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Brett Hankison removed from Louisville police


Louisville Metro Police Detector Brett Hankison (Photo: LMPD)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday that Louisville metro police will begin the layoff of Constable Brett Hankison, one of three LMPD operatives, who allegedly fired guns on March 13 at Breonna Taylor’s Apartment, the killing.

Hankison is accused by the acting head of the department, Robert Schroeder, of having fired “indiscriminately” 10 shots in Taylor’s apartment, creating a substantial danger of death and serious injuries.

“I find your behavior shocking to the conscience,” Schroeder wrote in a letter to Hankison on Friday setting out the charges against him. “I am alarmed and amazed that you used lethal force in this way. “

“The outcome of your action seriously undermines the Department’s objective of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct on the part of a member of the Louisville Metro Police Department, “he added. “Your conduct requires your dismissal. “

Specifically, Hankison is charged with violating ministerial policies on obeying rules and regulations and the use of lethal force. Schroeder, who wrote that he received the investigation on Tuesday evening, notes that Hankison has already been penalized for reckless driving and was penalized in early 2019.

The other two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor’s apartment – Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officer Myles Cosgrove – are still on administrative assignment.

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Fischer, at a press conference Friday announcing the dissolution of Hankison, declined to comment.

“Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law that I would very much like to see changed, the chief and I cannot speak about what brought us to this moment, or even the moment of this decision” said Fischer.

Lawyers representing Hankison in a civil lawsuit and the LMPD investigation into his conduct did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Courier Journal on Friday.

Ryan Nichols, the president of the Brotherhood of the River City Police Section, representing the Louisville Metro police, declined to comment at the time.

Sam Aguiar, a Louisville-based lawyer for the Taylor family, said on Friday about Hankison’s layoff: “It’s damn time.” “

Hankison in recent weeks has also been accused of sexual assault by several women in viral social media posts. The allegations are similar, saying that he offered drunk women to go home to bars before sexually assaulting them.

Aguiar told the Courier Journal on Friday that Hankison should have been released “from day one.”

“Maybe, finally, the mayor realized that sometimes it is enough to do what is best for the city, and since the first day, the best thing for the city (has been) to remove this dirty cop payroll and on the streets, “he said.

In a file filed last week, Aguiar alleged that Hankison “could not be located” after the shooting took place.

The document also alleged that Hankison “fired more than 20 shots, the majority of which were fired indiscriminately from outside the house through windows which were covered by blinds and blinds.”

Photos of Taylor’s apartment provided by Aguiar show the sliding glass patio door mounted from the outside. But inside, shards of glass can be seen on the carpet of the apartment and bullet holes screen the curtains.

Aguiar said that “following the initial burst of gunfire, witnesses say that an officer (presumably Hankison) yelled” reload “and then continued to shoot more at Breonna’s house. Several shots from Hankison went to an adjacent apartment in which a pregnant mother and 5-year-old son were located. ”

“There are legitimate concerns regarding the LMPD’s propensity to conceal incriminating evidence involving Hankison’s criminal conduct,” said Aguiar in the document.

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The three officers were the subject of an internal investigation by the Louisville Metro Police Public Integrity Unit. The investigation has been shared with the FBI and the state’s attorney general, who are expected to investigate further.

Neither the FBI nor the Attorney General of Kentucky have announced any criminal charges.

Metro councilor Brandon Coan, district D-8, called Hankison’s dismissal “the first and most important employment decision (Fischer) could have been made in this case and the consequences.”

“Thank you, and be bold about the many others,” Coan wrote on Twitter.

On Friday morning, FBI officials in Louisville were at Taylor’s apartment, executing a search warrant as part of their independent investigation and taking a “fresh look” at the evidence.

Spokesman Tim Beam said the FBI would investigate “all aspects” of Taylor’s death, including interviewing witnesses who have already spoken to Louisville Underground police and who have not yet done so. They will also review all of the physical and video evidence to better understand what happened, he said.

“Today’s action is part of the process,” said Beam.

Hankison faced allegations of drug planting and sexual misconduct

Hankison’s personal file transfer log shows that he worked in the 6th division of the LMPD before joining the narcotics unit in 2016. Former police chief Steve Conrad said that Hankison joined the department in 2003 .

Hankison has raised more than $ 150,530 in overtime since 2015, according to city records.

Salary data shows that he regularly collected thousands of dollars in addition to his basic salary while working for the department’s narcotics unit. The job change only slightly increased his wages, but increased his overtime hours by more than $ 20,000 – a jump that made his 2016 overtime hours the 23rd highest for LMPD.

The following year, in 2017, he earned $ 48,046.30 in overtime, almost doubling his salary by $ 58,593.60. This overtime payment was the 12th highest in the department.

In addition to the recently disclosed allegations of sexual assault, Hankison has also been investigated at least twice by the LMPD public integrity unit on charges of sexual misconduct. The two cases found no wrongdoing.

In 2015, a probation and parole officer told investigators that a parolee informed her that Hankison had told him that he wanted to “go out with her.” During an initial interview, parole said that he “came to her” and said that a ticket could be taken care of if she had sex with him.

She then returned to these statements. An investigator, in recommending the closure of the case, said that no evidence had been found and that it was clear that it was “misleading”.

In 2008, Hankison was charged with having oral sex in exchange for not arresting a woman with an outstanding warrant, but the woman denied that it had happened.

She said that she had not been arrested because she had given information about a drug trafficker.

He is also being tried in federal court by a man by the name of Kendrick Wilson, who alleges that the detective arrested him several times and planted drugs on him in a “vendetta”.

He also said that Wilson and Hankison had various interactions outside of the arrests, “including a relationship with the same woman”.

This story will be updated.

Darcy Costello: 502-582-4834; [email protected]; Twitter: @dctello. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today:

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