OAN’s Abril Elfi
6:02 PM – Thursday, November 16, 2023
A jury has declared a mistrial in the case of Brett Hankinson, a former officer who was charged in connection to the fatal raid of Breonna Taylor’s house.
On Thursday, a federal judge declared a mistrial in the case of the former Louisville police officer who was charged with violating the civil rights of Taylor, her boyfriend, and their neighbors, the night Taylor was killed in a police raid in 2020.
The night of the incident, Hankinson fired 10 shots into Taylor’s home after officers came under fire during a drug warrant search on March 13th, 2020.
Some of the gun shots reportedly flew into a neighboring apartment, but did not strike anyone. The 12-member jury sent a note to U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings that said they were at an impasse.
During deliberations, the judge reported hearing “elevated voices” from the jury room, prompting court security agents to enter the room. On Thursday, jurors informed the judge that they were deadlocked on both counts against Hankison and were unable to reach a verdict, prompting Jennings to declare a mistrial.
Federal prosecutors now have to determine if the mistrial could result in a retrial for Hankison.
Lonita Baker, an attorney for Taylor’s family, spoke to the press and said that Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, was disappointed with the outcome but remained encouraged “because a mistrial is not an acquittal.
In August 2022, Hankison was accused in a two-count indictment with deprivation of rights under cover of law, both of which are civil rights violations.
According to court filings, he was charged with knowingly depriving Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, of their constitutional right to be free from arbitrary seizures, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer during a seizure.
He was also charged with willfully depriving Taylor’s neighbors Chelsey Napper, Cody Etherton, and Zayden Flournoy of their right to be free from the deprivation of liberty without due process of law, which includes the right to be free from a police officer’s use of unjustified force.
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