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    Tuesday, August 16, 2022

    4 Louisville police charged in Breonna Taylor probe, Garland says

    WASHINGTON - Four current and former Louisville officers are facing federal charges in connection with the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor - including excessive force, falsifying information on the search warrant and staging a coverup, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday.

    Kelly Goodlett and Joshua Jaynes are accused of falsifying information on a search warrant before and after Taylor, 26, was killed in March 2020, sparking a wave of racial justice protests across the country. Garland said that the officers not only violated Taylor's Fourth Amendment rights but also knew the falsification would lead to a dangerous situation - one that "resulted in Ms. Taylor's death." The attorney general said Goodlett and Jaynes allegedly met in a garage after the killing and conspired to lie to investigators about the circumstances that led to it.

    "Breonna Taylor should still be alive," Garland said at a news conference.

    Former police officer Brett Hankison is charged with willfully using unconstitutional force for firing 10 shots through Taylor's patio door during the raid. Hankison faced three state charges of wanton endangerment for firing those shots without a clear target, but was acquitted at trial in March.

    Louisville police Sgt.Kyle Meany is also facing federal charges, Garland said Thursday.

    Jaynes was previously fired by Louisville police for allegedly violating department policies in preparing the warrant for Taylor's home. Yvette Gentry, then the interim chief, wrote in a pre-termination letter that Janes had "lied" when he wrote in the warrant application that he had verified through a U.S. postal inspector that Taylor was getting packages related to alleged drug activity of her ex-boyfriend.

    Jaynes is suing to get his job back.

    The Justice Department and the FBI has long been probing the Taylor case for potential civil rights violations. In April 2021, Garland announced a "pattern or practice" probe of the Louisville police department to determine whether the agency had engaged in abuse of power and unlawful tactics. That investigation is ongoing.

    On Thursday, the attorney general said his agency was committed to fighting for justice on Taylor's behalf, more than two years after her death.

    "We share, but cannot fully imagine, the grief felt by Breonna Taylor's loved ones," Garland said.

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