The U.S. Attorney General’s Office announced charges have been filed against several officers who were involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated four officers are being charged with civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracy, unconstitutional use of force, and obstruction.
Ex-officers Brett Hankinson and Joshua Jaynes are being charged, as well as Kelly Hanna Goodlett and Kyle Meany who are both still serving as officers. Prior to today’s announcement, ex-Louisville detective Hankinson had been charged initially but eventually was acquitted. Outside of Hankinson, the other three individuals have been charged with falsification of a search warrant. As for Hankinson, he has been charged with using excessive force (he opened fire during the raid).
Taylor’s family was joined by nationally renowned civil rights Ben Crump and co-counsel Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker, in a press conference once the news was announced:
“These nearly two and a half years have been extremely difficult for Tamika, Juniyah, and their family as they’ve endlessly fought for justice on behalf of Breonna. Likewise, it has been a tough fight for the attorneys, advocates, and community members who have rallied to support Breonna’s family in their quest for justice.
“Today was a huge step toward justice. We are grateful for the diligence and dedication of the FBI and the DOJ as they investigated what led to Breonna’s murder and what transpired afterwards. The justice that Breonna received today would not have been possible without the efforts of Attorney General Merrick Garland or Assistant AG for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke. 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.
“On behalf of Breonna’s family, thank you to all who have continued to say her name, continued to pray, continued to fight, and continued to shut down all of the hate, negativity, and lies. There have been so many dark days, so many times when hope was lost. We cannot emphasize enough how pivotal your voices and support have been to keep us going.
“There are still so many families who are fighting and praying for justice and accountability in situations where their loved ones were wrongfully killed by the police. We need to stand with them, fight with them, pray with them, and do whatever is possible for them.
“Say her name. Breonna Taylor.”