DOJ charges current, former police officers in connection with raid that killed Breonna Taylor

US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that the Justice Department has filed charges against four former and current Louisville police officers in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor. Charges include civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracy, unconstitutional use of force, and obstruction offenses.

“The federal charges announced today allege that members of a police investigation unit falsified an affidavit used to obtain a search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home and that the act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those The breaches resulted in the death of Ms Taylor,” Garland said at a news conference.

Federal charges against Detectives Joshua Jaynes, former Louisville Detective Kelly Goodlett and Sergeant Kyle Meaney allege they violated Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights when they sought a warrant to search Taylor’s home even though they knew They lack probable cause, and they know that the warrants contained in their affidavits have support. Leaving false and misleading information and other material information, resulting in his death.

“Among other things, the affidavit falsely claimed that officers had verified that the targets of the alleged drug trafficking operation had received packages at Ms. Taylor’s address. In fact, defendants Jaynes and Goodlett knew that That was not true,” Garland said during a press conference.

Garland also alleged that Jaynes and Goodlett knew that armed officers would raid Taylor’s home, and that conducting a search “could create a dangerous situation for anyone living in Ms. “

Prosecutors allege that Jaynes and Goodlett met in a garage after Taylor’s death “where they agreed to tell investigators” given the failed raid “a false story”.

Charges have also been filed against Brett Hankison, a former Louisville Metro police officer who was involved in the death of Breonna Taylor. Hankison has been charged with a two-count indictment for denial of rights under color of the law, both of which are civil rights offenses.

Hankison reportedly used unconstitutional excessive force during the raid, when he fired 10 bullets through a window and sliding glass door into Taylor’s home, which was covered with blinds and curtains, as it is now “deadly”. There was no legitimate purpose justifying the use of force”.

The Justice Department has a pattern or practice investigation underway at the Louisville Police Department since April 2021. Kristen Clark, assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, told reporters that a separate investigation is ongoing and the DOJ has a team on the ground that is still conducting interviews. Stakeholders and are riding with the police there.

Garland also alleged that the raiding officers were not involved in drafting the warrant and were unaware of the false and misleading statements contained therein during the raid.

Garland said she spoke to Taylor’s family on Thursday and informed them of the allegations.

“We share, but we cannot fully imagine, the grief felt by Breonna Taylor’s loved ones and all those affected by the events of March 13, 2020. Breonna Taylor must be alive today,” Garland said .

-ABC News’ Alexander Mallin and Jack Date contributed to this report

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