LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nearly two years after Breonna Taylor’s shooting death by police, the only Kentucky officer facing criminal charges in the botched raid will stand trial Wednesday for shooting into Taylor’s neighbor’s apartment.
Brett Hankison, now a former officer, fired 10 shots near a side door during the raid, but none hit Taylor. Prosecutors say the bullets endangered Taylor’s neighbors — a couple and their infant child.
Hankison’s jury was selected from a larger-than-normal pool because of the the national publicity Taylor’s case has attracted since the deadly raid on March 13, 2020. Taylor’s name, along with George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery — Black men who died in encounters with police and white pursuers — were rallying cries during the racial justice protests seen around the world in 2020.
The 12 jurors and three alternates are expected to tour Taylor’s apartment and hear testimony from Hankison during the trial that’s expected to take two weeks. Several other current and former police officers are expected to testify.
The 26-year-old Black woman worked as an emergency medical tech and was settling down for bed when Louisville officers with a narcotics warrant kicked in her door. They drew fire from Taylor’s boyfriend, who thought an intruder was breaking in. Two officers at the door returned fire, killing Taylor. Neither one was charged in her death, though one of the officers was struck by a bullet in the leg.
Hankison is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, a low-level felony that is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison.