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Ex-cop charged with shooting at Breonna Taylor's apartment building pleads not guilty

Brett Hankison: Ex-cop charged with shooting into Breonna Taylor's apartment to be arraigned today
Posted at 4:46 AM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 16:26:35-04

The former Louisville Metro Police Officer charged with wanton endangerment for firing his gun into Breonna Taylor's apartment pleaded not guilty during a Monday arraignment.

Brett Hankison and his lawyer participated in the arraignment remotely. The former officer pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces.

The judge made two stipulations during Monday's arraignment: Hankison has to attend every court hearing, even if it is remotely, and second, Hankison cannot have any firearms. His attorney pushed back, arguing Hankison might need a weapon to protect himself after recent threats. The judge declined the objection.

Hankison was charged by a grand jury with three counts of wanton endangerment last week. Of the three officers who fired their weapons that night in March when Taylor was killed, Hankison was the only one charged as a result of the grand jury investigation.

Officers were at Taylor's apartment in the early morning hours of March 13 to serve a narcotics warrant in connection with an investigation into an ex-boyfriend.

Taylor's current boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, says he did not hear police announce themselves, and says he fired a "warning shot" toward the front door as police broke down the door. Police returned fire. Taylor was shot several times and later died. An autopsy recently released reveals more details about the deadly shot.

Hankison is charged with firing several rounds into the building following the initial shootout, allegedly putting Taylor's neighbors in danger.

Hankison faces a maximum of 5 years in prison if found guilty. He was fired from the police department in June.

In a press conference following the grand jury's announcement, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said two other officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were "justified" in using lethal force because they had been fired upon first.

The two officers and Hankison are also facing an internal police investigation into the shooting. Mattingly and Cosgrove remain on administrative duty.

The decision not charge officers with Taylor's homicide has prompted protests in Louisville and throughout the country.