrested and charged by the FBI in relation to her murder. Civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses, are among the charges.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced via a press conference that three officers, Kyle Meany, Kelly Goodlett, and detective Joshua Jaynes were charged with knowingly using a falsified affidavit to procure a search warrant for Taylor’s home in relation to an investigation that involved her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. The FBI has determined that the officers’ search not only lacked probable cause, but the affidavit contained misleading information and omitted details that violated Taylor’s 4th Amendment rights and ultimately, resulted in her death. According to the justice department, Goodlett and Jaynes have been charged with conspiracy for the falsified affidavit, as they were proven to have met in a garage following Taylor’s murder and “agreed to tell investigators” who might question them “a false story.” The other officers involved in the botched raid, according to Garland, were unaware of the warrant’s falsities. It’s worth noting that until the arrest, Meany was still employed as an officer by the department.

Additionally, Brett Hankison, the officer who fired 10 shots into Taylor’s window and door, has been charged in a two-count indictment for civil rights offenses, including excessive force. Earlier this year, Hankison was acquitted on the state charges of wanton endangerment for the rounds he fired into Taylor’s home that came close to, but never injured, Taylor’s neighbors.

“Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” Garland told the press.

Hankison is the only officer who opened fire on Taylor to be criminally charged. Myles Cosgrove, the detective that fired the shot that killed her, was only fired from the department, and has since fought to get his job back. Jonathan Mattingly, the third officer to fire shots, penned a tell-all on the tragedy this year. Charges filed against were dropped on Mattingly.

Meanwhile, Kristen Clarke, an assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, said another team is currently conducting a civil investigation of the entire Louisville Metro Police Department, with the objective to determine whether or not it has a pattern of misconduct that includes excessive force, improper searches, and racially discriminatory policing practices.

“We hope this announcement of a guilty plea sends a message to all other involved officers that it is time to stop covering up and time to accept responsibility for their roles in causing the death of an innocent, beautiful young Black woman,” Ben Crump, an attorney for Taylor’s family, responded to the news via statement.

Obviously, I’d rather these charges now than none at all. Even still, that message should’ve been delivered a very long time ago. Especially when proof of their coverup has been there all along.

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