Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer made an announcement on Friday that Officer Brett Hankison was being terminated, but said that he couldn’t go into details about the timing or details that led to the decision. He cited local laws that prevented him from doing so, saying “both the chief and I are precluded from talking about what brought us to this moment or even the timing of this decision.”
Hankison was one of three officers involved in a shooting that killed Taylor in her home. Taylor, a 26-year-old African American emergency room technician was in bed when police used a no-knock warrant to enter the home. A no-knock warrant allows police to enter a residence without warning or identifying themselves as officers.
The cops involved say that they identified themselves and knocked, though Taylor’s family disputes their claims. After a short interaction with Taylor and her boyfriend, the officers opened fire, killing Taylor. In the subsequent police report on the situation, a box was checked to say that the 26-year-old had no injuries during the incident, prompting outrage from people who felt that the police weren’t being honest in their account.
The other two law enforcement officers that discharged their weapons, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, have been placed on administrative reassignment and there is no word on whether or not they will face disciplinary action.
Her death has become an example held up by those protesting against police brutality and racism in the U.S., and the family continues to seek answers in her killing.
In addition to questions over Hankison’s conduct during the incident, in recent days, several women have come forward to claim that Hankison sexually assaulted them. Multiple women say that he offered them a ride home after they became intoxicated at a bar and used the opportunity to assault them.
While it isn’t clear what led to Hankison’s termination, interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder addressed the man’s conduct during the Taylor incident.
“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” Schroeder wrote on Friday. “I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion.
“The result of your action seriously impedes the Department’s goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible. I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department,” he added. “Your conduct demands your termination.”
You can watch his media briefing below.
Taylor’s killing is one in a series of recent deaths of black people at the hands of police officers, prompting continued demonstrations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement across the globe.