Breonna Taylor’s murderers to face federal charges

This will be the rare federal prosecution where it won’t be easy to get a conviction, but kudos to Garland et al. for bringing it:

Four current and former Louisville police officers involved in the deadly raid on Breonna Taylor’s home — including detectives who worked on the search warrant and the ex-officer accused of firing blindly into her home — have been charged with civil rights violations and other counts, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday.The charges mark the first federal counts leveled against any of the officers involved in the botched raid. In addition to civil rights offenses, federal authorities charged the four with unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction, Garland said.


Former Detective Joshua Jaynes, 40, Detective Kelly Goodlett and Sgt. Kyle Meany, 35, were charged with submitting a false affidavit to search Taylor’s home ahead of the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department’s raid, and then working together to create a “false cover story in an attempt to escape responsibility for their roles in preparing the warrant affidavit that contained false information,” according to court documents.

Ex-detective Brett Hankison is alleged to have “willfully used unconstitutionally excessive force … when he fired his service weapon into Taylor’s apartment through a covered window and covered glass door.” He is charged with depriving Taylor and a guest in her home “of their constitutional rights by firing shots through a bedroom window that was covered with blinds and a blackout curtain,” the US Department of Justice said.

The 46-year-old also faces charges of depriving three of Taylor’s neighbors of their constitutional rights as, according to the indictment, the bullets he fired traveled through a wall in Taylor’s home and into an adjacent apartment.

Jaynes and Meany stand accused of willfully depriving Taylor of her constitutional rights by drafting and approving a false affidavit to obtain a search warrant, while knowing “the affidavit contained false and misleading statements, omitted material facts, relied on stale information, and was not supported by probable cause,” the DOJ statement said. Both men “knew that the execution of the search warrant would be carried out by armed LMPD officers, and could create a dangerous situation both for those officers and for anyone who happened to be in Taylor’s home,” it said.Goodlett conspired with Jaynes and Meany to “falsify the search warrant for Taylor’s home and to cover up their actions afterward,” the statement said.

It’s been known for a while that the warrant was illegal, but I didn’t have a lot of hope that anything would come of it. I don’t know how this will come out, but just the decision to charge the officers is a very important and salutary one.