One of the three Louisville police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT who'd been asleep when her apartment was raided without warning, has been served a termination letter.
“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” wrote Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder in a letter to Detective Brett Hankison on Friday. “I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion.”
The death of Taylor — a Black woman who was killed by white police officers in her own home — sparked huge protests in Louisville and helped fuel the recent demonstrations against police brutality and anti-Black racism across the globe.
Schroeder's letter to Hankison announced his "intention to terminate your employment" and said that the police investigation into Taylor’s death found 14 "extreme" violations by the detective.
“Your actions displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life when you wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020," wrote Schroeder in a partially redacted letter published on Twitter.
"These rounds created a substantial danger of death and serious injury to Breonna Taylor and the three occupants of the apartment next to Ms. Taylor’s."
The other two officers involved in her death, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, are currently on administrative reassignment, according to the Courier-Journal.
Taylor was killed when Hankison, Cosgrove, and Mattingly reportedly executed a no-knock warrant at her home as part of a drug raid looking for a suspect who was already in police custody. Her boyfriend shot a police sergeant in the leg, believing it was a break-in, and Taylor, who unarmed, was shot at least eight times.
Last week, city authorities banned no-knock warrants, calling it "Breonna's Law."
The news that the police chief had initiated termination procedures was first announced Friday by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
“Unfortunately, due to a provision in state law that I very much would like to see changed, both the Chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment, or even the timing of this decision,” said the mayor in a statement.
Schroeder's letter explained that the police investigation delivered its findings to him on Tuesday evening. Hankison is able to present "additional information or mitigating factors" to the police department to challenge the termination proceedings; however, the dates of when that will occur are blacked out.
Daniel Cameron, the Kentucky attorney general, is also investigating Taylor's death. On Thursday, he told a press conference, "We are working around the clock to follow the law to the truth."
He added, "I'd also like to say to all those involved in this case, you have my commitment that our office is undertaking a thorough and fair investigation."